Friday, May 02, 2008

Never too old to reshape the mind

On my way home from work yesterday, I got into that destructive type of thinking we all tend to do. My thoughts usually go like this: "I suck. Nothing good will ever happen. I'm not a good teacher. I'm not a good daughter. I'm not good enough for anyone. I'm of no use to anyone. I'm tired of being fat. I'm tired of being alone." Blah, blah, blah. It gets tiring. It bugs me. (Luckily, not entirely the focus of this post, either.)

I'm not a purely pessimistic person. However, like most people, I have the most useless thoughts about myself. I usually follow up all of those thoughts with, "God is in control and he knows my needs, wants, and desires. He is the author and finisher of everything, and He ain't done yet...lots left to do." I truly believe what I tell myself, too. I've seen too much evidence to prove those thoughts true.

But, those thoughts find their way into my mind. I hate when I have those highly negative moments (usually on my drive to or from work). I know they are not productive and are not worthwhile. Aside from the stuff of my formative years that I know creeps in, from what pit do those thoughts form?

So, after another drive home of basically telling myself that I'm crap, I heard something that gave me a moment of, "What am I doing to myself": I was just about to turn off my car when a commercial for plastic surgery came on the radio. It had a man talking about how he was glad his wife had plastic surgery because she now exuded that, "Confidence [he] fell in love with."

My first reaction was to call the guy a word I won't use in this post. But, I also started to wonder what it is about other people (besides our wanting to please others) that makes us take their word, beliefs, or judgment about us as something that is "expert" opinion.

Really. Aren't those that judge or place worth on us experiencing their own insecurities and lapses in perfection? Who are they? Have you met a perfect person? I haven't.

Why do we allow others to determine our self-worth? We know ourselves best. Shouldn't we just surround ourselves with people who encourage our best and allow us to be ourselves? I'm not talking about "yes-men" and people to whom accountability is a foreign word. I mean people who see our good qualities and encourage those areas. People who will not look at the negative, but inspire the positive.

Imagine that for a minute. People accepting you as you are based on your attributes, realizing the more you are encouraged and loved, the good stuff will supercede the imperfections and maybe, just maybe the "rough" spots will be worked on in a successful manner because someone wasn't in your ear saying, "You suck." Imagine having acceptance while you work on yourself---not making yourself "perfect" in someone else's eyes before you are accepted. (Better yet, imagine being that person to someone.)

No matter our age and no matter what others think, we have so much potential. It is funny how we never realize it.

Luckily for me, God realizes it and kicks me in the butt with these kinds of thoughts to replace the negative, unproductive thoughts.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."


Noddy said...

To us Jox, the thistle is not just a prickly weed. There is beauty in all God's creations and a purpose for all.

RT said...

How appropriate that I chose the thistle, eh?

Thanks for the link. I never knew that about the importance of the prickly beauty. :)