Every day we are being diagnosed and every day we are being offered a delivery formula. The formula goes something “If you do (this), then you get (these results).” You are overweight, here’s a diet. You are weak, here’s an insane exercise program. You are stressed, here’s a pill. You are wrinkly, here’s a cream. You are a bad mom, here’s a book.”
There are literally thousands of delivery formulas that promise to give us the perfect body, the perfect health, the perfect stress level, the perfect home, the perfect kids, the perfect marriage, the perfect skin, the perfect closet, the perfect vacation and ultimately, the perfect life. Given the availability of all these delivery formulas, how many people have you met that actually have a perfect life or who completed the delivery formula, produced the results that FINALLY delivered them from doing the delivery formula ever again?
Have you ever wondered why most delivery formulas DO NOT work to deliver us? Perhaps, it’s time we turned the tables and diagnosed these delivery formulas to understand the reasons why delivery formulas do not deliver us:
- They usually get the diagnosis wrong.
- They try to deliver you through one part of yourself.
- They try to deliver you from the outside in.
- They are based on being fragmented and living a fragmented life.
- You aren’t designed to be delivered by a delivery formula.
First, the diagnosis of what is wrong and what you need to be delivered from is usually wrong. What we first see is most likely not the source of the problem. The most obvious issue is usually a result of the real problem. Stress, injury, pain, tiredness, weight issues, food issues, addictions and relationship problems are most often the “results” of deeper issues. Consequently, if we spend all our time desperately trying to change the results, then the real problems causing those results are still there producing the same results.
Second, formulas that reduce you to a part of yourself—like a body, a mind, a spirit or a heart—can only deliver that part of you temporarily. Maybe you can get some control over your body by denying it, control your emotions by avoiding them, control your thoughts by distracting yourself with something else and maybe you’ll get control of your sins through religious practice. But when you spend all your time and energy trying to deliver yourself through one part of yourself, then you are forcing other parts of yourself to stop functioning as they are designed.
Let’s say you get some results like controlling your body with a diet, then what parts of yourself would you deny in order to continue using a diet to control your body. If you could get everything you wanted—like peace, joy, success, value and the love through a diet, then would you ever listen or get to know your heart, mind, body, and spirit? At the same time, if you were able to deliver yourself through your spirit or heart, would you ever listen to the needs of your mind and body?
Third, delivery formulas fail because they are trying to deliver us from the outside-in. They give us solutions, hacks, formulas, programs, and ideas to manage (control) everything. 13 steps to manage your stress, 7 steps to manage your weight, 5 steps to manage your relationships, and thousands of other ways to control your kids, spouses, workplace, home, pets, clutter, car, health, emotions, spirit and on and on and on.
Delivery formulas are based on us living fragmented lives, being a fragmented people and existing in a fragmented state where the mind, heart, spirit, body, and life are not only reduced to results, but they are operating independently from one another. Delivery formulas do not take into account who we are a as whole people and how we are mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally connected to naturally create a balance, flow, and rhythm that enables us to experience and enjoy life.
As long as we are trying to manage and control every aspect of our lives, then there’s no way we can properly care for our whole person, enjoy ourselves or freely live our lives.
So, what’s the real problem with delivery formulas, besides the massive amount of time, energy and money we waste tinkering in the minutiae of external issues?
I don’t believe we have to be rocket scientists to see that we have been trying to deliver ourselves for a long time and we are more exhausted, neurotic, overweight, obsessed, stressed, unhappy and lonely than we have ever been. Even if on the outside, our lives and bodies appear to be manageable and under control, on the inside we are numb, sad, angry, insecure, lonely and tired.
We are bingers but we are never full. We consume at the highest levels but it’s never enough. We are so busy controlling every aspect of our lives but we are falling apart. The truth is that food, stress, kids, anxiety, spouses, homes, cars, power, fame, work, money, exercise and clutter are not the problems and they are not the solutions of what really ails is.
It’s time we create the space to stop tinkering and give ourselves a real opportunity to rediscover who we are and how we are designed to live life in the present moment with hope, trust, peace, joy, and love with all our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies. It’s time we stopped asking to be delivered by a formula and started asking how we are designed.
The good news is that there are no delivery formulas that actually work. There is just life and life was meant to be lived with the ups and downs, the good and bad, the challenges and successes with our whole person feeling, thinking, moving and connecting as we are designed. The real problem is not that delivery systems don’t work but that we have forgotten how we are designed to not need delivery systems. The best news is that we can be delivered from delivery formulas by remembering the TRUTH of who we are and how we are naturally designed to breathe, listen, ask, look and move to nourish ourselves without expectations, results or using ourselves and the amazing gifts that we have been given as a means to an end.
Aren’t we tired of being diagnosed? Did any of these programs, formulas, magic pills—and let’s not forget books, classes, seminars, retreats, experts or the ungodly amount of products ever deliver us? Today, I invite you to join me to give up using formulas to try and get control over things you can never get control over. You are invited to give up trying to control life and just live it, one crazy full day at a time and discover how you are designed to Just Practice The Basics.