Climb Above The Snake Line for Optimal Health and Happiness!
I spent the weekend in bed trying to head off the flu. I know rest can help your body heal. Plus, my energy level was zero. I felt like a zombie. So what to do when you are in bed all day and night? I scrolled through Facebook, read a little, but couldn’t concentrate. My mind just kept wandering to random thoughts and memories which left me feeling exhausted mentally and physcially. I know part of it was because of the flu, but another part of it was grief because my aunt died. She wasn’t just any aunt. She was the one who rescued me from the pound so to speak. I was 14 and locked up “for my own protection.” I was scared of what the future held for me. Was I going to become another statistic? Not if my aunt had any say in the matter, which fortunately she did. She went to court on my behalf and said I could live with her family which I believe saved me from a marginal life, or worse. I drifted away from my foster family over the years, but I never forgot my aunt’s kindness for taking me in and treating me as one of her own. She had been fighting the big C for years going in and out of remission. Her body was worn out, but not her spirit. She hung on to the very end.
The family gathered several times to say their goodbyes. I went twice and couldn’t bare to see her like that, so frail when I remember her being so strong even though she was a petite woman. So, I dealt with my grief the best way I knew how which was to numb out. I usually write to deal with intense emotions, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. Had there been a lot of junk food in the house, I’m sure I would have turned to eating as well as that is something I have done on autopilot for many years to distract myself and calm my nerves, even though that calm is a brief illusion. I decided to watch TV. No thinking required.
I watched hours of the political rallies. I never thought in a million years I would be interested in politics, but as I get older, I realize the important role voters play in determining the successful candidate. After hours of watching the political banter, I felt more confused and concerned than I did before. So, I turned to another reality show starring Caitlen Jenner where there was more political discussion. It reminded me how much tension is created when you take sides on the political debate. I notice it a lot on Facebook too. People saying if you support a certain candidate, you are no longer their friend. Sometimes it feels like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone. It has made me lose interest in social media. I run hot and cold on social media anyway. Sometimes I get excited about making connections, other times it feels so superficial. I have always appreciated technology, but sometimes nothing beats human connection in real life.
So, after watching too many mind-numbing reality shows, I flipped through the channels and ran across one of my favorite preachers, Joel Olsteen. I love his upbeat, optimistic approach to faith and spirituality. Do you ever feel like God is speaking directly to you through someone else? That is how I felt with the sermon Joel was preaching. He was talking about how important it is to overcome temptations of the flesh. He said that the flesh likes to be in control but no good comes of the flesh controlling you. Feelings are part of the flesh. When I feel like being lazy and staying in bed instead of going for a walk to get some fresh air and circulate the blood in my body which would help me just as much if not more than rest. Or when I feel like eating junk food instead of nourishing my body with the life-giving energy that comes from the fruits and vegetables that I know I should eat and that I preach to my family to eat. When I go against my instincts or what I know is right and let my flesh or feelings take control, there are consequences that are not in my best interest and not what God has planned for me.
Joel said temptation of the flesh will always be there, but every time we do what we instinctively know is right, we grow stronger and if we do the right thing consistently, we will eventually reach a point where temptations of the flesh or our feelings no longer control us. He called it the snake line and said it is a phrase that rock climbers refer to where they reach a point in their journey that snakes do not go because the air is too thin. When they first start climbing, they are concerned about snakes hiding among the rocks and biting them. But, as they climb higher and higher, the snakes cannot get to them because they are in a place snakes fear to tread. Isn’t that a beautiful metaphor?! It will become part of my arsenal of mind weapons that I use to defeat temptations of the flesh as I move up the mountain of life towards optimal health. I’m sharing the message with the hope that it helps you too!