You’ve had a wakeup call of some kind. Somewhere in your soul there’s a glimmer of hope. Maybe it’s only a flicker, but it’s there. The wisest part of you realizes that nothing will get any better until you act. There’s some area in which you need to take charge of your life, and you’re ready. But how do you do that?
Or perhaps you’re doing quite well in most ways. But there’s a pesky problem that just won’t leave you alone. Perhaps it’s those extra pounds you’re carrying around, a slew of dark thoughts that keep crowding in, the hormones that make you feel like a stranger in your own skin, or the stress that threatens to eat you alive. When you’re honest with yourself you know that the rest of your life will start to suffer if you don’t get that one issue under control. You need to take charge. But how do you get started?
In the last few messages in this series, I’ve talked about the fact you can’t count on anyone else on earth to care more about your wellbeing than you do. As a woman in particular, your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing won’t get any better unless you take charge. God Himself created you to responsibly exercise authority over a great many areas of your life, and you honor Him by doing so. (Click on the highlighted words above to read the earlier posts in this series.)
Now it’s time to take action in moving toward the Fully Alive kind of life that you desire, that God created you for, and that will allow you to accomplish the purpose for which you are here.
Over the past week I’ve heard from some of you. You’re struggling with any number of things:
- food being your “frenemy,” and every meal a battle
- trying to always be so perfect that you aren’t taking action where you can
- diabetes that stays out of control while you keep falling back into less-than-ideal eating habits
- fear over a difficult conversation you need to have with your wife
- depression that doesn’t seem to go away – year after year
- the sense that your efforts to help other people are pointless and not worth continuing
And there are many more of you, I know, who would love an easy fix – if there was one.
But you’re here now. And you want to take some action to make things better. You’re ready to start.
There’s nothing easy about any of these issues. But you and I both know that things won’t get any better unless you do something different. So let’s get started. These Three Steps apply to almost any problem you need to begin taking charge of in your life.
Step One: Choose to Be In Charge
We’ve hinted at this first step in earlier messages, and I think it’s the most important one of all. If you see yourself as a victim, you’ll probably stay that way. But if you see yourself as taking charge, your whole outlook will be different.
Remember, it’s not nearly so important how much you weigh, what your marriage relationship is like, or how faithful you are in helping others today or next week. It’s much more important what those aspects of your life are like a year from now, or even five or twenty years from now.
Choosing to take charge of that problem area in your life may not change your outside circumstances today. But it will change the internal working of your mind. You’ll begin to see things differently in relation to that problem. You’ll notice places where your actions can make a difference that you never paid attention to before. You’ll feel a little stronger where you felt hopeless before. You’ll have ideas about actions you can take that you would never have imagined previously.
Step Two: Look at What is in Your Control
While taking charge of the important areas of your life makes all the difference in the world, you aren’t in control of everything. There are some things you can’t change, even while there are many things that you can. You’ll wear yourself out if you keep focusing on what you can’t change.
The Serenity Prayer makes this clear: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
You can’t, for example, change the past – even your past. You can’t change other people. You can’t change your genetic background.
But within those same areas, there’s so much that is within your control. You can plan out a day’s or a week’s menu in advance so you don’t have to think about it at each meal. You can get a “diabetes buddy” and talk to each other daily about your lifestyle habits. You can write out a letter to discuss with your wife to make that difficult conversation somewhat easier.
Separating out what you have control over, and choosing to focus on that, will help you take charge. Better yet, write down one or several things that are in your control related to the problem you’re taking charge of.
Step Three: Do One Small Action NOW
Hopefully you’ve written down one or several things that are in your control. Remember, you can’t change other people, or the past. We’re talking about starting now, and taking charge of what is within your control to move toward a Fully Alive kind of tomorrow.
(And isn’t that the whole message of the gospel? That because of Jesus, we can begin again. And again. And again. And again.)
Look over your list, or your one thing, and imagine doing it. That might be:
- Creating a healthy food shopping list
- Making an appointment with your wife to have that talk
- Signing up for an online class about diabetes, or depression, or ….
- Asking a trusted person for feedback on why your efforts at helping people seem so fruitless
Then do it!
Taking one small action in the direction of taking charge can create a small feeling of success. And that breeds positive feelings, and the willingness to take more action.
All this is just a beginning. Yes, there may be a long-ish road ahead. But you’ll never get to your Fully Alive destination if you don’t get started. And that’s what today’s thoughts are about.
I’ve got a lot to share about Taking Charge of your Physical and Emotional Wellbeing – especially for women. Stay tuned. Keep reading these emails.
And I’ll look forward to showing up in your inbox again in a few days.
Your Turn: For now, let me know the one thing you are going to take action on – something that you DO have control over. Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.
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- Gain momentum to change by focusing on what you DO have control over. Tweet that.
Do you want to live FULLY ALIVE?
There are simple steps you can take EVERY DAY that will propel you forward in experiencing the kind of life you want, and that God wants for you physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
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