Into the Light

Time for the weekly update, as promised. This week went even better than the previous one. The only wrench that was thrown into the mix was that Ben was home from college starting Monday evening. (He was isolating after being tested for Covid with the rest of the baseball and volleyball programs – don’t worry, he’s negative – but he chose to isolate here at home so he could lift weights and do his long toss and hit here as he wasn’t allowed to had he stayed in Hastings) I say that was a wrench only because while he was home I cooked even bigger and meatier and carb-laden meals because, well, college meal plan meals, and so Ben could get a refreshing dose of mama’s home cooking. So, I ate more potatoes and starches and carbs for supper than I did the previous week, and ate later in the evening, but I did well overall with everything else. I guess it probably doesn’t hurt to cheat a tad when the rest of the day was well-planned and adhered to. My blog, my opinion, right? *wink, wink* Now, on with the rest of the story . . . 

I have ALWAYS, at least as long as I can remember, been afraid of the dark. Like terrified of the dark. And I guess more specifically, not so much scared of the dark itself, but of what is IN the dark, lurking, that I might not be able to see. I didn’t know until this week that I was actually scared of my shadow also . . . I’ll get to that in a minute. Now, I am sure there are millions of people who, just like me, are scared of the dark. I mean bad things tend to happen in the “dark” or at night much more often than during the day and it’s light. The Bible even talks in the Gospel of John about those who do evil hating the light and goes so far to say they won’t even come into the light for fear of having their evil deeds exposed. Here is a dose of real, exposing honesty for you . . . I have slept with a night light my whole life. Yes, even as a married woman who has a grown man in the bed with her, I have a small 5 or 7 watt bulb (whichever it is) in a reading lamp attached to my headboard that gets turned on during the night. Now, I cover it with something to dim it a little but I keep it on so I can sleep without fear. Here is where I say I have the most patient man in the world. He never complains about my need for the light to keep me comfortable in the dark. My house is never completely dark. We have small plug in lights placed strategically through the house that come on when it’s dark so there is never a hallway or room in the main part of the house that isn’t illuminated. You may call me crazy and can even make fun of me if you want. I don’t care! I call it staying sane and anxiety and panic attack free. 

One night this last week, I was getting ready for bed. The boys had already retired to their beds and were both sleeping soundly as far as I knew. Wade was in the kitchen getting the dog a treat for bed time. I heard a noise and thought that maybe Ben or Franklin was coming down the hallway. I was brushing my teeth when I heard it. I use an electric toothbrush and it was making enough noise that I was not sure what I had just heard, but it startled me a tad. I turned the toothbrush off and peeked my head out the bathroom door and into the hallway. Now, there are many doorways right outside this bathroom. You can go slightly left into the front/entry room; or you can go slightly right into our bedroom; or a little further right into one of the other bedrooms; or you can bank hard right and go down the hallway to the boy’s bedrooms. What I am saying is there are a LOT of options for something to come jumping at you and you can’t see them all at the same time. I thought the noise was coming from the hard-right banking hallway leading to their rooms. I stepped out of the bathroom to investigate. Wade hadn’t turned off the light in the family room yet and it shines against the wall to some of those options mentioned above. I saw my own shadow on the wall in front of me and literally jumped. It scared me bad enough it made my chest hurt. (Like I said, this fear is REAL for me!) The light actually exacerbated the problem instead of solving it as it usually does. But I started thinking about something I read a long time ago. It stated that when you are looking into the light you can’t see your shadow. Light in itself casts no shadow. It only illuminates what is actually present. And shadows form because an object blocks the path of the light. I know, we all learned this when we were little, but I saw something in this when it happened and I thought I would share a little of it, even if it’s something we already know. 

As you all know by now from reading my blogs, my mind is bent to the spiritual, the eternal, the “God-centric” consequences and lessons in all things. This was no different. And it came back to what I mentioned from John 3 but combined with it the fact we also know the Bible says Jesus is the light of the world, and in Him, there is no darkness. I’m sure most of us have seen the picture of a hand holding a lit match and the shadow it is casting on the wall in the background. The flame doesn’t cast a shadow, of course, only the hand and matchstick, but I never really thought about that too much until seeing the picture. The same is true, as I mentioned before, about looking into the light. I can’t be scared by the shadows if I will just focus on the light. Shadows don’t exist in the light. And by keeping close to the light, nothing can get between me and the light to cause any shadows I might otherwise fear.

As I said, I am not sure if I am scared OF the dark exactly or what’s IN the dark. But I do know why I appreciate the light so much. If the light comes on, whatever is in the dark cannot go unseen. And this is the idea I am choosing to apply to my weight loss and health journey. If I am having a hard time doing what I need to do, or having a hard time losing, or exercising, or ANYthing, I can use the light to illuminate the issue and flush it out of hiding. I can shine this light of experience, truth, and knowledge into the deep recesses of my heart and mind and identify the exact problem and come up with a solution to find a better way. And that is what I have employed the last couple weeks after renewing my purpose and focus in my journey to best health. I have brought to light things that were sitting back in the dark just waiting for the most opportune time to accost me and sabotage my goals. I can’t have that. I can’t afford to allow that. It has brought out the lack of discipline I have at times. It has shown me both my fear of failure and of success. I don’t know what life will look like if I actually reach my goal weight. I am afraid of getting there, I think in part, because I don’t know that I will be able to STAY there. So many times (SOOOOO MANY TIMES) I have lost weight only to stop doing what I was doing and let myself gain it all back. And then some. I have never lost as much as I have lost in the last almost 2 years. And I haven’t weighed what I weigh right now since probably 1997. To me, that’s a victory all in itself. But I sometimes lose focus on where I am and what I am doing because of an unfounded fear of the future. However, I can apply the light of experience, truth and knowledge to it and see that there isn’t anything hiding in any corner that will jump out at me and attack my progress and make me gain weight just because I have lost weight. It won’t happen unless I allow it to happen. And I’m not about to let it happen!

There is always going to be something in our world that will cause us fear. And we all have conditioned fears and responses that have taken a lifetime to become what they are today. Our job is to find a way to act and live in spite of those fears and responses. My fear of the dark will likely never go away. But I have adopted techniques and processes to aid in fighting the fear by placing light in areas where it is most needed for me to feel safe. Some of us fear change. Some of us fear success or failure. But courage is what happens when we begin acting and living our best life in spite of those fears. Remember, through Jesus, there is nothing outside of ourselves that is stronger than we are. There is nothing we cannot do and nothing we cannot accomplish if we just apply the hard work and discipline and courage needed to get the job done. And when we are feeling defeated and scared, we need to remember to look into the light where we will see no shadows and can refocus and renew our purpose, fortitude and courage. There’s never anything to fear in the light. Nothing to fear at all.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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