A little over a year ago I had a “break-up” with a best friend. Is there any break-up worse than that really? I mean I honestly haven’t experienced anything close to it. I’m not going to give all of the details because I think some things should remain private, but in a nutshell – my really good friend had expressed disappointment in me. In response, I very quickly got defensive and then I acted out of character. I spoke out of anger, without taking the time to give true intentional thought to the consequences of my words and how they would be received. I lost my best friend that day.
Naturally there is a roller coaster of emotions, but I was overwhelmed with the thought, I am a terrible friend. And that was hard to overcome. I had always been the friend that you could count on. You could ask me for absolutely anything at all and know without a doubt that I was there for you. I’m a ride or die friend. That’s a part of who I am. But in the time following this event, a part of my identity was crushed.
I let all of my sacrifice and all of my good doings for others fall to the wayside. Forget about every other moment of friendship in my entire lifetime, this moment determined it all. I am a terrible terrible friend. Haven’t we all been there at some point? We forget about all of our good qualities, and start to label ourselves based on our weakest moments. It’s almost like when you have 100 people telling you that you’re doing a great job, and then as soon as one person makes a snarky comment, you immediately start to doubt your view of yourself. Don’t let that one person be YOU.
None of us would be okay with other people telling lies about us, so why do we place these lies upon ourselves? We forfeit the ability to be our best selves when we simply give in to our own lies.
Before I started writing this I asked on my Instagram “What are some of the lies that you believe about yourself?” The response that I got truly broke my heart.
“I am not enough”
“I am a burden to my loved ones.”
“As a stay at home mom, I don’t contribute to help support my family.”
“I am not a good mother.”
“My friendship is a burden to others.”
“I have no true purpose.”
“Taking time for myself makes me a bad mom.”
“I equate my self worth to my physical beauty.”
“I am too far gone.”
When we think these things about ourselves, it can seem harmless. But.. when you stop and think about it, would you ever place put these harsh judgments on somebody else? The answer is likely NO. We tend to be way harder on ourselves than we would ever be with others. What we need in these moments is the same grace that we give to those we love.
GRACE means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose, instead of serving shame.
The important thing is that we recognize these thoughts as lies
Sometimes when we’re stuck in a lie, it can be so hard to see outside of it. We feel defined by such a small perception of who we are. I’ve had times in my life where the second I had a moment that I perceived as a “failure”, I was SO quick to label myself a failure. As if my entire being was defined by that one moment in time. The truth is, failure is an event, a moment – not who you are. It’s easy to let those voices creep in and skew your perception of the value that you are truly bringing. But the truth is YOU are not your weakest moments.
Identity Reminders Found In Christ:
– You were created with purpose
– You are not alone
– You are forgiven
– You are loved
– You are accepted
– You are enough
When we label ourselves outside of truth, we lose our identity. We ALL have flaws, but it’s important to not dwell on them. I’m a huge advocate for self-growth and personal development. YES, acknowledge the areas that you need to work on, absolutely. Just please, don’t use them against yourself. When you remind yourself that you are much more than your flaws, you are able to tackle them with true intention. So where do you go from there?
Replace the Voice of Accusation with AFFIRMATION
My pastor once said “When you have a negative thought, you need to capture it and examine it. And then.. throw it out and replace it with a GOOD and positive thought.” Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, focus on your small successes. That moment you chose not to yell and be patient. The time you spent making sure someone else was taken care of. The thing you really wanted to say to the super rude cashier, but decided it would be better not to. Change happens you focus on little successes and give yourself some credit for the value that you bring. What are some of the good qualities that you have that you can focus on instead?
There are times where I’ve felt like a bad mom, a bad wife, and a bad friend. I’ve guilt tripped myself about not spending enough time playing with my kids. I snapped at them when they didn’t deserve it. Sometimes (okay, probably most days) they watch way too much TV. Or my husband came home and the house was a mess. I took 5 days to respond to a text from a friend. I feel guilty for not doing this or that enough. I doubt myself for merely being human.
So what if instead of doubting ourselves, we began to doubt our own doubts? What if we acknowledged our lies for what they are? These thoughts are real feelings, but they are not your truth.
If you take away one thing from this post, I want it to be this:
As much as we convince ourselves that other people have it all figured out better than we do, they don’t. I know it’s cliche to say that “nobody is perfect” but truly allowing that into my life has drastically changed how I view myself. I cannot expect that I am always going to make the right decision at the right time. We cannot live our lives chasing an idealistic version of ourselves. The best that we can do is make little changes along the way based on what we’ve learned and what we’ve experienced.
Your mistakes DON’T define you. Failure can still be a step forward if you allow it to teach you, and just because it’s a part of your story, doesn’t mean it’s who you are. There is opportunity in each day to be one step closer to the person that you want to be. And you don’t have to be hard on yourself in order to achieve that.
It’s the little choices that you make every day that become who you are.
As someone who is passionate about self-worth and self-growth, I have decided to start a series entitled ” A letter to the girl.” This is where I will be addressing individual lies of those who reach out to me. If you are interested in reading into those, I will leave the page below. If you have a specific topic that you would like me to cover in more detail (kept anonymous of course) you can always reach out to me via Instagram DMs!
Thank you so much for taking them time to read this. I truly hope there was something useful for you in this post!