I LOVE that we are talking this month about Spring Cleaning here on Smitten By because at JillBirth.com, we are ALL ABOUT change! And the very first step to you transforming your life is to Clean Your Slate – start over from scratch and get rid of the “junk in your trunk” – or backpack, as I like to say! The first two steps in that process, the steps I want to talk about today, are recognizing what is holding you back and forgiving the past.
Step One: Recognize What is Holding You Back
My number one and firmest belief about who you are is this: You are a child of God. And what is even more amazing is that God wants you to be happy! God wants you to live up to a potential that is bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed for you. God WANTS you to be HAPPY! And God is willing and excited to give you whatever you need to BE truly, utterly, totally and completely happy!
So what is holding us back from achieving this amazing heritage of JOY? The answer to that question is different for all of us. Discovering and clearing it out of our lives is the BEST Spring Cleaning gift you will ever give yourself! In order to do that, you need to go to Him and ask Him to teach you. You need to get on your knees and ask for help and direction in discovering who you REALLY are. And then you need to ask Him to teach you what it is that is holding you back from becoming that person and show you how to get rid of and change it.
Imagine that we are all walking around with backpacks on. And there are things in our lives that add stones to those backpacks and weigh them down. Sometimes those things are gifts from God, moments in life when hard things hit us and carrying those things, learning how to live with and soar through those things, makes us stronger, increases our capacity for hard things! And as we grow, we don’t feel the weight of them anymore and are SO THANKFUL for them.
But there are other stones that will NEVER make us stronger,
stones that will ALWAYS slow us down!
And it is up to us to get rid of those stones so we can
on our journeys, alleviated and filled with JOY!
As you start to identify what needs cleaned out of your life, pay attention to your thoughts. Your thoughts are a powerful vehicle into your voice. Even if you don’t vocalize them, they still affect your words, and your words affect your actions, and your actions affect who you are becoming and what you are doing. Find what your current voice inside you is telling you so that you can clear it out and hear your TRUE voice. Whenever you have a negative thought, “I am fat, I can’t say no, I’m not worth it, I can’t do it, I’m not good enough” – write it down. And then pray some more and take some time away from all the noise to really ponder why. Why do you feel those things? Why do you think those things? Where did they start? How do they affect you? What is it that leads you to turn to food for comfort? What is it that stops you from reaching out and changing millions of lives? What keeps you from getting on the floor and playing with your children, connecting with them, and being the mother of your (and their) dreams? Ask for help. Figure it out. And write it down. ALL of it!
Step Two: Forgive the Past
Your mind, your Voice, is in your control to change; and consequently, your life is in your control to change. How EMPOWERING is THAT? I LOVE it! And when we talk about changing something, the FIRST thing we HAVE to do . . . the FIRST step we HAVE to take . . . is coming to terms with what it is we are changing. Facing what needs changed head-on, not being afraid of it, not being a slave to it, not hating it and wishing it away, just seeing and accepting what is so that we can CHANGE it and make it what we WANT it to be.
That is not to say it will be easy, or that it will not HURT. But we shouldn’t shy away from it just because we are afraid of the pain of it. In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis wrote,
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pains:
it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. . . .
[Pain] removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth
within the fortress of a rebel soul.”
Pain is not the enemy! Pain allows us to draw closer to God and be succored by Him through our pain. And by drawing closer to God, we learn His Truth about who we REALLY ARE!
Forgiving the past is letting go. Forgiving is facing it (rather than running from or avoiding it) and freeing it, or rather freeing yourself from it. Remove the power from the thing that is holding you back and you will be AMAZED how quick and easy change becomes for you.
Another aspect of forgiving the past is recognizing that the garbage that has weighed you down has probably influenced others as well. For example, think about how what you hear and think in your head is reflected in the way you talk to, work with, treat, and associate with other people. If your voice is telling you that you are not good enough, maybe that has created a habit of you stepping down from something you believe in because you feel inadequate to deal with it because your Voice is telling you that you are inadequate. OR maybe your voice moves you the other direction and you hearing so often in your head that you aren’t good enough makes you turn around and constantly treat others like THEY aren’t good enough. So as you recognize and move to change that VOICE, you also need to reach out and create an opportunity for forgiveness among those you have influenced with that voice and attitude.
Forgiveness is a humbling and beautiful and EMPOWERING thing! As a final Spring Cleaning, take that list you wrote down, that list of all the things that are holding you back, and stand over your kitchen sink and BURN it! And with that, let it be a physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional symbol of you truly LETTING GO of the garbage so that you can START OVER and create what YOU and your VOICE and your LIFE are going to be from now on!
Jill Birth (and her business partner Melinda) are amazing!
Read more about Jill and her INSPIRING transformation.