Lead Us Not

I love living in NYC.

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It has been a huge part of my recovery and fresh start. Yes, it is a great place to be an actor and a young twenty-something, but it has also been an amazing place to learn how to truly live again. A great place to finally embrace life after years of clinging to a comatose existence with ED.

Needless to say, it has provided me with incredible adventures. I’ve wound up going undercover as a private investigator, going on beautiful boats on the Hudson, — even getting a private concert by none other than Mr. Timberlake! It has been, in a word, wild. And just what I needed for my recovery.

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As an actor, I have a lot of friends that are “in the biz” which allows for some pretty cool opportunities.

Like. Fashion Week.

If you are unaware, Fashion Week in New York is upon us, where clothing (and technology!) designers showcase their latest collections down NY’s hallowed catwalks.

The tickets to said events are next to impossible to get. You have to either be North West Kardashian, Queen Bey, or the live-in-assistant of fashion royalty, and even then – you’ll be battling tooth and nail to get a seat.

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Well. I just so happen to have a friend working production at one of the shows, and he was able to score me two tickets. Second row. VIP.

I mean. Seriously, howwww in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks did that happen?!?

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I was so excited, planning going. I was deciding what to wear, wondering who I’d be sitting near, who I’d see, who I could possibly talk to…I was just beside myself with eager anticipation.

But I have a confession.

After much contemplation, I turned them down.

**Screeching Tires**

Whaaaaat?!!!!!!!

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Yes, Karen, I turned down tickets to probably one of the most exclusive events I will ever have the privilege of attending.

And here’s why.

I was protecting my recovery.

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Yes, it would have been, in a word, thrilling, to go to the Fashion Week event. But to think about sitting there, fully submerged in a world where unnatural thinness is glorified and gaunt models (many of whom have eating disorders) are on parade, it did not sound like something that would have been good for me, a survivor of anorexia.

Let’s be clear here: I am strong in my recovery. It’s not that I don’t think I could “handle it.” I mean, I have to sit in the same audition waiting rooms with those type models. But you see, now, I am at a place where I do not long for that lifestyle anymore. I don’t find an emaciated body attractive anymore. Frankly, when I come across someone who is suffering from anorexia, my heart breaks for them and aches, remembering the pain from my past.

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But I am also strong enough to know that submerging myself at an event, where (at least in my eyes) anorexia is literally on display, nay — applauded and glorified — would have been a situation where I would have been really tested.

So I decided to put the kibosh on that, and not even give myself the chance to get shaken up.

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I wanted to protect my mind and heart from entering that head space of comparisons and memories and hyper body image focus.

I was avoiding temptation.

This concept is not new.

In fact, at church, we talk about it every Sunday, however it is often overlooked, since it is in the Our Father prayer.

“Lead us not into temptation.” Matt 6:13

Jesus knew how important this concept was. When He taught His disciples how to pray, this was one of the specific lines He said. He knew how important it was not to set yourself up for failure.

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And this extends far beyond eating disorders, too.

Temptations come in all shapes and sizes.

Overeating. Binge drinking. Bad things on the internet. Compulsive online shopping. Lust. Rage. Anger. Gossip. Drug use. Holding a grudge.

Maybe your way of “turning down the tickets” would be taking a different route home after work so as to avoid the McDonald’s drive through. Or only paying with cash, so as not to overdraw your check book. Perhaps you need to enact a “no computer after 10pm” rule for yourself. Maybe keep the dorm room door open with your boyfriend. Or limit alcohol consumption to weekends only.

We all have our little things that try to tempt us into destructive behaviors or thought patterns.

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We are strong. Capable. Sound of mind and heart. We’ve been gifted those virtues. But we’ve got to realize, we’re not invincible. And we’ve got to protect our hearts and, at least for me, my recovery.

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Because if I knowingly dive into shark infested waters, not only am I incredibly stupid, but I’m also going to get bit.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

82 thoughts on “Lead Us Not

  1. Indeed. I understand what you were saying. It’s hard to explain yourself to others why you turn down an offer or an invitation. You have to be careful what you put yourself into. But, I’m glad you are having the time of your life! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great post as always:) Considering everything that you have talked about in the past on your site related to anorexia, your reasons for not attending that fashion show are perfectly valid. Over the years, I have been told by a majority of people that many individuals deal with their pasts (whether it involves addiction or a traumatic event) in very different ways, but what matters in the end is that that person alone feels comfortable in that approach. Anyway, keep up the great work as always:) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much john. Yeah there’s nothing wrong with the fashion industry but given my past it was better for me to stay away from a triggering environment. Thanks for your encouragement friend😉

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      1. Thank you. I see each time you hit like on my posts and each time it makes me smile a little in my heart. I also read your words and admire your journey towards inner beauty. You know, there was a time when philosophy was an important occupation and resource, but today it has fallen away into a passing curiosity that people glance into when feeling lost and lonely. Some look to God and other look to god like idols to fulfil their emptiness like an emotional drug, but most just walk away stumbling in the darkness like drunks hoping that if they just keep doing what they have been doing something will eventually get better, but it never does. It doesn’t matter how many externals they change; partners, locations, friends, jobs; none of it matters if you can’t change what is on the inside. Because if you don’t change you, then you are just recasting the same scene in the script of your life with new players. But then there are the few like you that find the strength to endure the chastisement of the beast within. We are all brutish beast in our hungers to fulfil our desires and all too quick to gobble up every good thing and turn it to rags. But those that see that life is not a play, not a source of constant entertainment designed to simply make them happy, they see it has a beauty and a purpose. It is filled with grace and elegance and not a heavy footed dance of hippos that tramples every good thing trying to grow within you. Only in the light of understanding do we stop tripping and crashing through our life. Only in the light of reason do we find God truly. And you my friend are not as the drunkard of the old life but filled with the joy of the new wine, the blood of Christ called TRUTH. You are beautiful in my eyes. You are filled with the glimmer of sunshine because you fear less in the dark because you have allowed it to fill you and this perfect light casts out the shadows of ignorance that have haunted your spirit home for so long. I see sunshine in you, behind your eyes, though I have never seen them. I read it in your words, I sense it in your hopes, trials and resolution to endure. I see strength, courage and conviction in your character. Just because your trials don’t look like mine it does not mean they are not just as real, and though our lives are very different I recognize a kindred spirit and a brother in arms. It is not the situations that unite us; it is the light we carry inside.

        Shine wisely, shine brightly and know that you dear sister are worthy of much respect and love and please, please, please, keep up the good fight.

        Sincerely,
        Daniel Lyons

        PS. I would be honored if you ever need/want to talk to myself or Teresa to please feel free to contact us. God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow Daniel, I am completely humbled and just taken with your words. First of all, thank you for such kindness and encouragement and love. I honestly appreciate it so much. And secondly, I love your way with words! You have a real gift. I love how you likened change to a play. As an actor, that really struck a chord with me. You have a real gift, friend. God bless you and Teresa. Your blog is a source of His truth and love. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In scripture this is called “putting a hedge about you”. This is an extremely important work. Many people would have flippantly said, “I can handle it” and jumped into the shark tank. Then allowed the enemy to sow seeds of discontent into the heart. There is an excellent poem I have used at different times in my life to remind myself how I can protect myself, or destroy myself with my actions. I will include it here.

    The Habit Poem
    I am your constant companion.
    I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
    I will push you onward or drag you down to
    failure.
    I am completely at your command.
    Half of the things you do you might as well turn
    over to me and I will do them – quickly and
    correctly.
    I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
    Show me exactly how you want something done
    and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
    I am the servant of great people,
    and alas, of all failures as well.
    Those who are great, I have made great.
    Those who are failures, I have made failures.
    I am not a machine though
    I work with the precision of a machine
    plus the intelligence of a person.
    You may run me for profit or run me for ruin –
    it makes no difference to me.
    Take me, train me, be firm with me, and
    I will place the world at your feet.
    Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
    Who am I? I am Habit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and admire the wise decision you made. It’s so true that we must be wise and not voluntarily place ourselves in the way of temptation. We have to know our weaknesses and do what is best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Overeating. Binge drinking. Bad things on the internet. Compulsive online shopping. Lust. Rage. Anger. Gossip. Drug use. Holding a grudge.” Wow. For a minute I thought you were talking about ME, but then….I have never succumbed to compulsive online shopping. 😉

    Outstanding as always, my friend.

    You may be an actor, but you do ‘real’ like no one else. When I see an email from you with “New Post” as the subject, I always know I am about to be edified and forced to reflect on the condition of my own life. A welcome sight, for sure, and always looked forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed reading this post. It is so true that everyone has their own battles to face in this life, avoiding temptation is the best advice regardless of the battle. God’s instruction is always the best advice.

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      1. Thank you so much! Yes it definitely is. He knows what’s best. Like telling a child not to put our hand on a hot stove. He tells us not to control us, but because He knows the outcome will hurt us. Thanks for stopping by!

        Like

  6. I just feel so proud of you reading that though I do not know you. Thank you for making that choice to not put yourself in a place of temptation. Your faith has strengthened me. God Bless you so much. With God’s strength you will go from recovery to recovered! Persevere on! 🙂

    Like

  7. I went to a Fashion Week runway once…it was the worst day of my life. You made a good decision. Remember, you are beautiful, and should not be intimidated by the fact that that industry operates on thinness and exoticness. There are so many people in the world who see you and me and other survivors as far more interesting, likable and desirable than someone who refuses to eat so she can intimidate people for a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I applaud you not only for resisting a temptation that could prove harmful to yourself but not participating in an event put on by an industry that makes a lot of money by abusing and exploiting young women. I don’t have ED but I don’t enjoy watching true beauties destroyed for the sake of fashion. Twiggy’s legacy needs to come to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One other thing I really needed to hear this, I have gained some weight since giving my life to Christ and becoming sober, quit smoking, at the gym a ton, experincing tons of changes, but I feel so much better and tend to beat myself up at times. This was great!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I applaud you in your decision. Making hard decisions is really, well, hard and I love how you’ve recognized this opportunity for what it truly is for you. God is mighty and He has you in His grip.

    Like

  11. It takes a lot of courage to do that! Go YOU! You are brave and strong! It shows how committed you are to fighting the fight. 🙂 I’m sure you will find equally awesome things that will continue to help you grow and not bring you back to a place where you don’t want to go.

    Like

  12. Your words reveal a lot of maturity, and I really think your message connects with all sorts of people. Even if I don’t understand your particular temptations, I know what things come to the front of my mind when I pray “lead me not into temptation.” The struggle to resist temptation is universal. I pray God blesses you in your efforts!

    Like

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