~I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.--Revelation 3:8~

This Month's Thoughts for:

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

Psalm 43:3 NIV

Body-Now that all of the holiday celebrations are nearly over, it's time to look at taking care of ourselves. If you haven't already been, you need to find the right balance in life so that you can have time for exercise and to strengthen yourself.

Mind-Whether you're a student or a graduate, it's never too late to learn something new. Keep your eyes and ears open so that you may find guidance through God's word.

Spirit-Take time each day to pray and talk to God. He hears you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monica Marie Jones-Commitment to Self (The Second Installment of the Commitment Series)

I'm reposting this from one of my friends at Facebook. It's a great piece on taking care of yourself. Enjoy!

Recent events in my life and an interesting quote prompted me to contemplate commitment. Today I find myself at yet another Monday promising myself that I will recommit to taking better care of myself. I’d fooled myself into believing that I was doing so because I work out at least five days a week….but then why is it that I continue to gain weight, experience hair breakage, and lack the spark and motivation that I once had?

I came to the conclusion that my fitness is for others and not myself. Let me explain…

I teach kickboxing four days a week and I meet with personal training clients on the days that I do not teach. Working out has become and obligation and a service that I do for the benefit of others, so the focus is on all of the people that I am helping and not on me. I sit back and watch as all of my students and clients lose weight and get healthier while my weight stays the same or increases. The bottom line is that I am no longer intentional about fitness for myself. My body has become immune to the workouts that I do for others because I can control it to the point where it is not as challenging for me as it is for them. I don’t take out specific intentional and planned time to focus on my own fitness goals.

To what extent does our commitment to others affect or take away from our commitment to ourselves. You may find that you go out of your way to make sure that your significant other, children and friends are happy, but at what expense? Something has to give and quite often the price is our own health and happiness. We place our wants, needs and goals on the back burner so that someone else can realize their dreams. This may also be the case with your job, career or business.

Ask yourself these questions…

When was the last time you did something just for you?

When was the last time you bought yourself a new outfit?

How often do you treat yourself to a new haircut, pedicure, manicure or massage?

When was the last time you took a long, hot, relaxing bath or read a good book?

Do you feel guilty doing things for yourself?


If it’s been more than a month, you can’t remember, or you answered yes to the last question, then you too suffer from fear of commitment…to yourself.


How do we find that healthy balance between loving and helping others without sacrificing ourselves?
This brings to mind a quote that was told to me by a high school friend that had wisdom beyond her years. She said,


“Don’t be selfish with yourself.”



Now let me point out a few things that happen as a result of us being selfish with ourselves and putting others first.

We continue to do that thing that we know deep down we really don’t want to do. As a result, resentment begins to slowly grow. When resentment sets in, we are no longer doing that thing with a joyful heart. From there we begin to have contempt for that person or thing and we get to a boiling point that they did not even see coming. Now we want to quit or leave. Consequently, we end up causing this person or situation more harm than good. We have now become a hindrance instead of a help. When we make ourselves the martyr in such situations we are exhibiting false humility because we know we really don’t want to suffer like this.

I challenge you to make a commitment to yourself that parallels a romantic relationship. Start slowly with the courtship phase. Get to know yourself better, do nice things for yourself, and become your own best friend. The next step is engagement. Take the first step toward lifelong changes by committing to taking good care of yourself forever. Buy yourself a ring if you have to. Engage in activities that add value to your life. Join a church, surround yourself with positive people, join a gym or come up with a fitness plan that works for you, take a class on a subject or for a skill that you truly love. Start putting things in place that will lead to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Next is marriage. Align yourself with things, people, environments and circumstances that nurture your soul. Make sure that you are equally yoked with what and whom you allow into your life. You don’t want the “Until death do us part” to be an untimely death because the undue stress has caused you to suffer from a heart attack. More and more people are suffering from stress induced heart attacks at younger ages because of the people and circumstances that they place themselves in. Think about it.

Today, take a moment to reflect on the dynamics of your life. What percentage of your daily activities are devoted to caring for and bettering yourself? Are you receiving your fair share of the love you are giving out? If not, adjust accordingly.



You can read more by this author by visiting her website:

http://www.monicamjones.com

Have a great day!


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1 comment:

Monica Marie Jones said...

Thank you for the post!

Monica Marie Jones
http://www.monicamariejones.com

Good for You!

Good for You!
Tips on healthy living, healthy loving and healthy habits!

Healthy Relationships: Where do you fit in?

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 New International Version

In relationships, we are all put to the test in one way or another. Whether we are being taught a lesson in trusting others or in learning to love selflessly, we must always be on the lookout for signs that the enemy is lurking nearby. Sometimes what we think might be one of God's tests for us is actually our own ego struggling to overpower His influence in our lives.

If you are fighting constantly over the same issues with your significant other, take a step back and ask yourself, "What would God want me to do here?" It could be that He wants you to take enough pride in yourself to stand up for your right to be respected in the relationship. Maybe you need to step up and express your dissatisfaction with the way you are being treated in order to make your loved one understand what you need. Or maybe you are with someone who is treating you unfairly and God wants you to guard your heart.

If your usual tendency is to run away from a relationship when you aren't 100% satisfied with the other person's behavior, this could be an indicator that you aren't being realistic in your expectations. No one is perfect and learning to love one another's flaws as well as one's gifts is part of a healthy relationship.

A great resource for you to check out if you are having difficulty sustaining relationships is "Safe People" by Townsend and Cloud. I am currently going through a Bible Study with some ladies and we are using this book as our guide. There is alot of great information about boundaries and how to identify traits in others who may be unsafe for us. If you get a chance, check this one out.

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