Acceptance, empathy, and tolerance: the attributes of truth and love we strive to extend to the people around us. It's beautiful to be the voice of reason for everyone, but why are so many of us struggling to tackle the negative self talk and damaging words we tell ourselves? Our tone of voice, level of understanding, and ease of forgiveness tends to diminish whenever we are facing and addressing the person in the mirror. It’s imperative we speak truth and stop giving life to the terrible lies we tell ourselves.
That’s it. It’s the end. There is definitely no coming back from this one. People talk about the storms of life all the time, but we struggle with times that feel like hurricane season. We all meet this point in our lives whenever everything seems to be slipping through our grasp, it's one issue after the other, or a bad situation seems to just drag on. It only seems fitting to throw in the towel. Seeing that we are infamous for overloading ourselves with what ifs, maybe we should add variations to the bunch.
What if all of this is working together to align and prune me for my purpose? What if God is permitting this low season to stay so long in an effort to chastise me and do His work behind the scenes? If we learn to look at things from a growth mindset instead of a victim mindset, it will not only let us walk away with confidence in our lessons, but also help us find gratitude in the growth that took place. The longer the suffering, the more the lesson sticks and the less likely we are to return to such struggles in the future. We will smile, laugh, and feel normal again, but first we have to experience this.
It was those obnoxious bullies that made us insecure, mind games our exes played on us that made us waste those youthful years of our lives, and our children that ruined our social lives. If it wasn’t for this person, this setback, or this mistake, our lives would be perfect and everything would be wonderful. We’ve all done it: blaming others for our shortcomings, failures, and brokenness. However, if we have this type of mentality, it’s time we understand that the problem isn’t in everyone else. The problem is within ourselves.
We blame others for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes we can’t accept reality as it is, we don’t want to take responsibility, we’re panicked, or we let the fear do the talking for us. It's happened to the best of us but if we matured since that point, we likely lived to regret it. When we live to blame, we inadvertently stunt our growth or ability to overcome. We will never win as long as we play the blame game because the first step of healing is always acceptance. After we accept and go through the other emotions necessary to deal with or understand our experiences, then can we forgive and move on without the weight.
If people knew how I really felt about this, they wouldn’t understand me. If people knew I did or said this, they wouldn’t love me or deem me worthy. If people knew the battles I’ve been facing, they wouldn’t want to be around me anymore. Life Lesson: if that’s how our friends or family would react, then that’s only validation that they are not our people and their perspective and opinions are not our problem. If someone is for you, they are for you. Period. The realest and hardest truth is not everyone is for us, and not everyone should be. A true friend may not agree with you, but they will seek to correct you, guide you, love you, protect you, and genuinely want the best for you.
But I said this, I did that, I used to think this way are phrases that hold us hostage to our hindsight. There are so many of us missing out on our callings, blessings, and opportunities because we are looking at ourselves and our lives as damaged goods. If we learned from it and allowed it to be used to stimulate our growth and levels of empathy then why should we still paralyzed by it? We had to do, say, think, and cry or boast about everything we did in the past to be the people we are today.
Take a step back and acknowledge that everything being said is past tense and it is past tense for a reason. We aren't those people. We have learned, grown, and gained much needed insight since then. Instead of looking back and dwelling at how lost or low we once were, let’s be proud and celebrate just how far we’ve come.
I'm not smart enough to get the job. I'm not pretty enough for anyone to ever want me. I'm not strong enough to overcome this. We think we aren’t capable enough to succeed but somehow are predestined to fail. Who needs bullies when we take on the role as our own worst enemy? We truly believe the horrible and cruel things we tell ourselves when the voices of fear, insecurity, or naivety creep in but fail to realize that it is all in our heads.
Many of the times we count as failures were actually situations where we killed our chances of succeeding or tapping into our truest potential because we took ourselves out of the race before it even began. We will never succeed or level up if we don't try. There will always be people that possess strengths, but that doesn't mean we don't have some of our own. We are strong, capable, beautiful, and worthy enough to do whatever we want. We just have to get out of our own way.
We need to start giving ourselves all of patience, energy, and love we offer to the world around us. It's time we honor our progress, make peace with our pasts, invest in our futures, and enjoy the present. We can't control the world around us but we can control how we talk to ourselves. Everything begins and ends in our mind. Feed it truth, feed it life, and feed it hope.