Thursday, September 9, 2010

I am wrong - learning to challenge the lies I tell myself

Generally I would call myself a confident person. Overall I like myself, I live a life that I am happy with and I make decisions based on the information I have on hand. Yep if you asked me last week I would say that I am confident but then something happened that made me realise I wasn't so confident after all..

So earlier this week I found myself in a not so pleasant situation which was very similar to a not so pleasant situation I was in last year (you know those moments when you do something not quite right and are supposed to learn a lesson but then you don't learn the lesson and 12 months later you find yourself in the same place re-learning the lesson you should have learnt the first time) and in despair I rang one of my girlfriends to freak out. I babbled on and on with the "Oh my gosh how did this happen/I'm doing it all again/I see it so clearly now" stuff that one says when they find themselves in such a situation when I muttered the words "I am wrong", along with something along the lines of "I was wrong then and I'm wrong now". My very wise friend stopped me mid babble and said "Wait what did you say?", to which I replied "I am wrong again" and then she said that life changing word "Why?".

What followed was a massive discussion during which I had the realisation that 12 or so months ago at the end of a messy situation I had announced to myself that I was wrong and had been wrong all along and that other people in my life had been right. What I didn't realise at the time was the impact that that announcement "I am wrong" would weave it's way into my spirit and dictate the way I lived my life for some time..

In this moment if I am honest with myself and look back over that the last 12 or so months, I can pinpoint a number of decisions that I have made from the starting point of "I am wrong". I can see myself people pleasing and asking opinions of others when I know what I should do. I can see myself second guessing what I know in my heart. I find it extraordinary that something I said to myself in the heat of the moment could change so dramatically the way I felt about myself and my life but from little decisions to big ones I can see how those three words have shaped my life. 

The irony of the entire situation is that I wasn't wrong at all, the decision I made at the time was exactly the decision I needed to make and that the choices I made leading up to that decision (which were based on trusting myself and not what others were saying), those choices were exactly the right choices for both me and my partner at the time. So this life changing self-talk of "I am wrong" which changed the course of my life was said in the heat of the moment about a situation where I wasn't wrong at all!

Ever since we had the discussion I have been very conscious about examining the things that I say both out loud and in my head and whenever that "I am wrong" thought underlines something I am making a conscious effort to question it. The frequency of how much I have had to challenge myself this week has shown me just how deeply that innocent comment has shaped my life and it hasn't stopped there.

I then had the pleasure of facilitating a small group for the evening college at my church last night (as I do every Wednesday night) and the topic we were discussing was the strongholds of our minds. The very first question challenged us to write down the negative thoughts we have about ourselves and then examine and challenge these thoughts. As we discussed and worked through some of the negative thoughts we had about ourselves as a group last night, I realised how many of us have said harmless little comments to ourselves which have then shaped our lives.

My prayer for us is that this week is that we listen to ourselves, we pay attention to the way we speak to ourselves and about ourselves keeping an eye out for the innocent little lies that we tell ourselves. When we discover those lies I pray that we look at where they came from, recognise them for what they are and replace them with truths about who we really are. Much love xo

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