Brace yourself for this long but necessary post to close out the year. My heart desire is to see anyone that wants to, living a joyful thriving life through Jesus Christ.
This year revealed how important toilet paper was. Two months into the pandemic, many grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. How could that happen? One thing was certain; no one knew what to expect in a pandemic. The response to the pandemic disrupted toilet paper supply chain across the nation. Dr. Gonzalez from North Carolina State University Department of Forest Biomaterials attributed the toilet paper shortage to panic-buying. The response of panic-buying emphasized how critical the underlining principle of taking inventory was in the manufacturing industry. Too much or too little inventory can affect the overall welfare of a grocery store. To prevent any sort of imbalance, the manufacturing industry (stores) typically adhere to some basic inventory principles. This is applicable to life as well. The ability to take honest inventory affects our overall well-being as humans.
As we end 2020 and enter into a new year, it is not unusual to set new goals and prepare for the year ahead. A popular quote by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States-Benjamin Franklin- sums up why preparation is essential.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
However, this year my approach is different from the usual “set new goals” focus for a new year. This does not mean setting new goals is not important. Far from that, the reason is that the firsthand experiences of walking alongside so many people in the past seven months during this pandemic have shined a light on how important taking inventory is. Helping people through several virtual meetings to “unpack” and “process” the root causes to some debilitating spiritual, psychological and emotional situations that made them devoid of peace, joy, motivation, clarity, and direction during this pandemic, I was the blessed one. The experiences revealed how critical honest inventory is to our mental well-being. So instead of the usual set new goals for the new year, my heart desire for anyone yet to unpack or process trauma is to take some time to slow down and take an “inside inventory”, especially after such a pandemic year as 2020!
Why this is necessary is because without taking an inside inventory, we tend to “hoard” our emotions by refusing to let things go. You probably have seen the show on HGTV -Hoarders- and know how debilitating clutter can be to overall health. Hoarding of emotions happens when negativity, loss, resentment, bitterness etc. piles up and henceforth blocks our mental capacity to respond to life in ways that are healing both to us as individuals and to others. Taking inventory allows the cleaning out of all the clutter inside of our spirits, souls, and emotions from trauma- be it mild or severe. If 2020 taught us anything; is that living prepared spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally sustains us. This sustenance in turn impacts our immune system and how it responds to the environment we live in. This year taught us how vital it is to prioritize our health.
For the past two months I have been collaborating with a neuroscientist on the impact of trauma on the immune system. The understanding from our discussions have been very helpful as I work on the Companion Manual for Crushed to Restored: Principles of Restoration from the Book of Nehemiah. In the last decade there have been multiple studies that have provided evidence on how the immune system overlaps emotional responses. Some of the precious people I have worked with during this pandemic have given their permission to share their emotional hoarding experiences and how it affected their overall health and mental wellbeing. So, coming early Summer of 2021 by God’s grace will be the Companion Manual to Restoration Principles. The manual will break down the scriptural principles from the book of Nehemiah in an easy format and approach that anyone can use in their restoration journey. Please be on the lookout for it.
To all my friends that embarked on their restoration journey this year, big kudos to you! It takes courage to make changes. To those yet to begin, I encourage you to take an inside inventory. You will be better for it. For those that have begun, review your restoration journey regularly and be brutally honest with yourself. Have you made progress towards wholeness? Celebrate! That’s a big deal. Have you confronted hidden traumas from your past that kept you stuck? Celebrate! Not many people can look in the mirror and be honest enough to change. You did! Now celebrate. The New Year 2021 awaits you with open arms! Parents of school age children, please take some time to guide your children in taking inventory of their emotions. Data and reports in the past three months point to an increase in anxiety for students in K-12 grades. There is help available, please reach out. Happy New Year Friends! Until next post, stay safe and healthy. Love & Blessings!!!
"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2)