A Monday Confession
Please see the end of my blog about turning your negative self speak into positive. But first, read on to hear my struggle with perfection and feeling loved.
I have a confession to make. Brace yourself, it’s a big one. You may not believe it. But, I promise it’s 100% honest truth. You ready?
My life is not perfect.
Phew, I’m glad I got that off my chest. I’ve been trying. I mean look at my Facebook. I have a beautiful family. I never post a picture of myself without a smile. I have a wonderful, helpful, supportive amazingly attractive husband (and no he didn’t pay me to say that but I do have my eye on this necklace…). I have great parents. Fun siblings (have you seen my brother’s posts about my couch bed/living room decor? Because, that probably deserves its own blog). And, loving inlaws. I have a nice, comfortable house that’s sometimes clean (I try). I have friends- lots of them- heck I think I’m in the 300s and that’s not even every single person I ever once waved to across Target (close though).
But, guess what? I’m not always happy every single solitary moment. I’m not always patient. My voice is not always soft and inviting. I don’t always say the right things in social settings. My relationships are not all smoothe and easy (in fact I would say most are not- shout out Annie for staying friends with me even when I’m being a jerk- almost 20 years of friendship- I guess it’s bound to happen once in a while). I’ve struggled with my weight. I’ve struggled with feelings of self worth. I’ve been the target of rumors. I’ve been cast off by friends. I guess what I’m trying to say is that *I* am not perfect.
Let’s say that again. I, as a person, am not perfect. I make mistakes. I do things or say things that sometimes make it hard for others to like me much less love me. I struggle.
My guess is that you (yes, *you*- one of my two regular readers;) are not perfect either. Isn’t it a relief? To know that you are not alone. Sometimes, it’s easy to think, “I am the worst person in the world. I am the only one who does this or feels this way.” But, that is not truth. Those feelings do not come from God and I will not wallow in them. However, I am coming to embrace my imperfections, because that’s what makes me me.
I will apologize to you 18 times if I inadvertently give you the stomach flu (seriously, I’m sorry guys- like all of you. I feel like that was karma for all my avoidance of puky people for the past two years). I will probably apologize to you four weeks later about something I said or did that you didn’t even notice but has been plaguing me. I will sometimes assume that you know how I’m feeling even when I don’t tell you (this is a focus for self improvement currently). I will worry that you’re mad at me if you haven’t texted me back in a couple days because- well, you know, you don’t have a life. Beyond all that, I will try to be there for you, always.
But, sometimes, I need you to be there for me too. Sometimes, I need to say “I’m hurting” and it doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter if it was you or something else or quite frankly nothing. In those moments, all I need is for you to stand there and say “you aren’t perfect, but I love you anyway.”
Note to reader: if you’re like me you probably beat yourself up 20 times a day (maybe more like 1,000). Negative self talk comes naturally and it’s a hard habit to break. I wrote this blog post a while ago but then didn’t have time to post it. I couldn’t think of what picture went with this until I did the following exercise and I suggest you do it too. Draw yourself. Start at the top and label everything you see wrong physically or emotionally. Be as kind as you are in your head (read not very). Label it how you see yourself. Now, draw yourself again. Look at all the negative words you wrote and replace them with positive ones. Whenever you want to tell yourself you’re useless, unloved, hateful, ugly, unwanted, (I could go on, I’m really good at this whole negativity thing), look at your list. Remind yourself, you are worthy, loveable, good, wanted, and most importantly created by God. He loves you and He wants you to love others *and* yourself.
This is an amazing post! I’m going to read it every time I have a bad day. And I always love you anyway!! 😀
Aww thank you Becca! I love you too! You’re always such a breath of fresh air for me ❤️
From the perspective of seven decades (and having hung black crepe for numerous pity parties), I think one of the reasons we all spend so much time beating ourselves up is that we think about ourselves too much. We’re all narcissists from the moment we’re born and begin demanding to be fed, burped, changed, held, rocked, etc. When we are thinking too much about ourselves, a good antidote is to do something for someone else.
I had a friend who called me frequently while I was battling cancer. He was battling depression. His way of dealing it was to call and encourage me and see how I was doing. He died years ago and I still remember his kindness. (Thanks, Don!)
Next time you or I have a bad day let’s do something for somebody else: visit a nursing home, stop and make a visit to Jesus in the tabernacle to pray for somebody in need, call a suffering relative, or just go out and pull weeds. I think that’s the best way to turn a bad day into a good one.
I’m just sorry it took me so many years to figure it out. I could have had a weed-free garden years ago.
I think that’s very true. One of the things that comforts me (and I think maybe even that feels self involved to write but what can ya do?) is to pray for other people. When I’m having trouble sleeping, I go through my list of family and friends and all the things I’m praying for them for. I also find comfort in praying for people I have difficult relationships with. I like to both pray for them and pray for myself to feel kindness and let go of hurt and negativity. That said, I think it’s natural to have negative self speak. Maybe born from narcissism but also from the social media perfect life lens. Everyone posts all their happy, all their perfect, and all their good on social media. Sometimes we share our hard but very rarely do we share the ugly. Even knowing this, sometimes I see someone else and think “huh, why am I not that happy?” Or “that good a mother?” Or whatever. So, when I’m feeling down I feel like going out and encouraging someone else or sharing my struggle helps too.
Love this so much Jamie. Thank you for being so honest and transparent. I really struggle with negative self-talk too, but it’s a work in progress!
Thank you! I figure there’s always room for improvement so we just gotta keep on trying and replacing those bad words with positive words. I’ll encourage you if you encourage me ❤️
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