I threw a fit when the word “therapy” was first suggested to my preteen ears. And while the stigma surrounding mental health has diminished significantly in the last ten years, many remain unsure how to address issues of the brain. A broken arm is easily remedied. But what about bruised or broken mind?

Recently, I did a poll on Instagram regarding potential content ideas for my blog. An overwhelming number of you said you would love to read a series about things I’ve learned in therapy. So, with the blessing of some catchy alliteration and my faithful readers, I’m diving into this series.

“Lessons Learned in Therapy” aims to unpack brief mental health insights that I’ve gleaned from counseling and therapy. Not all are biblical, but they are all in alignment with my Christian worldview.

That’s Not for Me

I actually had never heard the phrase “that’s not for me” prior to a Christian eating disorder intensive I attended in early 2022. The phrase was offered up in response to my adamant-but-incorrect assertion that if everyone says it’s healthy to walk 10,000 steps and watch their carb intake, then it is. If they should do it, so should I.

Up until that point, if someone else was doing something in the name of fitness and health, I felt compelled to follow suit.

While I avoided most mainstream diet trends, I succumbed to many of the unhealthy views including the demonization of processed food, “more is better,” and intermittent fasting, just to name a few.

What’s interesting is that the propensity to adopt others’ views and behaviors isn’t exclusive to eating disorders. It crops up in a number of realms:

  • Parenting: Your neighbors tout the benefits of completely eliminating technology from their homes and you find yourself promptly canceling Netflix—or drowning in guilt as the kids watch “Paw Patrol.”
  • School: Many of your peers are studying on the lawn for finals. Despite how easily you’re distracted and your severe seasonal allergies, you pack your blanket in a bag and bolt outdoors.
  • Financial: You’ve committed to a firm budget, but when your friend says “everyone” will have a new summer bathing suit, you head to the mall.
  • Relational: You read online that it’s disrespectful to not go to your parents’ for Christmas dinner, so you endure an emotionally unhealthy holiday in an effort to not be a “bad child.”

If you’ve ever found yourself bending to the pressure of peers, tabloids, and/or random “experts,” you aren’t alone. Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend: “That’s not for me.”

This phrase acknowledges that we have individual responsibility for our choices and the freedom to wisely discern what’s healthy for us. I don’t subscribe to universalism, so please don’t take this as an affirmation of “everyone has their own truth.”

Actually, this assumes the exact opposite. In holding to your own moral compass, you are refusing to let your beliefs be easily swayed by others.

I personally believe in Christ, which means I have revelation from His Word on how I can live the most satisfying life possible. While the Bible doesn’t describe whether or not I should run an extra two miles, it does provide wisdom about caring for my body, prioritizing rest, and enjoying nature.

If you’ve ever found yourself bending to the pressure of peers, tabloids, and/or random “experts,” you aren’t alone

So, how do we stop living based on the strongest opinions around us? We take each thought, opinion, article, and sermon captive—testing it against God’s Word.

It isn’t an easy thing to live out, but it’s worth pursuing.

When a friend says they’re doing a hard workout and I have committed to rest my body, I can remember: that’s not for me. When an article says a recession is coming and we are “in for it”, do I worry? No, that’s not for me. When I see others leapfrogging forward in life, I can trust I’m right where I should be; though jealousy rears its ugly head, I assert that right now, that’s not for me.

Let me know if this phrase helps you out this coming week. Leave a comment below!




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