Guru Schizophrenia

Right now I am eating candy corn /peanut mixture aka “harvest crack” aka “the snack of the angels in glory”

As I fixed my snack, I had no fewer than 3 inner voices tell me why I shouldn’t.

One from my gym trainer guy: “You shouldn’t eat between meals, you should send your body into a starvation mode where it’s forced to live off fat to burn those last 10 lbs.”

One from a food blogger: “Is that a nourishing whole food? Is that food coloring in there?”

One a mental health resource: “Cutting back on sugar can help with anxiety.”

They all decided to weigh in on my snack choice as I stood in the corner of our kitchen.

I found myself wanting to yell: Everyone Back Off!

But the scary thing here is that I was alone…. fighting with the many guru’s I’d allowed to have a voice in my life.

I don’t know about you but it’s getting really crowded in my inner monologue, downright schizophrenic really.  I’m the sort of person who loves new ideas and systems and occasionally (read: all the time) adopts them without asking enough questions.

I’m an over-committer who loads her plate full and still feels inadequate and lazy and now I have GS, guru schizophrenia.

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

You say I should workout more?  Yes! I should go to gym for hours this week! and do lunges while I put away laundry.

What’s that writing guru?  Get up at 4:30 every morning if I really mean it?  Right on.  I’ll do that too!

This nutrition blog says I should cut out alcohol and sugar and caffeine and starch and live off of chicken breast and greens? She’s right, I’ll do it!

When you adopt too many voices and believe in too many “right ways” of doing things it gets noisy in your head. You start to live in a perpetual state of letting yourself and all those inner gurus down.

It’s one big fat disappointment fest all the time, no matter what you’re doing there’s a disappointed guru somewhere.

I’m new to realizing this issue so I don’t have the perfect solution yet, but I do know this: I’m not only one have this issue and the key solution is to develop a strong sense of who we are and what we’re doing before we log on and listen to the passions of others.

There are a lot of people on the internet these days with really worthy passions who will do a fabulous job convincing you to join in.  You need to be able to take their advice, hold it up to your life’s calling and either say: “Yes, I can add that in” or “No, sorry my head and plate are full.  No more gurus please.”

Make a list of things you’re not doing right now, or forever even.

While I was turning this over I kept going back to a whispered memory of this verse:

“He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts… to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-14 (MSG)

I don’t know about you, but guru schizophrenia makes me feel everything, except fully alive like Christ.  

I need to give some gurus a boot and give the voice of grace here in Ephesians a bigger area of influence.

So gurus?  You’re on notice.  And Paul?  let’s chat a bit more about this fully alive business.

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  • Louise Bates

    Yes! I realized this summer that I was slowly destroying my mental and physical health through stress. Life on an adrenaline high might have been allowing me to accomplish everything that needed to get done, but it was killing me. So I started allowing myself to NOT do things without feeling guilty, and oh my, the change in my health and happiness. The guilt keeps trying to sneak back, and I keep bashing at it with a stick. I’m going to copy down that Ephesians verse and pin it up where I can see it often, as a reminder of being wholly alive and complete in Christ, not through my frenetic activities.

    • Leanne Penny

      Yes Louise, life is awful when lived under too much stress and pressure. I am so glad that you are experiencing relief with the unloading of shoulds and stress. I could use a daily reminder that Christ and not accomplishments is the key to real living.

  • Stacy Smith Aannestad

    Oh, gosh, yes! What’s so funny is that, just before I scrolled to your Twitter post linking to this entry, I literally (yes, LITERALLY) was thinking, “Ugh! How do I shut up the voices in my head?” Was even considering making that a facebook status. And then the next thing that scrolled up was “I have voices in my head. We mostly met online.” I laughed, literally (yes, LITERALLY) out loud. Thanks for the wonderful answer to my question, before I got all whiny about it on facebook. ^_^

    • Leanne Penny

      Happy to help stop regrettable facebook activity! And I love it when God and life is there to preemptively solve our issues before the start in! Glad this post resonated!

  • Jessica Rozga-Deboni

    I don’t think there has been one post in recent weeks where the thought, “Oh, I should send her a note, a comment…” hasn’t crossed my mind.

    This one though? I needed to.

    Because peanuts and candy corn are necessary.

    Because I, too, battle the guru thoughts in my mind. Always.

    Because I, too, have found such sweet freedom in letting go, and dare I channel my inner AA, letting God.

    Please. Let the guru of self-preservation keep eating peanuts and candy corn.

  • Brenda W.

    YES. I reached this point a few months ago when I just couldn’t tolerate one more “voice” telling me what to do. The quiet is better. :)

  • Rea

    A perpetual state of letting myself and all those inner gurus down…yep, that pretty much describes my life lately. And yes, it was everything BUT fully alive like Christ. I love that you brought that in there, something to live towards, not just away from. I plan to be doing a little less guru listening and a little more still small voice listening in the days to come.