• Dr. Stacey Mims

Show Up for Your Life

Recently I was listening to a radio broadcast of The Breakfast Club. On this particular day The Breakfast Club was interviewing the singer and actor, Billy Porter. Mr. Porter relates a story about his mother’s will to live. She has a “degenerative disability, since birth.” He recalls “everyone from the beginning told her, it would not be worth it. She is [now] in the twilight of her life, in a nursing home, and no mobility: she can’t change or feed herself. Yet she participates in physical therapy everyday “so she can move her hand enough in order to move her wheelchair on her own.” One day while visiting his mother he remembered thinking to himself, “this woman has shown up for her life every single day….she goes to physical therapy everyday just so she can hold on to that, the ability to move her wheelchair on her own.”

As I reflected on Mother Porter’s determination to Show Up for Her Life, in spite of her challenges, I began examining the primary areas that are essential for life, which can be extracted from Mother Porter. Two areas that standout for one to “Show Up for Your Life” are: mentally and physically. As a Christian I offer a third area: spiritually.

“Show Up for Your Life:” Mentally

Showing up for your life mentally, challenges us to overcome the mental barriers that could hinder or cause us to give up or to rely on others to do for us what we should and can do for ourselves. This means we have to have a mindset to succeed no matter the challenges we face. There will be situations in our lives that can leave us mentally drained at times: Depression, stress, anxiety, etc. Showing Up for Your Life might mean taking medication or seeing a counselor. There are races and communities that do not believe in counseling, but regardless of what your race or community believe, this is your life and you have to do what is necessary for you. We are formed in our identity by what we have been through in our life path; and it is unhealthy to say, “this is who I am, and I am stuck with it.”

Your mental health is so essential to the quality of life you want to live. God does give us the peace that surpasses all understanding and unspeakable joy. However, we may need to scale back or totally eliminate voices that keep us on a negative rollercoaster, for example Tweeter, YouTube, Facebook and other social media outlets have a tendency to trigger toxic thoughts and can cause one to respond in emotionally unhealthy ways of addressing issues in our lives. In this instance “Showing Up for Your Life” may require you to be intentional about your mental state of being.

“Show Up for Your Life:” Physically

Showing Up for Your Life physically mean we have to take care of our bodies. As I write this blog, I struggle every day to discipline myself to implement healthier eating habits, exercise more often, and allow my body to get the proper rest. I have a certain weight I want for myself, but I have same physical challenges that slows or brings my process to a halt for days while my body heals. Then I find myself having to start over. That’s frustrating. In order to achieve what I want for myself, I must deal with my limitation and reflect on alternative ways and take action. I can talk about going to the gym. I can gather all the nutritional information available, but at some point, I have to physically “Show Up for My Life” and actually put into practice what I have set my mind to achieve.

“Show Up for Your Life:” Spiritually

What is life without a personal relationship with God? Our lives are so busy that we often neglect to nurture our relationship with the giver and the creator of life, God. Spirituality is a human-divine relationship that has action, relational, and existential consequences. It is the transforming power of God in the human spirit that works to grow the soul, mind, and heart in the image of God. We have to be intentional to develop a discipline that keeps us anchored in the power and love of God. So, the question needs to be asked, what do we need to do spiritually to “Show Up for My Life?” Beginning with this question should cause us to examine various transformational methods for growth. Formation provides a discipline, through repetitive encounters, for one to develop. Incorporating some type of spiritual practice: journaling, meditating, scripture reading, nature walks, prayer, etc. as part of our lives allows us to tune out the world, step out of ourselves, and see God and ourselves.

God has given us one life to live. I encourage you to live it to the fullest. Whatever circumstances, challenges, hinderances that you are faced with, don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t quit. Jesus says “he came to give us life and life more abundantly” in order to claim it, you have to “Show Up for Your Life.”

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