At the beginning of my therapy, I was asked, “What do you like about yourself?” That. Was. Laughable. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” I told her. That was a year and a half ago that I was asked, but in all honesty, I could’ve been asked the same question at any point in my growing up and I would’ve probably said the same thing. I have never thought of myself as attractive or talented or highly intelligent, and to that day of the posed question, that self-image followed me from childhood into current stage of adulthood.
Can I be Real with You? (3 secrets . . .)
In case you haven’t climbed the high walls with barbed wire on top to jump down into the field of my life to see the real me, can I be vulnerable and share a bit about myself? (If for no other reason, for this post; it is therapeutic for me . . . so indulge me, if you will).
- I have an ultra-sensitive side. I get my feelings hurt easily. (To some, I present a hard shell, but it’s simply a defense strategy so I can better prepare for the incoming hurt). My friendships from childhood have been ones where I have ended up giving more than the other person and I’ve been left wondering what I could have done differently. I also don’t like to feel excluded from a group of people who claim to be my friends. That is one of the worst feelings–to be left out or forgotten.
- I am a people-pleaser. Because of my friendships in the past and because of not feeling adequate in many areas of my life, I will do about anything I can to appease those in my life.
- My negative self-talk has a personality of its own. Hence, the purpose of this writing; I use this platform to share some secrets into my (believe-it-or-not) introverted self. I need to re-train my brain to take in positive thoughts over the negative tapes that play on repeat in my mind.
(I’m fairly certain that the bullets above–literally and figuratively–are extensions of my self-image and assumptions/inferences I’ve made as a result of the shame I’ve felt from my past . . . and I want to believe I CAN change the thoughts that swirl above).
These three were “easy” for me to confess. They live inside my head and have taken up permanent residence there. But today? Today, the landlord is knocking on their door to evict them. (I don’t plan on this move being easy . . . and know full well that the U-haul truck will have to come back for more than one trip.)
I heard once that it takes 10 “atta boys” to offset 1 criticism. Another researcher claims that 5-1 works just as well. Well, I’m not sure I can come up with 10-1 or even 5-1 “atta boys” for myself, since I’m a work-in-progress, but I can resolve to identify 10 truths in the construction zone of the re-building of my inner thoughts.
The Real Me (10 truths . . .)
- I am trustworthy. If you ask me to keep something in confidence, I am a vault to a fault.
- I am a good listener. Even though I do like talking, I will listen to anyone who has a need–and will listen with no agenda.
- I care for other people (often at the expense of my own self-care, so I have to learn balance). One of my friends/colleagues once said in such a loving and honest way, “You are great at taking care of everybody else, but you suck at taking care of yourself. You need time for YOU.” Such truth here.
- I genuinely encourage others. If I say I like something, I tell you and I mean it. I want others to see the value in themselves.
- I would like to believe I’m creative, whether it’s in my clothing choices or my teaching or in my writing.
- I give great hugs. No seriously. I do. Skill level: Expert.
- I pray. Often. If I say I’m going to pray for you, I don’t give idle lip service. I actually pray specifically for you.
- I want to be used by God. I want others to know they don’t have to live in shame. My desire is that my writing and my testimony will fulfill this urge to help others.
- I am a daughter of the most high King. Jesus loves me as I am, warts and all. He finds me beautiful and worth giving His life for.
- I’m learning to discern and listen for God’s voice. Each day, I pray and listen for a focus word from God. Today, the word was “Resignation”, as in resigning my will to His in all areas of my life.
There you have it. Ten truths I’m claiming to offset the negative thoughts that intrude and invade my thinking. I pray you find encouragement and words to inspire you to find the good in you. YOU DESERVE IT! God created you in His image and YOU deserve His undying love and unconditional acceptance. Yes, you!
What do YOU like about yourself? Say it. Claim it. Believe it.
Just do it. I believe in you!
*Author’s note: My name is Phoenix. I’m just a simple gal living a simple life for God. I’m a wife, mom, teacher, and writer/blogger. I want to let you know how humbled I am that you found my blog and chose to read the words God has given me this day. If you find this, or any other of these writings helpful or encouraging to you or someone you know, please feel free to share with your community/social media/e-mail, etc. I am willing to be used by God and welcome your extension of grace and encouragement.
Blessings to you all. I will rise . . .