Friday, January 14, 2011

a measure of trust

146. Today's reading on the scale. (Well, actually, the readings were, in order, 147.6, 146, 145, and 146, depending upon at which spot on our 90-year-old hardwood floor I sat my extremely dependable and extremely expensive electronic scale. I'm going with the average, as average seems to be a theme.)

This is good news. This means I am losing weight. At least five pounds, depending on where I topped out over Christmas. Good news. I should be jumping up and down. So why am I not ecstatic?

We did an exercise on trust in my group this past Wednesday night which I suspect might provide me with some insight. After we took turns being led around blindfolded for five minutes by another group member, we discussed the implications of our actions and feelings when it comes to things like walking out life with The God of the Universe. One of the resounding take-aways from this exercise was the insight that, despite our best efforts and intentions, we could not rationally talk ourselves out of what we were feeling. One gentleman, for example, told of his fear that he was going to hit his head on something, which caused him to haunch over with a hand outstretched no matter how many times he forced himself to stand up straight. I shared the intense anxiety I felt once my leader had taken me up to the balcony, knowing I'd have to go back down again—and how I slowed to an almost complete stop 20 feet from the staircase despite repeated reassurances that we were close but not that close. 

Each of us had a similar story of a similar experience. The inability to trust completely (in completely trustworthy people) because our emotion was short-circuiting our rational intellect.
When all is said and done, I do not trust well. In this area in my life, this manifests in a multitude of irrational and illogical ways. I do not trust the scale. I do not trust the diet. I do not trust the process. I do not trust how my clothes fit. I do not trust how my body feels. I do not trust my body, period. And I don't always trust The One who made it, either.

I may be wrong, but that strikes me as potentially being a problem.

A lifetime of experience with scales and diets and fat wardrobes and thin wardrobes and IBS and chronic pain and healing prayer and hoping-wishing-praying for freedom has left me feeling a little anxious that there is a staircase out there somewhere, and the only way is down. I can tell myself I can trust the diet, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself I can trust the process, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust my body, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust The God of the Universe, but that has not always been my experience, either.

Despite what the scale says, I feel fat today. My jeans still don't fit right, my stomach feels bloated, and I worry incessantly that this diet is not going to work and I'm not going to get this weight back off. I tell myself the diet is, indeed, working and that it is only a matter of time until the jeans fit and the stomach deflates and the weight is off. But I've fallen down these steps before, and I just can't help but shuffle my feet a bit in apprehension.

146. This is good news. If I can make the choice to trust it.

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