I love learning. I love being challenged to become a better me. When we are complacent we are becoming less; we are stagnating. When we are complacent, we allow foolishness to take over our lives. It is so easy to fall into habitual patterns that become walls. We can think of them as comfort zones, but never stepping into the unknown is limiting our horizons. I know so many people who never move. Quite literally – same house, same car, same job, same clothes – year in and year out. They never try anything new. They love their comfort zones.
One of the comfort zone areas that many people do not realize they live inside of is when it comes to dietary restrictions. Some people eat the same things every, single, day. My husband is such a creature of habit. Change comes hard for him. And there was a local fast food restaurant (Taco Bell) that was near his job, about 20+ years ago. He was a regular. He was such a regular, they had his meal in a bag, waiting for him when he would walk in. Because he ate the same thing for lunch every, single day. That, my friends, is a comfort zone.
Many years later, my husband and I made drastic changes to our lives. We first began when we took fasting seriously, as a journey in our faith. We entered the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with a priest who was pretty wonderful, and whom we count as a friend these many years later. We were blessed that God placed him in our lives at just the right time. He is a fervent liturgist and has a wonderful singing voice. He gave us the complete low-down on fasting – all the dietary restrictions. But, the key to what he shared was this: He told us to do what we could. He never expected us to fully adopt the complete fast kept by those in the Eastern Churches, since we had come with a western mindset. Just do what you can do. If you are called to more, do more. It was a wonderful way to learn, to change, and to grow out of our comfort zone.
More recently, we have begun to completely change our lives. We moved to a vastly different area of the country. We decided last year to get up off the couch and explore this beautiful area. We started fishing! I usually take my Kindle and read while the hubby messes with lines, bait, and all that other stuff. I like eating the salmon, but am not a good fisher-person! But I am out there, keeping him company, and it is just so peaceful and wonderful and relaxing (especially when we actually catch fish!).
The next thing we did to change and grow was to incorporate exercise at our local gym to our routine. It has been wonderful. We are quite literally stretching and growing. We are becoming healthier. We are learning about foods and which we should eat and which we should not. It is hard to give the old tacos up, but it is for the best. We have grandchildren we want to live a long time for. We have so many places we want to see. This place in which we live will give us years and years of explorative vacations. It’s been a positive change and we are thrilled.
We are also changing in how we operate in life. We are constantly reading and taking online classes to become better. We are stretching our minds and our ways of living. Complacency is just not allowed in our lives any longer. There was a time when I had what my husband called, “Grandma’s spot,” on our couch. It had formed around my behind. My husband’s grandma had made a place for herself on her couch that was pretty amazing – it was sloped and dented in that direction. So he told me I was keeping up the tradition. Somehow I just do not want that tradition to continue with me. I am breaking out of my comfort zone, my spot on the couch, and I am moving – in all sorts of directions.
As I stated in a previous post, I did not attend Church this past week. It makes me sad and in my heart I heard this phrase, “Jesus is weeping.” I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. And I also remembered being told that when we are striving to become better, and walk closer to God, it is when evil will strike at you. It has struck. And He weeps. And I have wept more than once today. But I am now up after midnight, finishing this up, with complete peace in my heart. I have deep peace because I awoke to a feeling that everything is moving as it should. I am who I am and I am growing to become more. There are many who do not support me and think and I am not a good person or act in approved ways. I am sorry they feel that way; truly I am. Be that as it may, I will continue to move forward, to associate with those who support me, and I refuse to be complacent any longer. I matter. I deserve respect. And I am growing and becoming a better woman, wife, mother, and friend. God has truly got this, to quote a great Catholic theologian. God’s got this.