Hi, friend. There’s something on my heart I want to share with you. So, pull up a chair and I’ll scoot over next to you. Let’s think about this together.
Our communities and states—perhaps even our homes—are filled with a lot of noise these days, aren’t they? On TV, in newspapers, conversations at work, discussions online (have mercy!). . . there is more focus on disagreement than our shared beliefs and values. I find myself wishing that people would just stop talking because so much of what is said is not helpful. Many of these words create anxiety and discouragement. And for some reason, there appears to be a belief that if we say what we think LOUDLY, our message carries more importance and that it is more right. And most sadly, really important messages are getting lost in the noise. Good grief.
And. Have you noticed that as your anxiety or frustration increases, your patience decreases? Including any patience you have with yourself? Have you noticed that you are more quickly taking yourself to task when you miss something or mess up? Yea. Me too. My response to dropping the butter knife on the floor or forgetting to pick up coffee at the store or missing a deadline can too easily become springboards to scolding conversations in my head. “Get it together, Gaye.” “Can’t you remember anything?” “What’s the matter with you?”
(Just a quick side note here … those examples of scolding conversation responses sound so ridiculous as I write them. But in real time, they are real. Right? We are so hard on ourselves.)
We cannot control all the messages swirling around us.
But we can prevent them from getting into our ears and our mind.
We can control the messages we tell ourselves.
We can keep the self-talk, the lies, the frustration, from influencing how we live in the daily.
I’m going to turn my chair around a little bit here so I can look you in the eye . . .
Those shaming, blaming, negative, knee-jerk responses you have to your frustrations? They are not truth. You are so much smarter, and more beautiful, than those lies you’re listening to.
It’s time to let go of some of those messages you’re playing on rewind in your brain.
I wonder about the person who wrote the nursery rhyme, “Humpty Dumpty.” What do you suppose was going on in his life that prompted him to write a riddle about a personified egg? An egg who fell down from sitting on a wall, broke into pieces, and couldn’t get himself back together again.
(Although nothing in the rhyme states that Humpty was an egg, I’ve never seen a picture of a stalk of broccoli sitting on the wall. The egg thing works for me.)
Then there’s Jack and Jill. They were simply walking up a hill to get a pail of water. But Jack fell down and banged up his head. Jill tumbled after him.
As a young girl, I didn’t notice that these jingles didn’t have happy endings. I’d hear the first lines of the rhymes and I would finish them without thinking about it. This hasn’t changed as I’ve become an older girl. These phrases are just a couple of the millions of tapes that cycle through the grey matter between my ears; familiar tapes I hear and recite with very little thought.
That brings me to another, “I wonder…?”
What other tapes or recitations move through my mind every day that I hear and process, but I don’t think about?
“I’ll never get it together.”
“I always mess up.”
“I’m so stupid.”
“It will never get better.”
Most of the time, we don’t even realize what we’re saying and listening to.
Think about this. God would never, ever, ever, ever say to you…
“You’ll never get it together. You’ll always mess up. You’re so stupid.”
He tells you that you are an incredible work of art. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are greatly loved. (Romans 5:8)
You are his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)
You are the apple of his eye. (Psalm 17:8)
(If I were really sitting next to you, we’d pull out The Good Book and look at those verses together. They are powerful. Maybe you’d like to read them on your own? They will change you.)
We can’t control the messages around us. But we can control the messages inside us.
You are too special, too lovely, too amazing to spend another moment using your own words to tell yourself un-truths.
Change the way you talk to yourself. The way you respond to your messy. Use the words God uses when He sees you as His forgiven, mercy-and-grace-filled daughter … a beautiful piece of art. Loved. A treasured possession. The apple of his eye.
Just think … If God had a fridge, your picture would be hanging on it.