When we’re learning to do new things, it can feel pretty terrible if we’re self-judging. Recently I’ve laughed a lot at the reality that my stress tolerance and BS meter has dropped to a new record low. I have a need to live life clearly communicated to the point where there’s as little stress as possible. Over-communication is my best friend right now. I’m missing a really important hormone that makes a lot of magic happen, and without it life is
I am a person that can (mostly) walk in a straight line and I rarely fall, until I’m holding red wine. Before I take a sip, every time this year I’ve tried to enjoy some it’s fallen, I’ve fallen, and we’ve painted the bathroom/stairs/white carpet SCARLET. I’ve spent more than an hour scrubbing the rooms in my house this year. 😮
Tonight, red wine again met a wall and white carpet, and I angry froze. I LOVE having self control and peace in stressful situations, so in these moments where my gut reaction is a bit like a monster in a horror movie, I needed…grace.
Everyday I’m finding more situations where I need grace. On the daily I’ll make seemingly innocuous food choices that immediately crash my energy and make me REALLY not be able to handle stress. Or challenges. And I live with people. Life is full of SO MANY people. I live a lot of life right now with my mouth sealed shut and I speak in short sentences in order to not be let my exhaustion spiral into an emotional showdown with whatever family member happens to be nearby.
And tonight I decided to celebrate the words I didn’t say.
I can choose to get discouraged that I instinctively speak more like a sailor right now than a Proverbs 31 whatever, or I can choose to let myself be loved and celebrate the self-control I currently have!
Today I didn’t flip out and yell when everything in me was like “JUST YELLL!” Today I managed my exhaustion and just zipped my lips. Today I didn’t act like a jerk in hard situations, and there were no casualties. That is worth a major celebration!!!
When I don’t have resources left, when most days are the hard part of the flu energy level, not making a big mess is something to celebrate! Giving yourself some credit.
You’ve never done today before.
When I judge myself in weakness, I erase the opportunity for forward progress to be anything but equally judgmental and painful. When you judge yourself, performance is king, and no performance will ever be enough. When I love myself in weakness and celebrate what’s actually going well, I’ll actually want to continue that process.
When I let Jesus teach me how to see myself and situations,I find He’s way nicer than performance. God made us Jesus-level loved, righteous, and free, and we can’t really talk Him out of seeing us that way. When I agree with His view of me on my worst day, that for me is humility. Choosing to believe the world’s most honest person’s view of you when you’re feeling the complete opposite is the most humbling thing. It’s alarmingly, “is this okay?” wonderful.
Punishment never brings the change it’s iron rod swears by. I grew up believing punishment was the answer, so to me love looked like a limp-wristed, ineffectual consoling tactic.
But love isn’t passive. Love is mighty, fierce, and wild. Maybe what we’ve seen of love has been passivity. Maybe what we’ve been handed in our weakest moments wasn’t love, but an off-brand substitute.
I’ve been on a journey of letting love in where there has only been shame and judgment. This looked like letting myself be seen in some of my weakest places and letting people love me there. This looks like letting Jesus see me when I’d really rather hide until I can get my business together. This has been disarming, uncomfortable, and glorious.
It’s looked like getting to the heart of things.
As humans we can tell ourselves what to do. We can produce behavior for awhile. I’m a very disciplined person so this is natural for me. For most of my life I had been producing behaviors that I thought were good, but I didn’t really think I was good. I could take pure actions, but kept running into the fact that I didn’t actually think I was pure. My idea of who I was and why needed a run-in with the world’s greatest and most loving truth-teller…and that’s not a pain-free experience.
What you do flows out of who you believe you are, and when I believe incorrectly I will spend my time trying to hide by producing behavior.
For instance, this past year I believed I was a mean person. I was in some tough situations (see hormone problems, add challenging relationships) that made it really hard for me to think otherwise. I would act of out of this belief, and when I would get around people who I didn’t think would like mean me, I would act. This is freaking exhausting.
I actually never was a mean person, but I believed it, I acted out of it, and that bad belief created shame and self-judgment. When I let God tell me who I really was, a kind and VERY exhausted person in a hard situation, healing could happen. When I accepted His word as truth, I could finally stop acting and start being. It’s SO much easier to be.
Negative self-judgment has been knee-capping us from day 1. Love has always been it’s opposite, and love always tells the truth.
And let me tell you love isn’t a limp-wristed, ‘thanks for trying’ pat on the back. Love actually is powerful enough to be the force of change. Because at the core of your problems there’s fear, there’s pain, and there’s bad beliefs that have been waiting for the day they could come up for air and meet Love himself. We can talk ourselves into acting kind, or we can let Mr. Kind show us kindness. I’m continually startled that when I let God see me afraid and in pain, after He’s loved me as I’ve processed the hell out of everything, there’s connection and peace. Occasionally there’s answers, but more than that, there’s a friend.
Your little victories aren’t so little, they’re momentum for greatness. You caught your mean internal monologue and shut it down? THAT’S AMAZING. Seriously!! The people who are the kindest to themselves started there. Your steps are creating a momentum that’s going to change your life.
You called someone on a really bad day instead of hiding in it alone? STOP IT! You’re the best! Way to be seen!
There will always be something we can be doing better, but what if we turned the volume on that knob down completely? Because when we get loved by the Kind God, we really, really can.