Today on the blog, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to introduce you to a dear friend of mine: Areya Goodnuff. Yes, I know, she does have a bit of an unusual name. I just checked and it is not on the top 10 (or top 100 for that matter) list of baby names for 2017. Regardless of her quirky name, we're great friends and chat often.
Areya Goodnuff and I chat daily. We're besties. Okay...maybe daily was a bit of an understatement. We check in often during the day. Hmm... how often? Maybe really often. Okay, fine, I'd call it frequently. I consult with her about pretty much everything. See Areya Goodnuff just has an opinion about everything and she helps me remember things I might forget.
She reminds me how often I forgot to work out this week. How few veggies I've eaten today...or this week. She challenges me to think of other activities I could get myself involved in at home, work, church, the community, etc. I mean there's always more of me to go around right?
When's the last time I cleaned the toilet? Areya reminds me: three weeks ago. Is a full night of sleep really necessary or could I use some of that time to be more productive--that was an Areya original! She reminds me that I really could do more in the day and that even my best efforts could be better. Isn't it great to have a friend that doesn't let your shortcomings and mistakes fall through the cracks? What would I do without her? What would I be without her?
By now, I hope you've caught on to where I'm going with this (if not re-read her name out loud and think what 4 words might be hidden in her name). This inner voice reminding me of my inadequacies and failures can often feel relentless. I find that the more I listen, the louder and more frequent that voice becomes. Have I accomplished enough? Do I know enough? Am I enough?
Ashley touched on these heart cries last week in her post Roots: Going Deeper.
In the past, when I’ve told myself that I’m too busy to make time for myself and my health, it's usually a cover story. We all have 24 hours in the day. Why do we feel the need to stuff our day and leave out any ounce of white space?
I ask this of myself as much as I ask you these questions. What am I trying to accomplish with all the busyness? Am I trying to prove that I have what it takes? Am I trying to show that I'm good enough, smart enough, strong enough, ___(insert your heart's cry)___. Are we getting closer to one of your roots that has been preventing you from lasting change with your health (or any other area of your life)?
The root of these critical thoughts for me is fear of inadequacy. Fear that I can't do enough, know enough, be enough. Maybe you too have had the message "you are not enough" etched on your heart too. Or perhaps you've been told or have felt the reverse that you are "too much." Let me come along side you friend and say: those are lies.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God knew exactly what he was doing when he formed you. He did not make any mistakes. Let these truths wash over you and soak down deep into those places of your heart that need healing.
Yes it is true that because of the sin in the world we are all broken in some way. And yes, it is good to continue to pursue personal growth but only out of place of love and respect for you as a creation and as a worship to your creator.
What I’d like to challenge today is how to slow down and stop the “Are-ya-good-nuff” thoughts. Can I just be honest and say that this striving, self-critiquing monologue in my head is exhausting? What would I be without these thoughts?
Calm. At peace. Living an abundant life.
These are the words I long for yet feel so far away when I am critically examining myself through the lens of “am I good enough.”
I recently read a beautiful and challenging book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. In this book, Ann recounts her journey toward living, what I would describe as, an abundant life by acknowledging, calling out, writing down everything she was thankful for. This journey of acknowledging God’s big and small gifts cultivated a heart of gratitude and began shaping her heart and mind to rest in God’s peace.
Moment of truth: All of my life, I have searched for something to slow down, de-rail, and stop the swirling, criticizing thoughts in my head. Honestly, cultivating a heart of gratitude through affirmation of God’s gifts—big and small—has been the one most powerful tool I’ve found.
This week friends, as we turn the calendar to November, Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. What a perfect time to try this out. I want to challenge you, as well as myself, each time those feelings of fear, inadequacy, shame, guilt, pain, grief, ___(insert your heart’s cry here)____ creep in, look around you and choose one thing that you can be grateful for in that moment: shoes on your feet, butter melting on your toast, a raindrop on one of the last flowers of the season, a streak of sunlight peeking through the clouds….the possibilities are endless. You just need to open your eyes, and tune your heart to sing his praise.
Today when Areya Goodnuff reminds me how many minutes I spent cleaning the kitchen instead of zooming train around the train track with my son, I will kindly say in response: “Thank you Lord for washcloths. Thank you for soap and bubbles. Thank you for trains with endless tracks. Thank you for grace and new mercies each morning and each moment.” I may just get so carried away with finding things to be thankful for that Areya Goodnuff will have no choice but to thank along with me.
What do you say, you in? Over the next four weeks, join me on our social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and share what you are thankful for—the big and the small. We’ll be using #LWthankful when we share our moments of thankfulness. Join me. Let us give thanks.
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
Caitlyn J. Hanson
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.