The way we talk to ourselves and allow others to talk to us determines our mindset. I’m reading “Principal of the Path” by Andy Stanely and he states that it’s our direction, not our intention, that determines our destination. The way we talk to ourselves sets our direction – we might intend to live life to its fullest, but if we don’t talk kind to ourselves, we sure can’t expect anyone else to and you sure can’t expect to have the courageous joy that leads to a life fully lived.
How often do you allow the self-critic within you or the critics around you speak louder into your life than you let the words of those who love you? Lies fill our thoughts, heck they consumed mine. Sitting here today I can look back and see that not only did I believe the lies I told myself, but I also let the opinions of others (or my perceived opinions of others) shape my attitude and self-worth.
It satan’s goal to keep us defeated. He uses the world and our doubts to keep us from being bold, confident and strong. I fell victim to this, we all do. At some point, no clue when, I got to a point that in every error or shortcoming I’d tell myself I was horrible and that I should know better than to make these stupid mistakes – sheesh!!! I wouldn’t even talk to someone I didn’t like the way I spoke to myself.
On top of that, I became oversensitive to any external criticism as well. Probably because I was already feeling low from my internal bullying that I would try to hide from others – so when they’d see me mess up and point it out – it was too much to handle.
No wonder I spent the last 6+ months feeling depressed and lacking purpose!
Defensive. It’s the only thing that can think to sum up how I was living. I was always on edge, easily aggravated and agitated. I Felt like I was being attacked from every angle and, so, I was ready to attack back. The thing is, even if I was being ‘attacked’ (especially by myself) most of the stuff wasn’t something I need to carry on my shoulders or in my heart – they were lies or simple misunderstandings of who I truly am at heart.
Unfortunately, It took heartbreak, the words of my dad, and the words of our family and friends to get me to see the truth of who I am and to stop believing the lies. With every storm, there is a rainbow, right?!
Your Personality reminds me of your dad…
I lived at my parent’s house for two weeks leading to my dad passing. In that time people came and went, each time greeting us with love, kind words, and a huge smile (with sympathy) in their eyes.
Everyone that came had words of encouragement for my sisters, myself and my mom. Personally, they would comment on how wonderful of a woman I had become, how proud my dad was of me, and how much my personality reminded them of him. What beautiful, kind and powerful words these friends and family members spoke into my heart.
They had no idea that they were all turning a key in my heart to uncover the woman I forgot that I was.
As I spent more time going through photos and memories with my family and family friends something ignited in me. I remembered how much people and friendships mean to me. I looked at my dad’s life and saw a legacy of love, companionship, sports, family, fun… I kept telling people – “look around, we’d all be so lucky to leave an impact on people like my dad did”.
That’s what’s next for me – To love people with such fire that each person becomes ignited to love others, too. To talk nicer to myself, to not get defensive and know that I’m doing my best every single day. I’ll be slow to speak and quick to listen, to remember who my dad raised me to be – full of love and laughter. To view me through the lens of those that know me and my heart the best. To be proud of myself – even the shortcomings, because within those comes more growth and more light.
“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you “ ~ Anonymous
That we may all leave a legacy that points to Jesus and teaches others to love fiercely, let’s commit to not living defensively, but living proud of the good, the bad and the ugly – because we are all on a journey that only ends with us going home to our Heavenly father, like my dad did. He left it all out on the “court” and so should we!
You, too, should find yourself again if you’re feeling a lack of purpose or direction. Take a walk down memory lane. Listen to the people that know your heart the best, and believe what they say about you. Stop letting the critics control your emotions – lift your head high, be proud of your journey!
God says you’re incredible! Stop beating yourself up – celebrate your life and believe the people who tell you they love you!