I’m thinking we’ve all experienced The Land of Numb at some point in our lives….or will. It’s that place you seem exiled to when life becomes overwhelming and there’s too much to process. You go numb…emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. Somewhere inside a switch is flipped and you enter into survival mode. All you can hope to do is put one foot in front of the other and do the necessary tasks for each day. There are no thoughts of setting goals, writing five year life plans. You can’t even figure out how to get the bed made or a meal cooked let alone map out a five year plan.
I am all too familiar with The Land of Numb. I have resided there full time and part time for more years than I care to think about. But getting older has given me pause for intentional reflection and purposeful soul searching. I want to leave The Land of Numb….permanently… put a padlock on the gate and throw away the key.
A few weeks ago I read the following Scripture. It changed my life…it changed my direction.
You have been going around this mountain
When my dad died a year ago I transitioned from full time caregiver to having an empty schedule and time that I had no idea what to do with. Then, as my grieving eased, I wanted to try everything…all at once. My Pinterest boards exploded… gourmet cooking, gardening, getting fit and healthy, art journaling, knitting, travel, my list went on and on. Just as life was smoothing out, a careless driver made a left hand turn in front of my motorcycle riding husband and I found myself in The Land of Numb…again.
That was mid-September. My husband is healing…slowly and painfully, but thankfully, healing. Reading that Scripture was my wake-up call. I’d been going in circles long enough…it was time to go in a different direction. With that epiphany came the reality that I was going to have to choose what I really wanted for my life. I arrived at the conclusion it is impossible to “have it all”. Life is about choices, about deciding what you want to give your precious time to.
I’m not old (wink, wink)…but I’m now on the shorter end of my lifespan. I can no longer procrastinate with the words…”maybe one day”. It’s time for change now.
Direction Change #1…Get Healthy. I want quality of life. I want to travel, play with my grandchildren, be active. I want strong muscles and joints. I want food to be fuel…not an idol or an addiction. I’ve yo-yo dieted, tried all the current fad diets and gone through the phase of not caring a whit what food I ate or why I mindlessly ate it. I have exercised diligently, then sporadically…then barely. I’ve lost forty pounds and gained thirty back. The numb days of ignoring my health and abusing my body with food have ended. It became necessary to admit I needed help to learn how to take care of myself, find that help, and begin living a different lifestyle.
Direction Change #2….Dream. For a long time I haven’t had the mental or emotional energy to consider what I really wanted to be when I grew up. The Land of Numb makes no allowances for the freedom of dreaming. Mere existence is the law of the Land. Dreaming takes courage. It requires me to know who I am and what my heart is passionate about. Dreaming erases the boundaries of my comfort zones, exposes my vulnerabilities, and creates possibilities for failure. It means relationships will change with the risk of being misunderstood and judged. But other people’s opinions are not my responsibility. I am pursuing what I believe I was destined to do and what makes my heart sing.
Direction Change #3….No More The Victim. Our little community just lost a young wife and mother to colon cancer. Her family is honoring her as they share how brave she was as she fought to fully live her life. The quote below was on her social media page…inspiring….sobering…excuse-blasting.
Playing the victim is safe. Being the heroine of my life demands being present to my life…taking responsibility for my choices…making the time to listen to my soul…choosing to celebrate my life, even the mundane… embracing the heartaches, sorrows, disappointments, joys…standing up tall, sometimes on wobbly legs, to face the challenges and hardships that will certainly appear.
I’ve turned North….I’m giddy….I’m scared….I’m excited to get up in the morning to see what the day holds…I savor the newness….Every day is a Divine gift to be opened, explored and delighted in! Every sunrise carries the blessing to BE a gift to those whose lives touch mine.