When things go wrong and the world seems to fall off its axis, what do you tell yourself? Do you look in the mirror and think if you were younger, thinner, or prettier, you’d be more lovable? Do you think if you were smarter, stronger, or funnier, you wouldn’t be in this position?
If you’ve ever spoken to yourself in this way, the message you’re selling yourself is the clearly “You’re not good enough!”
Shouldering blame this way is neither healthy nor productive. This is especially true when wounds are raw and you are still processing pain.
There will come a point when, in order to free yourself of the past and avoid repeating mistakes in the future, you should look back at your mistakes and consider how you could have avoided or corrected them. Self reflection is essential to moving on, but timing that self reflection correctly is also essential.
The best time for self critique and looking back is not at the beginning of your journey when you’re still finding your path. At that point, you need to look ahead and focus all your energy on moving forward in God’s plan.
How Important is What You Say to Yourself?
In marketing there is something called the Rule of Seven. The Rule of Seven says that a potential client will need to hear your message seven times before she buys into it.
Think of the messages you’ve marketed to yourself. Think of how many times you’ve said something negative about yourself to yourself. Think of how many times you’ve said something negative about yourself to someone else. Think of how many times you’ve thought something negative about yourself, but it was too painful to voice aloud.
“I’m not good enough.”
“He’d never want me like this.”
“I just can’t…”
“If only I were…”
Words we’d never tolerate from others become second nature when we’re alone. Messages that, if said by another would cause us to turn away, become blankets we wrap around ourselves behind closed doors. Looks of disgust that would shock others become the very same looks we see in the mirror when no one is around.
The Power of Love
Self assaults on are assaults on God’s creation of you. In Isaiah, God says He will never leave you or forsake you. God loves you infinitely and eternally just as you are, where you are, and in who you are. Does that mean He doesn’t want you to change for the better or draw closer to Him? No, but beating yourself up doesn’t improve you. It doesn’t draw you closer to the Lord. Speaking His language does.
What language does God speak? God speaks Love. In the two greatest Commandments, God calls us to speak the same to Him, to others, and to ourselves.
Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
~ Mark 12: 29-31
We know the power of love poured out on another, yet we are reluctant to pour real, meaningful, powerful love upon ourselves. Loving oneself is not prideful or self-centered. Real, honest self love means honoring God’s creation of you as made in His image and likeness.
God is Love. Love needs nothing. God needs nothing. He didn’t need to create you, yet He brought you into existence because you are Lovable. He brought you into existence because you are worthy of being His child.
The fact that you are lovable proves you can handle what life presents you. It doesn’t mean you will handle life perfectly or that you will understand Love perfectly. If you did, it would mean God had made you God.
Newsflash – You’re not God!
But you are Loved, Loving, and Worthy.
You don’t need to be perfect or understand. You need only to Love. Loving yourself begins with Loving God, leaning on Him, and talking up His creation of you.
You don’t need to market yourself to God, but you may need to market His creation of you to you.
How do you replace negative messages you’ve sold yourself?
Loving takes more effort than marketing, but the rewards are greater too! Forget the Rule of Seven. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus tells Peter we should forgive 70 x 7 times. If forgiving takes that much effort, how much more does building up and loving God’s creation of you? Can forgiveness and love exist separately?
How do you speak to yourself?
For help on learning to speak positively to yourself and marketing the value of you to you, subscribe to this week’s newsletter or contact me about Embracing Joy!