Tuesday, February 8, 2011
One of my big frustrations with the anxiety and other issues I'm having with perimenopause/menopause is the way it turns me inward. I don't like examining every symptom and change, trying to figure out the answer to bring things back in line.
I find that when I hit these trouble spots, often after weeks of feeling fairly normal, I start researching hormones, anxiety, blood sugar, sleep, relaxation, etc., etc. on line and in books.
My time becomes about myself and problems at the expense of other responsibilities in my life, including my children and their education. This can't be good.
This past week the term "mindfulness" has come up a few times...Suggestions from a friend, through forum discussions, and a blog friend's new endeavor ( The Year of Living Mindfully). A couple of different books were mentioned, so I got on the library site and ordered them. Then, in a better-late-than-never sort of approach, I decided I'd better look into this subject a little more to see if it was something I wanted to delve into further or not.
I couldn't seem to read anything about mindfulness without mention of the connection to Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. I know that other cultures and belief systems might have valuable things to offer, but I always want to make sure they're not ideas in opposition to Christianity and the teachings of the Bible. My next step was to Google "Christian Mindfulness" and "Christianity and Mindfulness."
This reading reminded me that the Bible does teach about mindfulness, but in the way of focusing on God...Being in God's presence, following His will, and letting Him shoulder the worries and take responsibility for our needs.
Mindfulness speaks to dealing with the here and now, and not worrying about the past or future. It teaches about focus and limiting wayward thoughts. (This is an admitted over-simplification in my own words and if it sounds at all belittling or offensive, I do not mean it that way). I think these verses, just as a beginning, address these things:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4: 4 - 8
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones." Proverbs 3: 5 - 8
"The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23: 1 - 4
"...Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3: 21 - 24
So, just as I keep forgetting to drink enough water, and keep avoiding adding regular exercise to my days, expecting to be physically healthy, I keep neglecting my daily Bible study and prayer time, expecting to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Surprise, surprise, it's not working.
How many times in this blog since November have I mentioned I need to do this? Maybe one of these days it will actually sink in and take hold. Hopefully, today.