SIMPLE TRUTHS ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
Have you ever been sitting in a meeting and listening to a speech or a sermon or a talk, and then you start feeling anxious because of what that person is talking about? For example, we were recently sitting in a church service and the pastor mentioned that his wife was doing a sugar fast. That was it. It was just a reference and a note in his sermon, but I heard it and began to judge and think and wonder, until when I left the service I felt this sense of shame or guilt about eating sugar!
Where in the world did that come from?
I think we all do that. We read an article about how this couple or that family or that woman lost 50 pounds, or got rid of all debt in six months, or reorganized her entire pantry on a budget of $50 or any number of amazing stories. And if those accomplishments are in areas where we want to succeed, we close the magazine, turn off the laptop or walk away from the gathering feeling this burden or weight of not meeting up to some sort of standard…
A standard that is not ours to meet!
When I first had my kids and I met with other moms, they talked of what their babies were learning, how their nurseries were so bright and cheerful, and how they were moving into houses with big playrooms, and more.
photo courtesy of Doug Gephardt
And I felt it then – that sense of being “less than.” Yet no one made me feel that way. It was my own stinking thinking. It was my own sense of hearing and then valuing someone’s achievements above my own, and then carrying guilt for not measuring up.
What a crock of lies!
We know better, but we still do it, and we still exit a group or hang up from a call or return back home from a visit, and feel depressed because her house is all new and fresh, and we have cracks in our walls. We see her new wardrobe and all of a sudden our closet seems out of date, and we feel ugly and old. And we hear a talk about someone not eating sugar and all of a sudden we see a little devil on our shoulder shaking his finger at us, because we’re not performing the same resolutions as she is.
It’s time to stop the nonsense…
It’s always good to hear and consider what others are doing, and try new things IF they apply to our lives, and IF it’s a good fit for us. But it’s never good to feel guilt or take on the burden of trying to be like others just because some sort of guilt creeps over us like the blob (did you ever see that old movie?) The blob, in the old black and white film The Blob, slowly crept over the town…from who knows where?
I believe we women are attacked the most in our identity, and it stifles us from being who we really are and from shining in the light where we’re supposed to stand! I’m not addicted to sugar, not even a fan of cake and pie, and sugar hasn’t ever been an issue for me. So for me to hear that reference, and leave feeling badly, was purely just a blob of craziness that I easily discarded in a few minutes flat.
Learn to recognize what’s yours to ponder and what’s yours to kick aside. Most of the time, if our burden is guilt fueling our thoughts – it’s a burden we can gladly lay aside.
What have you been listening to or observing or hearing that has caused you feelings of depression, anxiety and not feeling your best? Quit listening to that. And lean in to who YOU are, in all of your uniqueness. Listen to HIM for changes this year. He won’t heap on guilt, but rather offer you a drink of what He pours for you, and not what’s left over on the table by the person before you…