Smoke filled my nostrils and burned my eyes sending my body into fight or flight mode. I tell myself it’s just a campfire, it’s just smoke on this cold wintery night. Yet, here I am filled with fear. I am unlearning, unraveling, undoing the memories and the moments of the last camping trip.
My husband woke me in the middle of the night. Ashen skin and wild eyes; all he could communicate was that he thought it was a heart attack. That night became my worst nightmare as I loaded him and our kids in the truck, racing like Danica Patrick to the nearest hospital. I watched his heart race to 311 beats a minute and I stood in the corner as the ER team shocked his heart back into normal rhythm. This was only the beginning of several ER visits, hospital stays.
The campfire is where it all began but that doesn’t mean every time I smell smoke that my husband is going to die. The smoke blinds my eyes to truth in front of me—therefore it’s time to unlearn. Maybe you feel that way too. Blinded and filled with panic as 2022 is looming bigger on the calendar and 2021 is bullying your soul. Before you flip the calendar, the New Year reminds you of the promises you made last year. And shattered. Big self-improvement promises that were merely dust by Valentine’s Day.
You know the promises:
How you promised to read the entire Bible in a year, how you wouldn’t yell at your kids or husband. How you promised you would make your son use the bathroom instead of the front porch to pee. How you promised yourself you wouldn’t hold it until the last minute to pee. How you would lose the 10 pounds, the muffin top, and run that half marathon.
Or that you would try harder, hustle more, be someone better. But then life’s classroom of hard knocks and soul bullies showed up to remind you, “Who are you kidding? Forget it. Don’t bother, it will never change.” The soul bullies hiss what a looser you are when you raise your voice, have that extra glass of wine, let your bible collect dust and throw your tennis shoes in the closet.
But what if I told you something that could change your New Year’s Resolutions? What if instead of doing, trying and hustling there was something entirely different? What if you chose to unbecome? What if you chose to unlearn, to undo the world’s messages, to untangle the real YOU from the muted, clouded version of yourself in order to find the truest version of you? It’s why we make those resolutions, anyway. We want to be a better version of ourselves.
Like that late wintery evening at the campground, where I unlearned the behavioral responses of fight or flight of the night Chris nearly died camping. We need to unlearn what the world is telling us that will make us happy, better, or true.