Lesson 14- Get Rid of It

One of the first things you ask after you hear the words ‘you have cancer’ is “How do I get rid of it?” There is a militant desire to root it out at all costs, because the cost of not doing it is extremely high. Unacceptably high. The part of you that is alive rises up to fight, even before you know the stage or the prognosis. You know for sure that you do not want to die and that changes your perspective on everything you will allow and not allow to happen to your body. Put poison in my veins? Sign me up. Cut parts of my body out? When do we start. Stick me with needles a thousand times a week? Here, take my arm. Give me a stranger’s blood? Where do I sit. What seemed crazy just seconds ago, becomes a passionate battle to survive…for your kids, for your husband, for your family…for yourself.
The translation to the world of fitness is similar. Get rid of it. Get rid of the toxins you eat every day. Get rid of the fat that surrounds your organs. Get rid of excess calories, get rid of bad eating habits. It is a long list. To do it effectively you have to be militant…not legalistic…militant, ruthless to root out the things that are killing you. You have to look at it as if you will die if things stay the same. The truth is you probably will, so it is not that far of a stretch to change your mindset.
However, for many of us, the emotional part (which usually overlaps the spiritual part) gets in the way. The mind games we play with ourselves and the way we beat ourselves up, prevents us from getting on with making life-giving changes. We get stuck, believing lies about ourselves, and instead of seeking the truth from God, we sit down and quit. We have baggage and as much as we want to dump it, we cannot seem to let it go. Maybe tomorrow I will get rid of it, today it is too hard.
I have been cleaning this summer. Closets, cabinets, shelves, you name it I have purged it. The inspiration for this lesson came from looking in my closet and thinking I need to get rid of all this stuff. However, in order to purge, you have to really look at what is there. You have to try it on and think about each piece of clothing and then be ruthless to throw out everything that does not work. So here is what I learned:
There are things that I clothe myself in that no longer fit me. They are the wrong size. In my life, there are areas where I choose to believe things about myself that do not fit. The Bible says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe that I am a disappointment because I am out of shape. So I need to get rid of it…throw out the oversized lies that do not agree with what God says about me.
There are things that I hold on to that are outdated. I look in my closet and see clothes from years ago. I don’t know why I keep this stuff, but here it is. Even if I was little enough to wear it, a dress with football sized shoulder pads would stand out. The fact is that truth is not a fad. It does not go out of style, because it is solid. God does not change, and neither does his love for me. Whether I am heavy or skinny, in style or out, I am still the apple of his eye. Get rid of the outdated mindset from years ago in which I punish myself for not “being good enough.” That time has passed.
Next in line are the inappropriate clothes. For me mini skirts and halter tops aren’t the problem, as I have known for many years not to purchase such clothes for my oversized body, but I do have stuff that is age inappropriate. They are immature clothes that do not fit the place I am in my life. I would look silly trying to dress in clothes made for a college student. Not that I want to look old, but you get the idea. There is something to be said for maturity. As we get older, we also get wiser. We put away childish things…or we are supposed to. The childish thoughts that go with how we view ourselves are usually petty things, which stand out to us, but no one else would even notice. We should know by now that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes, other than the cheerleader/super model perfect we use as our measure. It is time to grow up and get rid of these small views and realize that God has called us beautiful, therefore it is true.
Next, come the worn-out ratty clothes. They are tattered, stained, torn, and altogether in need of tossing. I hold on to them to avoid having to shop for more. When you are large, shopping is not your favorite thing. It is more of a reminder of all that you hate about yourself. To avoid this painful trip I hold on to the yucky stuff, fooling myself into thinking they aren’t that bad and that no one will notice. These clothes are our emotional wounds. We are beat up, and tired yet we avoid the solution. We continue on just as if the holes were not even there. Here our exhaustion with the whole internal process takes us away from the very thing we need most, a new view of ourselves…God’s view. We are not torn, we are strong. We are not useless, but full of purpose. We are not stained, we are washed whiter than snow. He has the new view, we only need to let go of the old in order to reach out to receive it.
Underwear. Need I say more? It is the most worn out, ill fitting of all because it is hidden. Everything else depends on it but we give it the least attention because no one sees it. However, our foundation deserves more attention than that. It should not be the least important item in our wardrobe. We cannot neglect what is underneath, in order to decorate the outside. It will not work because it is backwards thinking. Focusing on our inward beauty will radiate outward, not the other way around. Get rid of faulty foundations. Build on this truth, God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.
This lesson leaves me with an almost empty closet. I have very few items that do not fall into one of these categories, which tells me that it is time to replenish and renew. Replenishing my closet will be much easier than renewing my old–as-the-hills thought processes. It will take a daily dose of getting rid of the old to make room for the new. I will be militant. I will be ruthless. I will pitch the poison in my mind and throw out my emotional baggage. It will take time but I will be relentless because the best thing for me is to get rid of it!

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