humility and having a “post to blog” kinda life.

22 Nov

This is sort of a humiliating post to write, but I’m going to start with a dream I had, and work from there.

Two nights ago I dreamt that my fingers started to get smaller.  Not smaller in length, but in width.  It was slow at first, just a couple of fingers looking a little bit thinner than normal, then my rings wouldn’t fit, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Then the next time I looked down at my hands, all of my fingers were the width of a standard pencil (that’s really small) and they were incredibly weak.  I couldn’t grip anything, or even feed myself.  It was pretty scary, and I tried to hide them as much as I could.  I wore long sleeve shirts that I could let drape over my hands, and I wore gloves however painfully large they were. 

Then it gets creepier.  I started to notice large sists on a few of my fingers, and I started picking at them.  Underneath the skin, I saw that my fingers were growing several new fingernails.  I was officially scared now.  My thumb on my right hand had so many fingernails that I couldn’t bend it.  The nails started at the base of my thumb and worked all the way to the top, all the way around my thumb.  Strange.

Finally (this is still a dream by the way.. my fingers are fine) I went to the doctor.  He took one look at my fingers and said, “you have a deficiency, and your fingers are trying to strengthen themselves by growing extra nails.”  What?  I freaked out at him, “how could I have a deficiency? I’m vegan! I only put healthy foods in my body? What do you mean?”  Then he said, “it’s not the food, it’s the controlling nature you have with food.”

He sent me to live with my parents again (I had moved out in my dream) and she had to cook for me and watch me at all times, as if I was anorexic or something.

Weird right?

It was one of those dreams that you wake up thinking about, and go about your day thinking about.  What does it all mean?

Okay, so here’s where humiliation comes in, well part way.  When you post about everything, and are really vocal about your convictions, and then you change your mind about some of them… well the easiest thing is to just not post about them.  Automatically your brain starts thinking, “well if I said this before, and now I say this, people will think I’m a hypocrite…” etc.  I don’t want you to think I’m a hypocrite, but just know this is completely honest and it’s really hard for me to write.

So, in the car on my way to work I was listening to a sermon (I don’t go to church because I work on Sundays, so podcasts of sermons on weekends are sort of like mini sermons) and he was talking about the leader who asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus responded by saying that he had to keep all of the commandments, and the teacher said, “well I already do that, is there anything else?”  This is where Jesus answers that if he has kept all the commandments, then he must now sell all of his posessions and give the money to the poor.  The story ends with the teacher leaving upset.  

Most of the time when this passage is preached on they talk about how hard it is for rich people to get into heaven, because our hearts are so invested in our stuff, but Bruxy (the pastor I listen to) took a different angle.  He said that it’s not just money, it’s anything that we have to die to to follow Jesus.  Now I grew up in  church, I’ve heard the die to your self sermon more than a few times, but this time it hit a little closer to home.

Bruxy asked his listeners, “whats your death issue?”  Whats the issue that you will die if you keep holding on to it?

Immediately my dream with the fingers came back into my mind, and the doctor in the dream telling me that it wasn’t the food I was eating but the control I had over the food.  “Control,” is the word that stuck out for me.

Being completely honest, I really struggle with perfectionism.  I’ve pin pointed that a lot of that comes from me telling myself when I was really young that if I didn’t want to get in trouble, or be humiliated again, then I had to vow never to do anything wrong, or embarassing again.. which grew a perfectionist spirit inside of me.  Anyways, perfectionism comes through in my day to day life in the control I have over issues.  I’ve never been a really moderate person.  I either tell myself I’m going to read 40 books in two months, and do it, or don’t read at all.  I’m very, very healthy, or I eat no vegetables at all.  I’m either counting calories, or denying their existence.

I’ve often used the excuse that I’m just not good at being moderate, but is that healthy?

So what I’ve found is that with being vegan, I really love the challenge, I love knowing that I can do it.  I love finding new ways, and keeping to something, it gives me a sense of worth.  It’s something tangible that I can control.  I am very good at controlling what goes in my mouth and what doesn’t if I have very strict rules set up.  It’s funny because most people hate dieting situations like that… but I love it.  It’s like I thrive off of knowing what I’m not having and knowing that I control that. Weird.

So my first idea was okay, lets see if you can have a healthy relationship with food, but right away my brain went into control mode and started thinking of ways that I could control that.  Setting up food rules that hold absolutely no water (I can eat eggs once a week, cheese when I’m at restaurants, nothing too fatty, no fast food, limit sugar, whole grains, sea food…etc) just so I can control it.  It’s like I’m afraid that if I don’t have all of this control that I’ll just fall off the deep end.

It’s creepy when you start to see things about your mental self that might not be so healthy.

It’s hard to post this because I’ve been so vocal about being vegan, and now I’m saying, maybe I wasn’t so healthy, maybe a little too obsessive, etc.  But like I said before, I have to post it because, I don’t want to take the easy way out.  If I post about the good stuff, I’ll post about the awkward stuff too.

Hopefully in the future I can get over this and become more moderate.  I would love to have a healthy relationship with food, and other hobbies in my life, one that wasn’t completely obsessive, or completely passive  but just in the center at a moderate level.  I’ll keep praying.

Oh yea, one think that kept coming to mind was that I thought of being on a missions trip in Mexico, and the only food they had there was food I couldn’t eat because I was vegan… would I eat it anyway?  Is it wrong not to?  Is it wrong to think that that might be wrong? It really hit me.  Food isn’t all that important.  Being healthy is, but it’s not healthy to let being healthy consume everything that you are.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Peace.

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