Have you ever determined ‘never to shout at the kids again’, only to lose control again the next day? Have you ever started a diet on Monday, only to raid the fridge at midnight? Have you ever made a promise not to criticise or judge others, but guiltily crumbled at the first test?
A long conversation this weekend with a serial re-joiner of Weight Watchers assured me I’m not alone in the frustration felt by intelligent, resourceful people who battle with something that just. won’t. budge. She has lost over 60 stones (800lbs) in weight over 35 years. Of course she’s more or less the same weight as she was when she began her weight loss quest and the question of WHY we get so stuck is brooding in me.
This is not a new problem. More than a thousand years ago, Paul the Biblical Apostle spoke about his own frustration at doing things he didn’t want to do, and not doing the things he did want to do. I know precisely what he means. You do too.
It’s as if we humans have two levels of conscious thought going on in our brains: the first called Intention and the second, Action. These paths should run side by side, like a dual carriageway but in some aspects of our life the two paths of Intention and Action have been disconnected. There’s a whopping big fork in the road.
What a demoralising thought! That no matter what we dream of, no matter how informed, educated or inspired we are, we are destined to miss our goal. It’s not what we want to hear, but the evidence is everywhere. You are evidence!
So what is the difference between someone who loses 60lbs and keeps it off for life and someone who loses 800lbs on a spin cycle of weight gain/loss/gain?
What is it that makes one person dust themselves off after a heartbreak, a job loss, a marriage breakdown, to rebuild a great life – whereas someone else descends into addiction?
What causes a person to change the path of their life from the ghetto of an urban estate full of crime, fear and dysfunction into a success story of transformation and social change?
Is it perseverance? Well, my dear friend has persevered her way to losing 800lbs and is still overweight…. but perseverance surely helps.
It it education? I know Doctors, Professors and other intellectually superior people who battle alcoholism, are abusive or anti-social…. but education absolutely helps.
Is it inspiration? I know life-coaching junkies who are exactly the same today as they were before the library of self-help books and seminars…. but inspiration definitely helps.
I am beginning to see its far deeper that we ever imagined. I believe it can be physiological, not psychological. It’s spiritual, not mental.
I believe it is sometimes a malfunction to be healed, not a weakness to be strengthened.
This has huge implications for how we tackle our faults. It is a 180 degree turn from how we coach and teach one another towards Life Change.
So shall we quit? Shall we slump to the ground in a haze of pre-determined defeat?
Or do we look at this disconnection between our Intention and our Action and work out the reconnection?
We need something beyond rehabilitation – we need regeneration!
Let’s think of the reconnection as our Bridge. It’s a walkway between the change we aspire to, and the everyday, mundane, routine we need to deliver in order to see our dream unfold. So all the things that can help; the perseverance, the education, the inspiration..let’s keep doing them BUT:
We need to design and build a BRIDGE.
What’s your bridge? For me, it’s time meditating in the presence of God, my creator, asking daily for both supernatural healing and natural wisdom.
For you, it might be NLP or cognitive psychotherapy.
For us all it must be community, friendship, bearing one another’s burden to relieve the pressure of life and keeping us accountable to each other.
The bridges we build will reconnect our Intentions to our Actions.
The bridges we build will bring withering dreams we cry over in the dark, out into the light of day; our goals met, our hearts whole, our lives fulfilled.