Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Core

There's an exercise I do with patients at work that involves "pulling your core to the floor." And yesterday at the gym, while reading an issue of "Natural Health" and kicking ass on the elliptical machine, there was an article on core exercise with pictures of petite, toned, tanned women perfectly balancing on their tailbones with their arms pointed up beyond their heads and their toes extended towards "the healthy person's heaven"...or something.

In light of my impending wedding I've gotten back into diet and exercise mode. I'm counting carbs, watching portions, and (GASP) even went back to the gym from which OS and I had taken a month long "we're in love so who gives a f**k what we look like" hiatus. While I will admit that my major motivation right now is the fact that I just dropped a lot of money on a photographer that will be taking pictures to be posted on the walls of at least 3 different living rooms that I know of...I am motivated right now to turn my health around. So I've been making changes in the diet, working the gym back into my routine, and popping vitamins and other little pellets of herbally goodness. I even sifted through the On Demand exercises to find a core workout. Apparently, it's all about "the core."

But there is a different core that I need to be paying attention to. Lately, I have been so overwhelmed with life and marriage and school and mommyhood and finances and...well you get the drift...that in all this wonderful mess of good and plenty that I have been blessed with, I have paid absolutely no attention to me...the me that God speaks to and works on and nourishes....the place where He goes to get to the bottom of things....my gut....my spirit...my core. My being over the past month or so has made quite a comfy little home being dependant on all of my surrounding circumstances for sustenance.

As long as OS and I are thriving...then I am good.
As long as E is happy...then I am good.
As long as money is plentiful...then I am good.
As long as school is manageable...then I am good.
As long as THINGS are good...then I am good.

But somewhere in the midst of all of this, I wasn't good anymore. And I have gotten frustrated with myself for it....for not feeling as good as I SHOULD....because look at all of my blessings! I should be walking on sunshine...and instead I have felt a dark cloud hanging overhead.

Over the past few days of focusing on getting my physical health in balance, I have come to realize that my spiritual health is in need of an overhaul. Very quickly and very easily, I began to rely on the wrong things to bring health and balance to my spirit. This is a dangerous place for me to stagnate, because right on the heels of the superficial happiness that is dependant on other people and other things is a mighty paralyzing depression that I know all too well. It's a sickness that creeps it's way into my head and then into my spirit. It packs hopelessness as its ammunition, and it uses lies as its fuel. In a word, it blows, and when I am not on top of my game spiritually, it blows any measure of happiness and blessing in my life right out of the water.
So today I am feeding myself a decent dose of truth. My relationships with the people that I love can bring blessing and joy into my life, but they cannot make me happy. School can bring direction and purpose into my life, but it cannot make me happy. Money can bring me more headaches and more things, but it cannot make me happy. Other people...other places...other things....can change my circumstances, but they cannot make me happy. The spiritual truth is that my happiness must rest in the voice and the Spirit of God. His call on my spirit is often quiet and gentle, because His desire is that I will seek Him in full knowledge that I will find Him when I do. His plan offers me wisdom, because there is a purpose that He intends for me to pursue. His fulfillment is not based on circumstances, but on the truth of knowing that when I dig into the meat of His promises, that I will be satisfied with a feast of His understanding.
My focus has been situated on the outward scene. I love the outward scene and the people that occupy it. I love the direction that my life is going, and the people that are going there with me. I am abundantly blessed with a wealth beyond monetary value. But all of this is nothing, if I don't stay in clear communication with The One who directs this path. So today I am adjusting my focus with an inward lens in order to better see The Source. If I seek Him, I will find Him. When I find Him, He will speak. When He speaks, I will listen. When I listen, I find peace.
This, I believe...to my very core.


Lora said...

Beautiful, Sara.
I love reading your blog. Honesty and faith leap off the page. Love it :0)

Jaycee said...

Wow. That was deep. And I'm right there with ya girl! Currently wavering between desperately needing to get closer to God and too darn comfy where I am. He'll break me down eventually, I'm sure! Love ya!

lollygagger said...

Good luck with balancing everything and finding your core because you're right...you can everything going for you and still feel down. Good to be aware, and it sounds like you're on the right path! :)

Carpe Diem said...

I'm reading a book called "Walking with God". Your blog reminded me of some statements in the book that I thought might be noteworthy...We are created to enjoy life, but we end up worshipping the gift instead of the Giver...God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given our hearts to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to Him...It's not that God doesn't want us to be happy. He does. It's just that he knows that until we are holy, we cannot really be happy. Until God has become our all, and we are fully his, we will continue to make idols of the good things he gives us!...Thanks for reminding me!

HappyascanB said...

What a beautiful analogy. You know, I've always heard that keeping your core in shape and strong is necessary to great running, a great body, etc., etc. Yet I've never made the connection to keeping my spiritual CORE healthy in Him. Thanks for sharing your realization with me. I love it!!!