Subconsciously Breathing; Actively Freed
I love this post from Mireille - a simple thought about the powerful messages we're exposed to every day, and how they shape us. Some wisdom for your weekend! L x
I was sitting in the car on my way to a meeting for work. Eyes on the road and my thoughts focused on the day ahead, when an advert came on the radio which completely caught me off guard.
“The more someone makes you think about your body, the harder it becomes to ignore”, a soft woman’s voice stated. “Take breathing. Usually it is so effortless. You don’t give a second thought about it…Breathing in and out, carelessly and in control”...
There was a pause. I started to breathe deeply.
“Now I have got your attention on your breathing!” she exclaimed “Perhaps you are breathing faster or slower? A few seconds ago you didn’t give any thought to how you breathe. Now you are aware of it because I mentioned it.”
Now I was frustrated. I tried to stop breathing deeply. She continued.
“Only one message made sure you can’t stop thinking about your breathing. Imagine what it’s like being exposed to hundreds of messages every day, subtly changing the way we view our bodies.”
The advert was part of Dove’s self-esteem campaign, specifically aimed at raising awareness for young girls dealing with body-image issues.
Complete silence reigned as I turned the radio off. My eyes were focused on the road but my head and heart underwent a whirlwind of emotion. A combination of sadness and anger overwhelmed me and I found myself crying out to God for personal healing but also a healing of this nation from the lies and distortions we are exposed to.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human traditions and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ..."
Paul writes to the Church of Colossae in Colossians 2 and continues with:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things… Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…and as you sing psalms and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
It’s interesting he uses the word ‘captive’ here. I don’t know about you, but I have definitely felt burdened by lies as heavy as chains; dragging me down to the point of stand still. One of the best things a friend ever said to me was “Even if you achieve nothing and do nothing in this world, God still loves you unconditionally”. It’s so obvious and simple, but I regularly need to be reminded of that.
It’s because it is so contrary to what the world feeds us daily. We are a society obsessed with measuring achievement, sadly driven by jealousy and toxic comparison. It is ultimately disabling us from loving one another and alienating us from the freedom God has for us.
C.S. Lewis states “God doesn’t want something from us, he simply wants us”.
He is yearning for relationship with us. Jesus said: “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” (Luke 17:33)
For me this passage is a daily reminder to surrender the worldly life I write out for myself and to let God be God and speak to me, moulding me and to accept whatever that may hold. This is freedom. This is purpose and life.
Mireille studied in Cambridge and now lives and works in London. She worships at Holy Trinity Clapham.