I attended a meeting this morning where we were asked to examine the questions, “Why am I doing what I’m doing? What outcome am I looking for?” It was specifically about our weight loss journey and to be used as an inspirational exercise to help us see and achieve our goals. It was about taking the negative talk and turning it into positive.
HB and I have made a big lifestyle change in healthier eating and we’re experiencing success in these changes. I am feeling better than I have in years – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – and I’m losing weight, so I didn’t struggle much with the answers to these questions in this particular area. I’m understanding more and more, each day, why I’m doing what I’m doing and beginning to experience the positive outcomes of my choices.
However, as everyone was sitting there talking and sharing, my brain began to take off on one of its rabbit trails. (Seriously…if people could view the inside of my brain, I think they’d be amazed…or maybe concerned; the wheels are always in motion. Always!)
I could have laughed out loud (but I didn’t) because I already ask myself these questions more often than I care to admit and when asked, the questions usually have a condescending tone. I began to think about other areas of my life where these questions have come into play, like; work, writing, my role as a wife, a mom, a friend…
Sometimes I feel so confident in what I’m doing, but other times, it’s as if I have this critical voice inside of me that is always waiting…and watching…ready to pounce at any given moment.
Because we have eyes in our heads, we’re always looking outward. While my eyes are pretty good at staying focused on the beauty around me, they can sometimes get caught in the trap of looking at everyone else and playing the comparison game. I have facilitated women’s groups for years, and I see it all the time; these amazing women, who have amazing qualities…comparing themselves to someone else that they see as being so much better than they are. Instead of accepting who they are – and are not – they fall into this negative little world. As a wife and mom of four strapping young men, I know that this is true for men as well.
But again, even as an extreme optimist, I can fall prey to this type of attack on myself – and this is what I hear in those moments…
“Why are you even doing this?”
“You look and sound ridiculous.”
“You are not as good as you think you are.”
“People think you are weird.”
“You are not qualified for this.”
…and I’m guilty of allowing these words to hold me back from doing things that I feel passionate about; things that I know my heart is calling for me to move forward on. But, I hear these words and I freeze.
So how should I respond to these attacks that try to control me? How do I stop giving in and retreating back to my little comfort place where I feel safe? I know who I am at the very depth of my heart…what is true – and these lies keep me from venturing down the path I’m supposed to be on.
I respond by saying…
“Because I want to be the very best that I can be with all that I have been given. I want to live life to its very fullest – my life! – and embrace my own unique set of skills and gifts, as well as, my quirks and flaws. I have wisdom from all of the paths I’ve wandered down and I’m passionate about encouraging others on theirs. Because I have longings at the very depths of my heart that are meant for me to accomplish – no one else but me – regardless of what anyone else says or thinks. Because no one can compare to me – or, I to them – so I will live in the freedom of being me. Because God doesn’t call the qualified…He qualifies the called.”
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~Psalms 139:14
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10
Friends – there’s a life for you to be living out there…
That only you can live.