**If you would like to listen to this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the audio version.
Do you remember when you were pregnant?
I do. And my word is, “Ugh.” I want to apologize to the ladies who have either (a) not been pregnant or (b) loved being pregnant. To those ladies, let me paint the picture of my pregnancy (to some of you who also had horrible pregnancies, you can totally skip this part because you know what I’m talking about here).
It started at 4 weeks. Yep, I knew instantly when I was pregnant because the, “I only want to sleep FOREVER” and “Oh my goodness, that smell makes me want to vomit” started. Those two only intensified from there. Getting out of bed was like trying to get slime out of carpet…slow and almost impossible. Plus, who really wants to get out of bed when you know you are going to just vomit or feel like vomiting the rest of the day.
No, this did not pass after 12 weeks. But to add a layer of even more “goodness”, I had symphysis pubis dysfunction (this sounds better than what it actually is). Basically, it is the joint at the front of your pelvic bone that becomes too relaxed and stretchy too soon before birth and makes you feel like your whole pelvis is going to rip apart. Anytime I wanted to use a stair, put on a pair of pants or just bend over and pick something up, I experienced intense pain. Can you imagine right now having two littles, pregnant with a third and not bending over to pick things up?
Right now, I could go into the indigestion, Braxton Hicks contractions, crazy mood swings and so much more, but I think I’ve given you a decent picture into the discomfort I had during pregnancy.
If you know me at all, you know I have three children. Yes. Three of them. That grew inside me for nine months. Each pregnancy brought about all of these symptoms but with the added bonus of become more intense with subsequent rounds.
So, this is the logical question you should be asking me… “Why did you keep having more after the first one?”
Ahhh, yes. I asked this of myself many times with the second and third pregnancies. But, here is the answer:
The discomfort was temporary and I knew the reward was so worth it in the end.
I like to think there are three types of discomfort.
The first one is the discomfort you are experiencing right now. It is over eating, over drinking, over spending, over shopping, over Facebooking. This kind of discomfort allows comfort in the present but a lot of discomfort in the long term.
The second is the negative thought loop you have about yourself. This discomfort is telling yourself, “You’re not good enough”, “You don’t know enough”, “You won’t be able to succeed”, “This time won’t be any different than the last”. It is a never-ending loop of mental abuse and having no idea how to change it. This discomfort feels terrible in the present but is deceptive because we believe it will motivate us in the long term.
The third kind of discomfort moves us forward. It is the type of discomfort that doesn’t feel in the good in present but there are big rewards in the future. Examples of this are waking up early and exercising, saying no to food that is not part of your lifestyle, planning, studying, going to bed instead of watching a movie. This discomfort moves you forward. This discomfort can be managed if we understand the process of it.
See, Satan wants to keep you stuck. He wants to destroy you. If he sees you doing things that are not your normal, he is going to put obstacle after obstacle in your path. He is going to whispering things in your ear that are terrible, mean and deceptive. You have to know this ahead of time and be prepared. He is going to make you changing for the better UNCOMFORTABLE. He doesn’t want you to be better, he wants to keep you stuck.
But that is why deciphering which discomfort your in is so very important. Is it moving you forward or is it keeping you stuck?
Sometimes, we think that the discomfort of beating ourselves up will lead to change and to our goals. But this is one of those deceptive tactics used by the evil one. This only holds you back. Telling yourself you can’t do something or that you’re not enough doesn’t make you “do that thing” or make you “good enough”.
Now the “good” discomfort is overcoming doubt, fear, and learning to stretching yourself. Think about how many times God uses the phrase, “do not be afraid” or something similar in the bible. It is used 365 TIMES (one for every day of the year by the way). The good discomfort is the kind of discomfort that puts our trust in Him; do things we never imagined. It makes us believe in what He says about us, not what we say to ourselves.
How do we know we are in the right kind of discomfort (because remember, the devil can be deceiving)? Answer these questions:
Here is a fascinating example. I used to deprive and restrict myself of food. I did this because I told myself I didn’t deserve the food. It was a constant berating of myself in my mind; “You’re too fat” or “You have no self-control”. Now though, I intermittent fast and I eat a controlled diet, but my thoughts are very different now. It feels so good to eat this way to me. I choose to fast because I love the mental clarity I get when I fast. My diet is constrained because I love how my body feels. I WANT to live this way. I enjoy it because I’m not forced into it. It doesn’t mean this isn’t uncomfortable at times. I just know that there is something better on the other side of that discomfort and I’m willing to wait for it.
These thoughts keep me moving forward in my health. It is very different from, “You’re too fat to eat” or “You’re terrible” or “You don’t deserve this.” Those do not serve me. Those do not help me grow or become closer to God. Those do not help me see that I’m worth it. Those are not bringing me in line with God’s will.
It is important to get something very clear. Clients working with me will tell me, “I don’t want to do that. That doesn’t sound like I will follow through because (insert excuse here).” They believe that following God’s will for their lives will feel good. That’s how they believe they are doing it right. Or they will think the same thing with self-care. If you are taking a bath or sleeping in, then you are taking care of yourself.
Self-care means discipline and some discomfort. It means loving yourself and those around you so much that you are willing to do the hard stuff. It means having a plan to make yourself the strongest, healthiest version so that you can carry out God’s plan for your life.
I believe delayed gratification leads to the ultimate comfort. Think about your life as a Christian right now. It is not all come-to Jesus worship services, being in love, exciting news, glorious sunsets, rainbows and sunshine. No! We have to go through discomfort to get to the good part, heaven.
Guess what, there just is no comparison to heaven.
Same with you. Go through the “good” discomfort and there is no comparison to how you feel when you are comfortable in your own skin and love yourself.
That’s how we accept the discomfort. That’s when we embrace the hard. That’s when the struggle isn’t as big as we think it is.
That’s the miracle.
That’s when you know you can get through anything because you have full faith and trust in God.
And that my friend, is just plain beautiful.
Just as beautiful as holding that perfect little baby.
Every discomfort. It was all worth it.
So, would you go through a little discomfort for me? Invite other person to share this journey with you. Share this post with them. Make a commitment to one another and hold each other accountable. Help encourage one another through the discomfort.
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