Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a long post about obsession

i'm not talking calvin klein fragrance here.
(although i do love the men's obsession...
reminds me of when M and i were first dating!)
i'm talking about unhealthy obsessions.
these aren't necessarily OCD type diagnosable obsessions.
these are the things that you think about most often.
the things that reoccur several times in your thought processes in a day.
i've been struggling a lot with my own.
i have obsessions.
i think we all, as women, have obsessions.
it's something we all deal with.
don't we?
we're obsessed with making sure our hair looks good, perfectly straightened or curled.
we're obsessed with the number on our scale, "just 5 less pounds and i'm happy... just 5!"
we're obsessed with having the right wardrobe, the right labels, the right style.
we're obsessed with having perfectly well behaved, smart, polite, charming children.
we're obsessed with cleaning every nook and cranny in our homes.
we're obsessed with making sure everyone likes us.
we're obsessed with our jobs.
we're obsessed with exercise and the pursuit of "healthy living".
we're obsessed with giving our children everything they've ever dreamed of.
we're obsessed with eating and gorging ourselves with junk food.
we're obsessed with TV.
we're obsessed with the internet and everything enticing we can find.
we're obsessed with shopping, for ourselves, for others.
we're obsessed with how we look, constantly criticizing ourselves.
we're obsessed with our kids and their overscheduled lives.
we're obsessed with our time, filling it with pointless activities that only satisfy ourselves.
we're obsessed with wondering what others are thinking about us.
we're obsessed with scheduling and planning everything in our daytimers and on calendars.
we're obsessed with money, where it goes, how we spend it, how to make more.
we're obsessed with keeping secrets from the ones we love.
we're obsessed with making sure our exterior doesn't match our interior, because we're crumbling inside.
we're obsessed with being perfect "stepford" wives.
we're obsessed with being the #1 mom in front of everyone but our own children.
we're obsessed with our bank accounts, our debts, our lines of credit.
we're obsessed with counting calories, fat grams and saturated fats.
we're obsessed with counting the wrinkles on our foreheads or the grey hairs on our heads.
we're obsessed with being with people because we can't handle being alone.
we're obsessed with being alone because we can't handle being with people.
we're obsessed with our thighs...
                                    our butts
                                    our boobs
                                    our calves
                                    our shoulders
                                    our feet
                                    our stomachs
                                    our hands
                                    our eyes
                                    our noses
                                    our chins
                                    our cheeks
                                    our ears
                                    our hair
                                    our entire bodies.
we're obsessed with being the life of the party, the most popular.
we're obsessed with competing and beating everyone.
we're obsessed with organizing and micro managing.
we're obsessed with looking and acting like the perfect christian.
we're obsessed with sleeping and resting.
we're obsessed with getting people to think like we do because, naturally, it's the right way.
we're obsessed with knowing what our loved ones are doing at every minute of every day.
we're obsessed with getting that last thing checked off our to-do list.
i could go on and on and on.
we're just obsessed...
and it isn't getting any easier.
i can relate to quite a few of the above obsessions.
some are milder than others.
some i don't identify with at all.
how about you?
do any of these obsessions show up in your life?
a little?
or a lot?
wanna know what one of my obsessions is?
it's my stomach.
i hate it.
i absolutely hate it.
every time i walk by a mirror, i look.
i am constantly thinking about how much i can't stand it.
i feel like i work hard to get rid of it (running, watching what i eat), and yet it's still there.
it's a plain obsession.
so, why do we do this?
do these unhealthy obsessions help us in any way, shape or form?
or do they keep us from being all that we're intended to be?
how does God feel about our obsessions?
and what can we do about them?
can we obliterate our obsessions and worries?
do they just go away on their own?
How should we go about life?
Matthew 6:27
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:19
Therefore, set your priorities on God and not on money.

Matthew 6:34
So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Philippians 4:6-8
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live 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.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Deuteronomy 6:5/Matthew 22:37
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
God is the only thing we should be focusing on.
He alone is worthy of our 'obsession' if you want to call it that.
only He deserves our complete attention, love and service.
to offer these to anyone else... or any one thing or things is, essentially, idolatry.
i'm not saying, by any means, that i'm good at offering my all to Him.
i'm certainly not.
it's something i struggle with on a daily basis.
this much is true...
we are going to continue to be hard on ourselves.
we are going to continue to have trials with these issues in our lives.
but what we can do is, in the midsts of our struggles, look to God and see what He sees in us.
1 Samuel 16:7
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Psalm 139:13-16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  
He loves us so.
He loves us just the way we are.
He doesn't want us to worry and obsess about all these trivial things.
He wants to give us hope, in the middle of the pain .
He wants us to feel beautiful when we feel ugly.
He wants to make us feel loved and accepted when we feel unworthy.
He wants us to give love instead of spreading lies.
He wants us to be intentional in that love instead of abusing it.
He just wants us to be happy and love Him.
can we do that?
i'm going to try.
i'm going to try and resist the temptation to obsess.
whether it be respecting the image i view in front of the mirror,
loving my children like God simply loves me (unconditionally),
or just embracing the woman i've been created to be.
can you?


Ginger said...

I love this post, Steph! Thanks for sharing. I also obsess about many of those obsessions... I think all women do. I agree that we need to think more about God... more often. Thanks for posting this. Also, I want you to know that I love you just the way you are!!

shi zhan said...

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