The Ex Factor – Part 2: Excuses
Making excuses is as easy as breathing. We do it every day. Didn’t apply for a new job? Decided to eat an unhealthy breakfast? Broke up with someone that you love? Why? You used an excuse.
You didn’t apply for the job because you ‘really are comfortable where you are,’ besides you may not have the qualifications or it may not be ‘the right time’ to make a move. You decided to eat unhealthy foods today because you ‘deserve’ to treat yourself every now and then, even if every now and then has turned into every meal. You broke up with your loved one because he or she made you angry and you ‘don’t have time for those games’ or you are just not ready to become ‘emotionally invested’ in a relationship.
The sad thing about excuses is that they are euphemisms for lies. Did I just say, lies? Yes, I believe I did. It is time that someone told you what you are really doing. YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF.
How do I know? I make excuses, too. That’s right, I’m human. However, what I DO NOT do is allow myself to continue with the same lie. When I hear those excuses in my mind, I immediately stop and ask myself, what are you afraid of?
Hmmm . . . what are YOU afraid of?
Let me remove the pressure and give you the answer—Exposure. Hello? Remember The Ex Factor – Part 1? You are afraid to expose yourself to a new thing and so you make excuses or rather, tell yourself lies about why you don’t want to do it. You don’t want anyone to know the ‘real’ you. Heck, you probably haven’t seen the ‘real’ you yet. You believe the lies (excuses) that you are telling yourself.
Look, I’m a survivor, too. Most of us are survivors of something, it doesn’t have to be sexual abuse. My point is that at some point in your life, someone hurt you. The issue is that you chose to hold on to that hurt and you have let it stifle your growth. Instead of moving forward, you keep informing your present with your past, thereby altering the future that is waiting for you.
I am betting that even though your past may not have been great, you still dream of a brighter future and of a better life. Why?
I believe that dreams provide a glimpse into the future that you could have if you would just stop making excuses. Let me give you a personal account.
I was raped and molested as a child. After I married, I wanted to have children. Let’s just say that I had trouble. I thought that what my attackers had done to my body was preventing me from having a child. Yet, I never lost the dream of having a child of my own. I had surgeries, I went through treatments, and I kept being disappointed.
One day, I realized that I believed the lies I had been telling myself. I really believed that I was damaged and that I wouldn’t become a mother because maybe God thought that I didn’t have anything to offer a child. So, for the next eleven years, I told myself (and my husband) that we didn’t need a family. We would just hang out with each other, have fun, and live the good life. We did and we had a ball. However, the dream did not die.
Then I ‘woke up’ one day and thought, what is the one thing I have not done that I really wanted to do? You guessed it . . . have a baby. My husband and I discussed the adoption process and decided that we would get started. However, my Spirit kept nudging me to try pregnancy one more time. It was the dream that God had placed in my heart . . . a promise that I would have a son.
The excuses started flying out of my mouth like birds. I didn’t want to go through the pain of being disappointed again. I was too old. My body couldn’t take it. It would be a high-risk pregnancy. I had been sick for the past year—what if the drugs affected the baby? What if we didn’t have a boy? My doctor even told me that I shouldn’t do it. How’s that for the enemy trying to keep me from my promise?
Well, to jump to the conclusion, I now have a four-year-old son. I had absolutely no issues during my pregnancy. He is healthy in every way and he is strong. He was meant to be here and I am glad that I was the vessel that brought him into human form. I almost allowed the lies (excuses) I told myself to keep me from my promise.
Your promise may not be a child. It may be a healthy relationship, a new job, a book that you want to write, a business that you want to start, adopting a healthy lifestyle, or losing weight . . . whatever it is, STOP making excuses. STOP believing the lies that you’ve been telling yourself.
YOU ARE NOT what someone did to you. YOU ARE NOT the pain that you have lived through. YOU ARE NOT a failure. YOU ARE NOT unworthy.
YOU ARE valuable. YOU ARE strong. YOU ARE meant to live life to the fullest. YOU ARE a warrior. YOU ARE a light that is meant to shine brightly in the darkness of this world.
STOP making excuses. START exposing yourself to new experiences and to new people. The road ahead may not be easy, but neither was the road that you’ve already traveled. You made it this far, it would be a shame not to see what it feels like to make your dreams come true.
YOU CAN DO IT. I believe in you. Let’s walk in the light together.
MIND: It’s time to tame the ANTs again, the automatic negative thoughts. The next time you find yourself wanting to share a piece of yourself with someone—do it. Don’t make excuses about how they may not understand. Don’t assume that what you have to share will change their perception of you. Just do it. You may be surprised by their reaction and by the lightness that you feel when you lay a burden down.
BODY: Oh boy. Let’s both get ready to do this one. For the next week, think about what you are going to eat. I don’t mean think about it when you are already hungry and a fast food joint is on the road home. I mean really think about what will be best for you. Take a few minutes and write down a menu for the week. Then go to the grocery store and buy what you need.
When you sit down to eat, look at your plate. Initially, you may not like what you see, but tune in to the excuses that you are making about not eating well. You may hear things like: Oh my gosh, who really eats like this? I don’t care if this is healthy, I want a hamburger. I don’t have time to make a list and shop for a specific menu each week. I work too many hours and I don’t have time to do it.
Most likely, the time you just spent making excuses, is the time it would have taken you to plan a healthy meal.
SPIRIT: Taking care of your Spirit is probably the last thing on your list. The Spirit is the essence of you and if it is not cared for, it atrophies. Learning builds the Mind and exercise builds the Body. Prayer and meditation build the Spirit.
Each morning and evening, endeavor to spend time in prayer and meditation. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. It does not require you to speak a certain language. It only requires your presence and your open heart. Meditation requires a quieting of the Mind and a release of the Body to focus on what God is saying to the Spirit.
Just open your mouth and begin talking. He will hear you. Then open your heart and you will hear Him.
“There is a lie in between a promise and many excuses.”
—Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut