I read an article that referred to constipation as an American epidemic. For some, it’s a slight aggravation; a once in a blue moon occurrence. For others, it’s a daily agony; a source of chronic discomfort and pain. I have experienced it a time or two, and I can say that its not fun.
As stated in Constipation and Impact, an article published by Harvard health, in the United States, treatment for constipation accounts for more than 2.5 million visits to doctors’ offices each year, with at least $800 million spent annually for laxatives. I read this and thought wow! That’s crazy! Who knew that constipation costs so much? As far as I am concerned, it might as well be a curse word, because if its going to put a dent in my household budget, I don’t want to hear it. I would rather invest the $$ on preventative measures, attacking it from the root, than dealing with symptoms and adverse effects.
This is were things get tricky. There are natural remedies for constipation that call for a lifestyle change. However, we live in a society conditioned to self medicate. Why do the grunt work that discipline requires, when we have a microwave version? An in the mean time solution (I use that word loosely) for the problem, forgetting that it has the propensity to become chronic. The appeal for veggies over sugar and carbs is significantly lower when our bodies are not conditioned for it. Especially when moderation is thrown out the window. It takes guts to cut out what is not serving our bodies well. In fact, some may say its akin to running into a burning building.
A fitting segue to a word I love to hate. A word I have on many occasions referred to as a trigger. One that means to me giving up something for no immediate reward or satisfaction. Prune. A generally distasteful word; as a fruit (a plum preserved by drying, having a black wrinkled appearance) and otherwise (an unpleasant or disagreeable person) or (to cut off, to reduce something by removing parts, to sever).
But there is value in this sourpuss word.
For one, prunes are natural mild laxatives, known to relieve constipation. They are a rich source of antioxidants, great for preventing heart diseases, and a protective shield for free radicals and HELLO it also strengthens and prevents bone loss. I am personally not fond of its taste, but if need be, I’ll chug a whole 2L bottle/daily.
Now to prune is to remove, to make room. Room for growth. The latter part is more exciting, but the former is daunting. I for one was hell bent on hoarding everything and everyone possible, no matter the cost. I was attached to the things and people that were eating away at me. They caused me grief, but more so the thought of separation. I dealt with the symptoms; migraines, stomach aches, insomnia, heart palpitations, stress et al. But how do you heal still attached to the problem? It was an unhealthy existence, a very unhealthy one.
I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually constipated by people, situations and things that added no shred of value to me, but instead clogged my life with gunk and distractions that kept me from being my healthy, whole and flourishing best self. Jesus said,
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.|John 15:1-4, NLT|
Sometimes we find ourselves in an unyielding rot because we are holding on to weeds. These weeds invade our minds, smother every semblance of sense out of us, and harm us. A correlation between weeds and the devil is not so farfetched, because to some degree, both steal, kill and destroy. Time is stolen, spirit shattered, self worth killed, and in some cases hope is obliterated.
I have been there, and I am telling you that it is okay take ownership of your life. Take back the stirring wheel from the people, things and situations that you have to some extent become addicted to. Ease into drive, and take your foot off the brakes. Let go. They are better left in your rearview.
A bird will struggle to fly with a house on it, assuming it is still alive. In the same way, constipation will remain a daily companion if you put up a stop sign to lifestyle change, and weeds will most definitely damage your pasture.
When you let go, you give yourself room to breathe, and lean in, not to anyone or anything else, but to your one true source. The vine that is Jesus. He is quick to prune every single thing that will prevent you from being the oak of righteousness |Isaiah 61:3| that He called you to be.
….And that’s my little gut ‘n’ heart check spiel…😁😀!