Sunday, April 15, 2018

To Change the Fruit, Identify the Root

We live in a society obsessed with providing band-aids and treating symptoms. Temporary solutions will not ever create lasting change, and deep roots manifest through “fruits.”

Image result for roots and fruits

In order to create REAL change, and to see a change in the fruit we bear, we have to first identify and change the ROOT. Get to the root of the issue. What happens if you pull a weed out of the ground but don’t get the root? It keeps coming back. And keeps coming back. You’ve probably experienced that in your life at some point in trying to gain control of some area. If you attempt to fix it with a band aid solution, it’s eventually rear its ugly head again.

I am all about helping people finding solutions, but many times this means getting deeper than surface level stuff to figure out the WHY behind it. And sometimes that pruning process is very painful, but it’s necessary, and the rewards are worth it.

I was at the end of my college career before I realized why I was so motivated by achievement & performance. For most of my life I was a people pleaser and perfectionist, and that rooted back to me being adopted. My parents and family always were and still are SO above and beyond loving, accepting, & even doting, so I have NO reason to be trying to earn love and acceptance. And honestly, I felt guilty for feeling any way other than grateful. (Truly, because my family is so incredible. And I am so grateful to my biological mom for her decision to #chooselife) But there were feeling there I needed to deal with, even if I didn’t recognize it or want to admit that. Once I identified that, I was able to move on and now I can more easily recognize when that starts creeping back in.

Sometimes we (or someone we know) struggles with addiction, anger, bitterness, overeating, gossip, self pity, selfishness, laziness, overspending, insecurity, being a people pleaser…the list could go on. These are symptoms. They are more easy to recognize.

Many times the roots of those symptoms are in guilt, shame, unforgiveness, feelings of rejection, pride, or being hurt by someone else. Many times the root goes back to believing a lie we don’t even recognize we are believing. The reality is, no amount of medicine, diets, programs, courses, new laws, etc. are going to change a person who isn’t willing to identify and change the root.

Jonathan and I spend a lot of time talking about roots. WHY people do what they do/act like they act/think like they think. It’s very interesting to both of us. And honestly, it has helped us in our marriage. Marriage is two very different people, from very different upbringings, different thought patterns, different approaches…so understanding the WHY often helps us be more gracious and understanding. (It also helps lay your pride down to truly change.) It also helps us with our parenting. I know life is busy, but if we can take time to dig and find out the why behind an undesired behavior, we can help reshape their thinking and retrain them. (Part of our job as parents is to train up our children in the way they should go.) Disciplining should include examining roots & pruning, sandwiched in between lots of love, affection, lots of TIME, and a strong relationship/connection.

What prompted me to even write a post about this was after a discussion with some friends about gun laws and school shootings. I am all for WHATEVER it takes to keep our babies safe, but unless we are working to get to the ROOT of the problem, changes are a band aid. And what do we know about band aids? They’re temporary & can’t actually prevent or heal a wound.

This can be related to health issues too, not just emotional ones. For example, with Jase’s asthma, I have worked really hard to identify the ROOT to try to prevent flare ups and not just give daily medicine. I am so grateful for medical advancements, but I am going to exhaust every option to prevent it rather than treat it. In his case,I believe he developed it as a result of gut issues from me receiving so many antibiotics during his birth (I was GBS +) and having a c-section. I know I need to work to heal his gut (which is much easier said than done with a 4 year old). I also worked on eliminating environmental triggers, so in his case, it’s more dietary and we are moving towards less sugar, less bad fats, and going grain-free. (Again, not the easiest thing I have ever done with a 4 year old.) By the way, I hope that doesn’t come across as blaming anyone for illnesses because that is definitely not what I mean. We live in a fallen world, which means we will experience disease, sickness, and pain this side of heaven and there is nothing we could have done to prevent it and nothing we have done to cause it. What I am saying though, is if something DOES arise, work to try to find the root rather than accepting a diagnoses, a bunch of meds, and assuming life has to be that way. I have seen lots of people be healed and reverse illness by taking the time and effort to get to the root, and for some illnesses, it can be done.

Whatever the fruit you want to change…whatever fruit you desire…get to the root. Can you imagine if we were all so filled with the fruits of the Spirit that those were bubbling over to others??

1 comment:

Moon Sparkle said...

i enjoyed your post. :) I've read something similar about getting to the root of an issue on Personal Excellence, another blog I follow. I think in the article the author Celestine suggested asking yourself questions about what you think is behind the problem. E.g. I've done this for feeling stuck in my life or for anxiety.