I helped my daughter pick out some flowers for her teacher this week to show her appreciation for ALL THE THINGS she has done for her this year.
At the last minute Friday morning, she scrambled to find a message to go with them. She had already made her a giant sized card out of poster board, but this girl doesn’t do anything half way. She copied these words on a little card, glued it to a dowel stick and inserted it into the vase and was finally satisfied with her offer.
These words can be found on countless Mother’s day cards, and who knows, maybe you will get one tomorrow with a similar message, because after all , isn’t that what we do?
ALL THE THINGS?
Our families are grateful.
Maybe that is the outcome we desire;
To be appreciated.
My question for you this morning is ,
“What is it costing you?”
I had the pleasure of being a guest panelist at an Early Intervention Conference yesterday where we shared our experience overcoming challenges that often arise when working with families. It was a good discussion, but I got there a little early , and snuck into a session given by a Behavior Specialist that I found more interesting.
I loved how she didn’t just jump right into how to fix behaviors, but showed us how to study them; to get curious so we can understand the motivating factor behind them.
One of the behaviors she led with was one I have encountered in several children called Pica.
It’s when a child has a craving for non food items. They will pick up carpet strings, metal objects, hair, dirt, paint chips.. and ingest them.
Anyone want to sprinkle a little hair and dirt on their yogurt this morning?
I know, right?
It’s hard to understand what would cause them to crave this kind of behavior.
I love what the lecturer shared next. In order for her to understand their motivating factor, she would often engage in the behavior to see what they might be getting out of it. How was it serving them? What were they seeking?
She discovered that often it’s the tactile feedback or the iron found in the substance.
Usually there is some kind of deficiency that they are seeking to fill.
Let’s press pause here.
I have been doing some survey’s this week , talking to women health care professionals who are balancing work, motherhood, and ministry.
When I asked them what their greatest challenge was , here are the words they repeated time and time again.
“There is not enough time for ALL THE THINGS I have to do.”
“There is too much crap to do.”
“There are not enough hours in the day for my list of THINGS to do.”
“There are too many distractions.”
“TOO MANY THINGS…”
and along with those words came these..
“I’m tired of being who everyone else needs ME to be.”
“There is no more of ME to give.”
“There is nothing left of ME.”
“I’m tired of running myself ragged.”
of “FEELING DEPLETED.“
Here’s the interesting thing about Pica.
They start out seeking all the things they ingest due to a deficiency; a lack, but over time, instead of receiving what their body needs from those things, they end up with TOO MUCH.
Instead of receiving the nourishment they were looking for, they end up with TOXICITY.
Do you see a correlation here?
Maybe we need to take the Behavior Therapist’s advice and step back and study our habits and behaviors.
What is our underlying motivation for doing ALL THE THINGS?
Here are some of the common MOTIVATING FACTORS she listed:
- gaining access to a preferred thing
- exerting control over a situation
- to escape or avoid something
- to gain social attention or
- for internal gratification
QUESTIONS TO PONDER..
What are you trying to gain access to?
Exert control over?
What might you being trying to escape or avoid?
What attention are you seeking?
What internal gratification are you getting from doing all the things?
Here’s what we need to know.
Our underlying motivation usually has a positive intention.
Just like the child seeking non food items to meet a legitimate need, we often attempt to DO ALL THE THINGS as a way of meeting our basic needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory states that in order for us to address our GROWTH, our BASIC NEEDS have to be met.; our physiological needs such as food, shelter, sleep, and he even includes sex! LOL
Ladies, that means without sleep and sex our growth is stunted. Ha!
Sounds like maybe instead of a mother’s day card you might need to spend your day in bed!
But I diverse…
It’s this next level that I think trips us up and gets us running ragged…
Beyond the biological needs lie our basic needs for LOVE, SAFETY, and BELONGING.
When we feel a LACK of love, safety, belonging we will literally do ALL THE THINGS and then some to try and get these needs met.
Here is what I found fascinating…
He classified our needs into two categories: Deficiency Needs and Growth Needs.
Our need for love , safety, belonging ( and sleep and sex) are Deficiency Needs.
If our basic needs aren’t met, there is no progression to GROWTH.
Wow, that’s pretty eye opening isn’t it?
No wonder we get Stuck and feel like we can’t move forward?
So when there is a deficiency in any of those basic needs, we are motivated to fulfill them. This means we are being motivated from a state of deprivation and if you follow me on Social Media you know that Deprivation isn’t a very good motivator.
Anyone following me here?
Let me wrap this up by giving YOU a visual.
Just remember PICA.
ALL THE THINGS we are trying to do to meet our lack for love, safety, belonging… is a lot like the hair ,the carpet strings, the dirt, and metals that these kids with a deficiency seek out to try and gain what is lacking.. The problem is over time, what was sought by an underlying good intention, leads to excess and a state of TOXICITY.
One of the women I surveyed recognized this and very wisely acknowledged..
” It’s costing me my health.”
I know this study of our behaviors was not a very sweet letter for you to display on your refrigerator, but I just don’t think it is very loving to keep patting you on the back for THE THINGS that are destroying your physical, mental, emotional ,and spiritual health.
My WHY , my MOFA, my motivating factor is
YOUR GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT.
Maybe there is an underlying deficiency somewhere in me that longs for this , but I do believe GOD made you with the capacity to THRIVE.
If we are ever going to STEP into the FULL POTENTIAL of who God designed us to be, we are going to have to start looking for more nourishing alternatives.
Here is the SWEET part. The part you can hang with a magnet on your fridge …
Are you ready to stop running yourself ragged?
Growth needs do not stem from a lack of something, but rather from a desire to grow as a person.
Now that’s motivating.
That’s what I want.
Here is the key to growth.
We have to be FULL before we can grow. Just like that flower in the picture. It’s got to suck up that life giving water and let it invade every cell until there is expansion, and then from that place of HEALTH it can GROW and bring beauty to the world around it.
“But Kate, it’s not that easy. I wish it was as simple as it is for the flower.”
I hear you, but can you try something this week?
Ask yourself , ” What do I need to let go of?”
And then just practice some self awareness..
When your body signals lack, depletion, or starts to shout,
” Hey lady! I’m running on empty!”
GO GET FILLED UP.
Not by doing more things, but by pressing pause, stepping back from trying to gain access or exert control, and
simply SIT in the presence of JESUS.
Breathe in his LOVE for you.
Find SAFETY under the shadow of his wings.
Know that YOU BELONG in that space.
Your were created to connect with HIM. I know you know that in your head, but it’s time to recognize what we are doing is toxic.
HE alone is your HEALTH.
Here is my GIFT for YOU!
If you know what to do, but could use the accountability and support to start walking in wellness again, I am offering my one on one
Total Transformation Program
at 25% off of what I will be charging when I complete my certification this summer for anyone who signs up during the month of May!
This is your chance to have a personal coach to cheer you on, nudge you forward, and help hold the vision of
YOU at your FULL POTENTIAL.
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Happy Mother’s Day!
If you are not a momma, this message is still for YOU!
YOU are dearly loved and God desires to flow and multiply his love through you just the same!
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