I received a call today from a dear lady wishing to register for the Weight Loss class on March 17th.
She began by saying to me that even though I said we should stop asking our pocket book for permission to do the things that will help us, she needed to know the cost of the seminar so she could try to find the money. My original brochure price is $77. After talking to this dear lady, I am changing the price to $57. I did this after prayerful consideration.
Now my experience has shown me that what I charge really doesn’t matter. It is all about how you are thinking and placing value on how you spend your money. Spending and eating decisions are quite the same, especially when they become dysfunctional.
When we have succumbed to the stress of undisciplined thinking and behavior we make decisions to relieve our stress and we want instant relief, even when we know that we will be sorry later. This is why many people will not spend money to learn a new way of thinking, being and doing. There is the fear that they don’t have the time, the money or the discipline to change. Even though looking in the mirror every day has become painful, the power of habit, the fear of change and the stress of expecting to fail again stops us from even trying. Then we are free to use money as an excuse for not trying. If the class were free, attendance would still be limited.
Now let’s say the class was free. There are certain behaviors and habits that cannot be easily broken whether we pay to be retrained or not! Why? It’s not about the money. It’s about what is taught, how it is taught and our readiness and courage to change.
Last week I mentioned that Jesus asked those he healed if they were willing to be made whole. Whether we stand boldly in front of Jesus like the centurion in the book of Luke or sneak up on healing like the woman with the issue of blood, it still boils down to a readiness and willingness for change, at any cost. The class could be free, entertaining, get lots of amens and still those who attend could walk away unchanged unless they came to be changed. The weight loss class is not about diets or what you eat. The debt class is not about what you earn or how you budget. These classes are about how you think about food and money.
I also feel so blessed by that call this morning because the caller did something else that people who are profoundly stressed do. Even though she was able to speak the truth about God’s word and her duty to her body temple, she had lost all capacity to speak kindly of herself.
This precious woman talked about how “slovenly, lazy, disobedient and sinful” she had become because she continues to overeat, not exercise or any of the other things she could do to control her weight. When I pointed out how badly she was dogging herself and her lack of self compassion she agreed and within less than a minute did it all over again! I reminded her that after she finished beating herself up and making herself feel rotten and unworthy, she would probably go find something to eat to stuff down the pain and cover up her hurt. She laughed and agreed with this as well, saying this is exactly how it works for her.
This is another part of the vicious cycle of stress that comes with repeated failure towards your heart’s desire. The shame, guilt and blame just won’t let up. So whether you sign up for the class at 901-907-0260 or not, this week please pay attention to how you are talking to yourself. Would you accept that kind of talk from anyone else? Is it loving? Or is it condemning?
Being kind and compassionate towards yourself doesn’t mean you let yourself off the hook for unhealthy, temple-disrespecting behavior. But it does mean that you take the first step in keeping the two great commandments: Loving God and loving others by first loving and honoring yourself.
Wishing you a week of deepened self compassion,
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy’s new book, “BE NOT ANXIOUS.” Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)