3/24 What are the areas you most beat yourself up in? Why?
Occasionally I become aware enough to take notice of the dialogue going on in my head. We all talk to ourselves, but most of us are so used to the conversation that we hardly stop to evaluate what is being said. As it turns out, I can be regrettably critical. I snap at myself, shake my head at myself, expect more of myself and stand back, arms folded, disappointed.
If you’re anything like me, you may beat yourself up most in the areas that are most important to you.
I hate to let people down and I beat myself up when I do. With three decades of being fully human under my belt, you might think I could embrace the idea that there is someone I will let down every day. I do. I fail to meet expectations, I mess up, I under-deliver and I disappoint. In those spaces, the words I speak to myself are so nasty.
I love people. Especially my people. When I let them down, I experience shame. If you beat yourself up in a specific area, chances are you’re experiencing shame too. Shame makes us want to hide. Instead of saying “I made a mistake” shame redirects failure to say “Maybe I am the mistake.” Shame is sneaky and festers in our inner-thoughts: thoughts that run rampant for years without any sense of identification.
At the end of the day, I beat myself up over letting people down because the poignant motivation of my flesh is to please people- always. I beat myself up and experience shame because I allow the shiny, impossible hope of human approval to become my aim in life. This happens ever so subtly. When it does, I am torn down. Limb by limb.
If my focus shifts from living in the pre-approved, undeserved love of God to living in the score-keeping, plate-spinning love of others I will live a life of failure that leads to shame and bondage.
If I fix my eyes on Jesus, I will still live a life of failure but this time it will lead to acceptance and freedom because I am expected to let people down. I’m human. It will happen.
Jesus and his perfection makes the imperfect parts of me worth showcasing, not hiding. Shame has no place when He is on the scene. This is good news. The best there is.
What about you? Where do you beat yourself up? Take an evaluation of your inner-thoughts today. Detecting these words will do wonders in the ways we can grow this year.