Stretching. It’s probably the simplest resolution to some of the most difficult pains, stiffness and resistant muscles. It so simple that it seems almost too easy to resolve recurring or complicated issues. Stretching a muscle that’s so tight it has locked you to the point of being immobile can be extremely painful but the end result is literally liberating.
If you’ve ever experienced that stinging pain of Sciatica that radiates from your lower back down the side of your hip and through your thigh down to your last three toes, (hence the scowl on my face in the photo) you know that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of that pain.
Sometimes our lives feel like a tight muscle. A muscle that’s over-worked, strained or potentially bruised. Life gets stiff, it gets stuck and it hurts.
When your life or your heart hurts, your emotions hurt, your thoughts flood you with reminders of why it hurts, the thoughts feed signals from your brain which communicate to your body how it should translate this pain which then interprets this in the way we move!
Suddenly, unexplainable, your body hurts. Friends, fear has a way of crippling us. It get a hold on us that can literally stop you from doing anything.
Can I just be transparent with you for a second.
For the past month I’ve been completely immovable. I woke up one day with a stiff hip. Two days later, I couldn’t walk. We had several tests ran to rule out every auto-immune disease possible. Several tests later, an MRI, neuropathy (nerve) & myopathy (muscle) studies…nothing. Doctors could not explain why every muscle from my waist down had stopped working, the pain radiating through my body was in a crippling spasm (like a constant Charliehorse) and I couldn’t find any relief. After a month of this, they finally diagnosed fibromyalgia; a diagnosis of exclusion – meaning they’ve ruled out everything else and the symptoms are conclusive. That was bittersweet. While we are certainly hoping to find a cause, we certainly didn’t want to hear about something they deemed unfixable. So here’s the truth. BUT GOD.
Has my faith been tested. Oh my Lord you have no idea. Have I considered all of the ‘issues’ linked to this condition. YUP. Have I also considered that nothing is impossible to God. Can I scream loud enough through the open sky so that anyone across the universe can hear me cry out YES LORD!!!!
My hope is not in finding relief through medication and numerous doctors visits. I’ve found temporary relief in those but I’m not depending on that for the rest of my life. My hope is in the one who created me. He knows what I’m faced with but He also knows that He provides a way of escape. My Pastor just told us yesterday that way of escape is Faith. When life is moving seamlessly God is great. Everyone sings Hallelujah Jesus is awesome. When life allows you to move without missing a beat everyone is smiling. Faith seems brilliant and touchable.
It’s when fear you thought you never had grips you, the broken chains of your guilt and shame from your past try to cling to you; when the failed expectations of a broken heart from as far back as your childhood try to clinch you in a snared trap; that faith is found. It’s right there in the place where you feel weak, stretched, and way out of your comfort zone that you find His grace.
You find His mercy.
You find His peace.
You find His power.
You find His love.
That’s where He found me broken, in places I had no idea were broken. And here, here is where He began this process of remaking me. I’m learning to respect the process.
If you want to change something, you have to be willing to get uncomfortable
My tangled thoughts, frustrations (which is fear); uncertainty (confusion & being double minded); failed expectations…these create a knotted tangled mind which translated into a knotted tangled body.
Toxic thoughts are like poison. They put extreme strain on your body’s systems that can result in everything from patchy memory to severe mental health, immune system problems, heart problems, and digestive problems. Research has determined that 80% of physical, emotional, and mental health issues could be the direct result of your thought lives. – Dr. Caroline Leaf, Who Switched Off My Brain
WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK -PROVERBS 23:7
Stiff. Locked. Paralyzed. by thoughts
Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution. -(SOURCE: unknown)
Releasing or stretching the resistance in your heart, your mind & your emotions will free you of any bondage and release your body to move.
Are there things in your life that feel like resistance?
1. the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.
“she put up no resistance to being led away”
synonyms: opposition to, hostility to, refusal to accept ‘resistant to change’
2. the ability not to be affected by something, esp. adversely.
It’s time to stretch the resistance in our lives. It’s time to allow God to stretch those stinging pains that radiate down the side of our heart and cripple us with fear.
When thoughts begin to clog your mind and try to rob you of your peace or joy (resistance) we need to take those thoughts captive. I mean not just shake our head and mumble a wimpish frustrated plea ‘no no I can’t think that’ but literally the scripture says pull them down whenever they are in direct opposition of what God says. (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Any thoughts you need to take captive? Any thoughts causing resistance in your ability to move forward? Any thoughts causing you to feel paralyzed?
Dr. Leaf offers a four step process to detox your brain.
1. Understand that thoughts are real and have an actual anatomy. They have structure in your brain and occupy space. Thoughts are the same as memories. As information comes in from the five senses, you process it in certain structures of the brain. Thoughts are the results of what you hear and read and see and feel and experience. As you read this, you are growing thoughts that create your attitude and influence your decisions.
2. Increase conscious awareness of your thoughts and how you are feeling. Analyze incoming information and thoughts constantly. Never let a thought roam chaotically and unchecked through your head. Examine every thought and ask: is it good for me?
3. Do something once you have analyzed the thought. Make a conscious decision to actively accept the thought if it is good for you or reject the thought if it is bad for you. Thoughts have as much control as you give them.
4. Build new memories over the old. Accepting or rejecting the thought will change the neural circuitry of your brain. Your brain is growing while you think and you have control over the process.
Be willing to stretch the resistant side of you.
Be blessed by this ‘stretching video’ God is able!
Heart Pumpin Challenge
Complete your Ab challenge & include one of the Stretching for Flexibility videos in the link.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP)
God is able to do just what He said He would do, He’s gonna fulfill every promise to you. Don’t give up on God cuz He won’t give up on you. He’s able! (Ephesians 3)
Keep your heart pumpin, spirit movin, & get inneractive!