A few weeks ago the THM Podcast was exactly what I needed to hear. The title was The Temporary Trap (Don’t fall in!). You can listen to it HERE. I’ve listened to the podcast every week for the past couple years. Little did I know when I sat down to listen that this one would rock my world. I’m not going to steal their thunder and give all the info from the podcast, you should listen to it! But I will sum it up with my own experience.
About a year and a half ago several big things happened in our family. One of those things was that my son started having panic attacks. They were sudden, unexpected and a totally new thing to us. With these things to fight for my attention, I started to turn my mind away from my health and toward my sons. I didn’t necessarily every sit down and intentionally do it. It just happened. And every once in a while I would think, “I’m not making the best choices right now, but this circumstance is going to get better and I’ll get back on track.”
But here is reality. The circumstances didn’t change. A year and a half later and we are still dealing with the same stuff. In fact, in the last year and a half things just kept piling on. Things didn’t get easier, they got busier. Life itself was busy, then add in new therapy sessions and trying to figure out how to help my son in the best ways possible and I was swamped. No end in sight. No promise that this phase would pass in a few more weeks or even months.
And then I heard the podcast. My eyes were opened to the reality of where I was. I was living in the temporary trap. I was making excuses for my choices because they were “temporary”. But the truth is, there was nothing temporary about my circumstance. What I thought was going to be a blip on the radar had become a year and a half with no promise of an upcoming change and I had become comfortable in my “temporary” trap. And on top of that this temporary trap had undone most of the hard work I had done on my health journey.
I didn’t mean to get there, it just happened. But it happened because I let my circumstances dictate my decisions. Sometimes circumstances do dictate what we can do. But most of the time we allow them to do so just because it is easier. And after a prolonged period of letting your circumstances dictate your decisions it becomes habitual. You will never make a hard choice. You will always do what is easier in the moment.
The day I listened to this podcast I was riding home from a church mission trip. It was the end of the third week that I had been away from my home in a 6 week period. (Again, multiple excuses to just go with the flow) But by the end of that podcast I had made a decision. I had to stop waiting for life to get easier before I got back on track. And so at that moment I changed my mindset. I went to bed that night and woke up a person with a mission. I was going to mentally take back control. And I did. I chose to choose better. I chose to do what I knew was right. The first week was hard. The first week I desperately wanted to slip back into easy. But you know what? It got easier each and every day. And less than a month later it is normal again.
My encouragement to you is this. Don’t dwell in the temporary. Yes, every once in a while there will be circumstances that take over. There is grace for that. But don’t set up camp there. It is too easy to get comfortable, and before you know it your temporary circumstance can become permanent. Remember, your commitment is the engine. Your commitment has to be what drives you. Don’t put your circumstances in the driver seat.