“My mind is a home I’m trapped in and it’s lonely inside this mansion”
Click here for the full lyrics. NF is the artist of this emotionally heavy song, “Mansion.” It’s the inspiration for this Monday Music Motivation post.
I heard this song over a year ago and was instantly moved by the lyrics. It about brought me to tears as I imagined all the young girls, women and men that I have helped treat for an eating disorder. Each one of them with a story. Each one of them with walls built up to keep therm safe, only to find out they let fear in and their mansion was no longer what it once was.
I’m inspired to write this post in effort to help you “clean off the walls before it is too late.” I’m knocking and I pray you will open the door.
Why Were The Walls Built?
I know this can be hard for many to think about and I will speak in general terms. First and foremost I urge that if you have an eating disorder that you also have a strong eating disorder team in place, to include a therapist, registered dietitian, medical doctor and psychiatrist (if needed). Bringing down your mansion walls may need a strong support system.
Walls represent a protective barrier from something that may do harm. It keeps an individual in a secure place, they have a sense of being free from harm. What are you seeking protection from if you built walls in and around your mind?
There are endless answers to this from different forms of abuse, bullying and name calling. Maybe it has been a direct target about your weight, shape or size. Somewhere at sometime someone caused harm to you. In a natural effort to protect yourself and stay safe, you began to put up your walls to keep you safe from the arrows being launched at you.
From Verse 2 of “Mansion”
Yo my mind is a house with walls covered in pain
See my problem is I don't fix things
I just try to repaint, cover em up, like it never happened
Congratulations, you'll always have a room in my mind
Like this artist, you may have encountered unwanted situations that lead to memories that you now have on the walls of your mind. Like him, fixing it may not have seemed possible, so you repaint or cover up, using your food and body relationship as the camouflage.
When working with my clients, it takes some time to help them realize this truth, but your struggle is not usually “just about weight.” There is usually a personal reason, an experience in your life that has cultivated this fixation on food and weight as a means to protect you from seeing what is on your walls.
Verse 2 continued
And I lie to myself and say I do the best that I can
Shrug it off like it ain't nothing like it's out of my hands
Then get ticked off whenever I see it affecting my plans
And I regret watching these trust issues eat me alive
And at the rate I'm going they'll probably still be there when I die
Congratulations, you'll always have a room in my mind
The question is: Will I ever clean the walls off in time?
You try to focus on what keeps you safe and well.
The diet, the weight, the food control, the binge eating or other eating disorder patterns all serve to keep you from the past. You might “fake it ‘till you make it”, or say that you are doing the best you can, but find yourself frustrated and feeling defeated when the pursuit of thinness is actually stripping you of living your best life. Deep inside you recognize the harm, yet it feels safer than cleaning the walls.
Over time, you will have developed trust issues. These may be from your past experiences. They might also be trust issues with food and your body. You see, dieting and focusing on weight loss creates disconnection between you and food, between you and your body. You will begin to feel conflicted and confused about what, when and how much to eat. You many not trust those who attempt to say “you are hurting yourself with this food and/or exercise pattern.” You don’t want to hear it because it is your safe place.
Do you want that past experience, past pain, past relationship to always have a room in your mind? Do you want to clean the walls off in time?
So this part of my house, no one's been in it for years
I built the safe room and I don't let no one in there
'Cause if I do, there's a chance
That they might disappear and not come back
And I admit I am emotionally scared to let anyone inside
Has your food and body focus become your safe room?
Is this where you go to keep others out of the other rooms?
Does it help keep you distanced from letting others see the real you and the pain you have been through?
Your food and weight fixation can turn into a false idea that nobody will love you, accept you, care for you, or that you are not “enough”. Instead of seeing that it is really the pain keeping you locked up, the diet mentality brain makes you believe it is about your body weight, shape or size.
It’s okay to be scared. It makes sense when you have been harmed. But, can you start with letting Jesus in? He is the one true source of genuine and unconditional love. Walking hand in hand with Jesus, you can clean the walls of your mind. You can find healing from the things that caused harm in your life.
Verse 3 cont’d
I know that shutting the world out ain't solving the problem
But I didn't build this house because I thought it would solve 'em
I built it because I thought that it would be safer in there
But it's not, I'm not the only thing that's living in here
Fear came to my house years ago I let 'em in
In your heart, you know this approach is not going to solve the problem, but you don’t know another way. As NF says, “I built this house because I thought it would be safer in there.” Now you realize that it is not really safer in there at all and you are trapped in your own mind. You have rooms for your past hurts and you have rooms dedicated to your food and weight worries--what do the walls of those rooms say about you? It’s not usually real pleasant. In fact, Satan has likely found is way into that room. You know the father of lies wants to paint those lies all over your mental walls. (John 8:44)
You may realize you are not alone in your mind, that something else is there. For NF it is fear. Have you given fear a home as well? (Stay tuned for a future blog on fear!)
Is that the problem?
Verse 3 cont’d.
Maybe that's the problem
'Cause I've been dealing with this ever since
I thought that he would leave, but it's obvious he never did
He must have picked the room and got comfortable and settled in
Now I'm in the position it's either sit here and let him win
Or put him back outside where he came from, but I never can
'Cause in order to do that I'd have to open the doors
Is that me or the fear talking?
I don't know anymore
So what’s it going to be for you? Put the unwanted guest back outside? Yes, that means you will have to open the doors, which can increase “fear”, but where does fear come from? Where does your hope come from?
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Who will help you?
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
So, what’s next? Keep the lies on the walls to be continuously trapped by negative memories, debilitating self-talk and hopelessness? Or, do you want to start taking Jesus with you to put new writing on the wall? Let’s talk through those steps next time!
You have been given the mind of Christ, reclaim it!
1 Corinthians 2:16
For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
You have the capacity and authority to reclaim your mind as you proclaim God’s truth in your life.
What is one truth you can claim over your life today? Please share your truth below!
Love & blessings,