The 80/20 Rule| Part 2

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Good morning guys! Okay, yeah, tell the truth Jade. I know that it’s soooo not morning anymore but I wish it still was. I had all these nice happy plans to wake up early this morning and pour the thoughts that I’ve been saving for ya’ll all week into a follow-up post from last week.

But life happened.

I did wake up early but instead of posting like I had planned, I became caught up in oats, sugar, flour, and jam!  You see, I today I had a friend’s baby shower that I made a ton of  cookies for… and yeah, the post didn’t happen until now. 😦

I plan on sharing the recipe later this week but of course my wonderful cookie baking adventure came at the expense of an early Sunday morning post. Thanks for your patience guys and let’s get started.

So what exactly does the 80/20 rule have to do with eating disorder recovery? That is the question I left untouched last week and hope to answer effectively today tonight. Of course, I am only speaking from my recovery experience and my own unique journey. I’m not sure exactly where this post will lead but I feel that I need to share more of how this concept applies to my own recovery. Who knows? Maybe something I write will help you in your journey too!

As I mentioned in previous posts, I am sort of a control-freak, perfectionist and planner in the extreme. I have a plan and agenda for everything in my life and seek to do everything to make it happen.

Because of my personality, my journey so far in recovering from my eating disorder has been a bit aggravating. To my chagrin and utter frustration, this summer I began to realize that eating disorder recovery doesn’t always ‘behave’ in a formulaic, perfectly planned out way. In fact it rarely does. Recovery is unpredictable and actually, downright messy.

‘Downright messy’ is a phrase that I could say very accurately describes my journey in eating disorder recovery so far.

Like many people who struggle with eating disorders, at first I did not even realize that I had an eating disorder. I thought I was perfectly normal and that all others were the weirdos. When brought to my attention, I denied it for almost a year. While I did finally acknowledge that this was a problem, I did not have the slightest inclination to change.

After awhile, I began to secretly long for change, then semi-openly, then completely openly as I do now on this blog.

When I first decided I would embark on the journey of recovery, I had plans. I had plans for exactly how my recovery would play out, how my parents were going to respond, etc., etc. Without even realizing it at first, I had almost every part of my recovery planned out.

For example, I was going to gain X amount of weight, I was going to eat like Y, I was going to look and feel like Z and the list goes on.

Yet, fortunately or unfortunately (I’m still not sure which), my recovery is turning out to be completely and totally different than I had ever planned. Ever so slowly and quietly, my journey of recovery has come to be strangely divergent from all that I had ever imagined.

Thus, this summer I have been tottering between absolute devastation about my recovery not going according to plan and the impression that, in the end, all will turn out fine.

Although I was tottering, many times the agitation and devastation won out. I was upset because my recovery has not been going according to my plan. How could I have allowed myself to reach X weight? Why am I not eating like Y? Why don’t I look and feel like Z? 

My plan went awry and I was angry, sad, embarrassed, discouraged, and completely upset.

But I am coming to the belief that it doesn’t matter.

So what my recovery has gone the way I’d envisioned? So what I’m X pounds heavier than I wanted to be?  So what I’m not eating like Y? So what I don’t look and feel like Z? So what my plans didn’t work out? In the midst of my messy recovery I have coming to understand that I cannot control everything–despite our best laid plans life happens. Sometimes circumstances were supposed to turn out the way they are, sometimes they’re not. Life doesn’t always go according to my plans. Life is real, dynamic, always unfolding. In reality, life is messy. 

But who cares?

I still have the power to choose my response to life. I have the power to choose my response to a recovery that I feel is messy and convoluted. 

I can choose to smile when I feel like the fattest person in the world. I can choose to consider what my body can do rather than what it looks like. I can choose to quit pining over the past and look forward to a bright future with God. I can choose to be open to the option that my messy recovery could have been God’s plan after all…

Although you and I don’t have actual control over every single thing that happens to us, we can control how we respond to our lives.

And that’s it for tonight! I’m hot and tired but I hope this gave you a more accurate picture of how the 80/20 Rule relates to my life. In spite of the fact that I am not pleased with the way in which my recovery has played out, God can help me to still be positive and respond with grace and love for His creation (aka me :D)

The 80/20 Rule applies to you too! You may have circumstances, experiences and aspects of your life that have not gone according your designated plans. You may, like me, have experienced emotions such as frustration and anger at the messiness of real life. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case. We, both you and I, can have peace and calmness right now if we choose our response to the things that happen in our lives.

I’m definitely not saying that choosing positive and peaceful responses to messy real life is easy because it’s not. Believe me, it’s hard. It goes against everything in my natural personality. Neither do I want this to sound cliche, but, God can help us do anything! Seriously. Let’s try it!

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 NLT)

-J

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