This morning I decided to begin some changes. After getting out of bed before my wife (it's been quite a while since I've done that on a regular basis), I ate a relatively healthy breakfast (I frequently don't have breakfast at all) and read the newspaper while I drank my morning cup of coffee (actually a very large mug). While I was doing this my wife got up, went through her usual morning routine, we exchanged our usual morning greetings, and she left for work. (Ok - it wasn't as simple as that but you don't need to know all the details, even if you want to).
I thought about the changes we are facing and decided to get active before I settled down to do my usual activities. I had some little errands to run so I got on my bicycle and got on my way. Ninety minutes later, the errands were done (they took less than 10 minutes) and I arrived back home, huffing and puffing, drenched with sweat. I got my exercise in for the day.
One of the many changes I need to make is to get healthier. This applies not only to my physical health, but also to my spiritual and mental health. I also need to get more active socially - you see, I'm very comfortable being by myself and have to take care not to isolate myself from others.
Spiritually, I need to deepen my relationship with God and grow in my faith. I want to finish well which requires me to nurture and grow my faith. My desire is to bear the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Making that change demands that I be more diligent and disciplined in my reading of scripture, meditation, and prayer time. My faith will stagnate if I fail to put it into action. I don't know what that(putting my faith into action) will look like. It's very possible that I don't want to know what that will look like. There are some walls in the way.
Improving my physical health will be hard work requiring more discipline than I've ever employed before! Even though I've lost about 40 lbs in the last 9 months, I still have a lot of weight to lose. My goal is to lose more than 1/2 of my current body weight. I want to be able to breathe better. I want to have more energy. I want to reduce the number of medications I'm currently on. My wife wants me to stick around for many years yet. Although that is ultimately God's decision, I have a responsibility to do my part. I have to make changes. Changes that require different eating habits, healthier food choices, and a more intense and regular exercise regime. I'll have to overcome the walls that have been preventing me from applying these strategies for many years now.
Achieving better spiritual and physical health will improve my ability to overcome my mental health challenges. Depression and anxiety have been a part of my reality for many years They are formidable walls to tear down.
As I was cycling this morning I contemplated why and how things have gotten to this point. Why haven't I made changes much sooner? Why have earlier attempts (I've made many attempts before) to make changes failed? What walls/barriers have been in the way?
Is it the wall of lack of discipline? Is it the wall of insufficient motivation? Is it the wall of personal weakness? Is it the wall of insufficient support? Is it the wall of an 'I don't give a shit' attitude? Is it the wall of submission to destructive appetites? Is it the wall of unhealthy coping mechanisms? Is it the wall of fear? The reality is that I've allowed myself to be defeated by many walls!
It's time to break through the walls! I got a good start on it this morning with my longer than usual bike ride.
Tomorrow will be another challenge. I'm determined to meet that challenge. I'll tackle this one step and one day at a time. I'll keep you informed of my progress.