How to Stop Doing Pretty Much Anything: Yield to God and Be the Hero of Your Story

Deep! Deep! DishWhen God gave me food allergies at age 38 to curb the binge eating I’d begun as a teen, I had to give up just about every food I’d ever loved. Six years later, I still whimper as I pass Little Debbie Banana Twins, Swiss Rolls, and Pumpkin Flips or Little Caesars Pizza. When I discovered, after an ambulance ride and nine hours on a morphine drip at age 40, that I have kidney disease and had to give up spinach, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or kill myself considering I hadn’t even tried a green vegetable before I became allergic to everything else. Now that I’m up to stage 2 and have to avoid orange juice, banana chips, date rolls, and paneer makhani — my last refuges — I’m leaning toward the latter. So how do you stop caving in to addictions, even if they seem harmless or at least harmless to those around you? A YouTube recommendation provided the answer yesterday.

Yield to God

yield to god“Anything that God leads you to do, he will give you the grace to do,” Joyce Meyer said as she discussed changing her own eating habits. “I didn’t even have to do it, I just had to surrender and yield to God. Y’know what? I’m not having any trouble now eating every two-and-a-half to three hours, and, actually, the funny thing is I was going all day without eating because I thought I’d gain weight, and I’ve lost three pounds since I started eating every two-and-a-half to three hours. Go figure. All I did was just yield to that.”

Having cleared that up, she moved on to other areas that people struggle with.

censored magazine“Now, let’s just say that somebody has some kind of a sexual bondage — pornography, whatever. Here comes a magazine to the house that’s got a lady in her underwear on the front cover. Now, you already know without anybody having to preach to you, if you’re a Christian, you should not turn the first page. You take it … and throw it in the trash can. You don’t look. You just throw it away. That’s the leading of the holy spirit. Throw it away.

“If you have a problem with alcohol, you don’t go out to the bar with your friends. You know better than to do that. …

“It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we don’t want to do it,” she said.

Be Your Own Hero

be your own hero
Photo credit: keyword-hero.com

Since no one likes being told what to do, especially as they’re trying to break a bad habit, I thought I would also offer some motivational advice from Joe Rogan. “[T]he best advice I ever came up with is to live your life like you’re the hero in your movie,” he said during a mashup of podcast clips that someone compiled. “And right now is when the f_ckin’ movie starts, and your life is a sh_tbag disaster. Pretend you are — right now, you are in the part of the movie that starts and it shows you as a f_ckin’ loser and just decide not to be a loser.

pretend someone's following you with a movie camera“Live your life like there’s a documentary crew following you around, and you are analyzing your moves. What would you want to do so that your kids would one day look back at it … and look on it with pride like, ‘Wow, my dad was a bad motherf_cker. He really did what he had to do’? [Or], ‘Wow, my mom really got her sh_t together’? I love a success story, but even more than a success story, I like a dude-who-f_cks-his-life-up-and-then-gets-it-back-together-again story. Those are my favorite stories. …

“You have to be the hero of your own story. And you can do that. Ninety percent of it is just showin’ up. Get there and start workin’. You’re not gonna feel perfect every day. There’s gotta be those days you push through, and they’re probably gonna be more numerous than the days you don’t. And so the benefit of discipline in my eyes has always been that, through discipline, I get things done. …

your brain is the general and the body is the troops“This is what I want you to do: write down what you would like to fix about your life. And if you’re 30 pounds overweight, and you want to lose 30 pounds, do it the right way. Go start eating vegetables, monitor your calories, write down what you eat, exercise every day — force.yourself.to.do.it. The brain is the general, the troops are the body, and you get up and you do it. …

people avoid discomfort“[F]or whatever reason, most people … avoid anything that’s uncomfortable. It’s so illogical because when you look at comfort and you look at success and progress and the eventual feelings of accomplishment and of getting past certain hurdles and how you feel about life, a lot of those are connected to discomfort. Like, discomfort is your friend. It really is. Discomfort and not being happy and content with certain situations in life or certain feelings in life. …

Quitting smoking - male hand crushing cigarette
Photo credit: Cleveland Clinic

“[Right now], you’re not a hero in your own eyes. You’re not someone who you respect. Y’know, you’re doing what you’ve gotta do to get by, but ultimately you’re not respecting yourself. And I think we all have a certain amount of appreciation and respect for hero figures. Y’know, like we all look at the guy who never lies and always does the right thing and helps everybody out, and that’s the John Wayne character. Y’know, that’s the ultimate hero. … And when you look at your own life, and you don’t stack up — you’re a thief, you stole money from your wife’s purse or, y’know, you don’t want to smoke cigarettes, but you f_cking have to, you can’t deal with the stress, and you smoke, you devalue yourself, and you slowly start devaluing yourself. You look at yourself and you realize if you were judging yourself, you would judge yourself unfavorably. …

“[But] you can be the hero of your own story that woke up today — you could be the hero of your own story that, at 40 years of age, stopped, got out of bed, and said, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ … I’m gonna get in shape, and I’m gonna get healthy, and I’m gonna do this because this is me now. I decide that this is me.

“And people have to realize that you are not your past. You are not all the times that you f_cked up. You’re not all the times you were drunk. That’s not you. You are the person who’s learned from a great deal of experience. …

you're a new creation

“Your life is certainly some sort of a journey. It’s certainly some sort of a journey. And we all have to be aware that when we’re making journeys, we’re not always going to make the right steps, and sometimes you have to back up and try again.”

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