I had a revelation about why the 21-Day Brain Detox is so special to me yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I had hoped to convey this in the original post but I couldn’t quite put it into words. I so want to be able to write in a way that isn’t too full of Christianese but I’m not sure how to get that balance right. I might fail again, please bear with me…
I come from a new age background. I was (and still am) all about self-improvement. In those days there were lots of self help books, courses etc. I believed in God but I definitely wasn’t a Christian. My experience of Christianity from my childhood was via my then best friend. She had quite a restrictive upbringing and there was lots of talk about the end of the world. As a child, I could not fathom how any one would choose that and I stayed away. I became a Christian about 5 years ago at the ripe age of 42. (A story for another day).
The revelation I have had about why the discipline of doing the 21-Day Brain Detox has been so significant for me, is that it has given me two things I have been searching for my whole adult life. The first, is answers to “what’s wrong with me?” and secondly, “what to do about it?”
I have gone to counselling three times in my life – each time to work out what was wrong as I struggled with relationship issues. I thought that if I spoke to a counsellor they could give me an objective point of view, help me to see what I couldn’t see. But what I found was that instead they would tell me that I should exit the relationship and then proceeded to tell me how. I would come home disheartened because, yes there were issues with the other person, but I knew there was stuff I was doing that wasn’t right either and that was what I wanted to change.
So how does this tie into doing the five steps of the 21-Day Brain Detox? When I sit down and I think about something that is upsetting me and I gather all the thoughts about that and write them down, I then ask the Holy Spirit – “what do you think?” He comes back with the kinds of answers I have been looking for all my life. He shows me where I have overlooked something. He helps me to see the person or the situation through His eyes. He is honest with me and tells me where I have stuffed up, where I could have done better.
I realised as I thought about this yesterday, this is why the programme is so important to me. When I have searched for answers before, I never got anything specific but with God its different. If you ask, He will tell you. And another thing that at times baffles me about this, is that even when He’s telling me what I did wrong, it feels right. I don’t feel defensive or shamed – I feel excited that He’s shone light on it and now I can move to the next bit, which for me is the best part.
After asking the Holy Spirit, to “help me to see this”, the next question I ask is, “what can I do to change this?” And this is where the magic happens because its not like you have to go out into the day and become this super serene person all on your own. Although God may give me some actual things to do, mostly His response is to keep “praying about it. Pray about it when you feel that agitation or worry come up. Come to me and talk to me”.
If I ask Him, God will take what is worrying me or upsetting me or messing with my head and He will do something in me that turns the whole situation around. It might be that he gives me more tolerance, it might be that He gives me extra energy to do more, the ability to keep my mouth shut – whatever is needed. It’s not necessarily that He fixes the problem but he equips me to walk through it.
In contrast, self-help books give lots of advice on how to live happier, better lives but despite getting all geared up with great intentions I would still go out into the world (the part where I would have to interact with people i.e. putting the theories into practice) and mess up again.
When I ask God to help me – things happen. The trick for me has been in learning to pray throughout the day and often. When I try to do things without God – that is normally when I say or do things that become part of the next day’s review.
I know for some, this will seem a bit airy-fairy but my hope is that you give it a try, even if it’s just to sit down and to ask God to give you His perspective on your situation. And then listen. There will be no resounding voices coming from the clouds but you will hear him in your thoughts and you will know they are His words because they will make sense in a way that you can’t deny.
Next, ask Him to help you to know what to do. And throughout your day, keep asking Him. That’s all you have to do. BTW – prayer is just conversation – you can do it in your head, you can do it while on the loo – you can do it anytime, anywhere. There is nothing you can’t ask Him or talk about. He knows everything.
Thank you for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and ideas.