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Posts Tagged ‘self-worth’

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As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow stronger.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process.

The deception about trust is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. However, we become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants/needs in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Conflict and Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues.

They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang ups with trust?

What are your self-perceptions that hinder trust?

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As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow weaker.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process. The deception of the trust process is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. We become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues. They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang up with trust?

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The word “fail” holds so much weight in our hearts, minds, and down deep souls. The word fail represents so much in our culture and world. The weight of that word can ignite a negative thought process concerning our every day lives.

To experience “failure” or “failing” can cause one to spiral downward in doubt.  The affects of this word can look like questioning your ability, confidence, skills, and worth. This word can rock your self-esteem.

But is it supposed to?

Our world has enabled a skewed view of the word “fail.” This word has very negative connotations to it. Let’s be honest, no one likes being associated with that word. No one likes to “feel” like they failed or fell short of something.

The dictionary defines fail this way, “to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved.

There is nothing positive about this definition in reading it. I am learning that failure is a gift. Failure is not necessarily a reflection of my ability or skills. It is not even a reflection of my worth or who I am.

Failure is really redirection.

When we fail at something it is the gift of redirection. Failure says, “hey that thing you just tried, didn’t work so well. Try something else.”

Failing, or failure, is that nice red flag or tap on our shoulder telling us to examine our path. Failure is a gift to redirect our way back to where we are supposed to be. Failure is not meant to play the role of being a slam to your total self-esteem. Failure doesn’t define who you are. Failure plays the role of your path’s GPS.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how failure is defined by you.

How does failing affect you?

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So far we have tackled two out of the five stages of grief. Within the first two stages of the grieving process, denial and bargaining, there is little need to find an outlet. Both denial and bargaining do not require a lot of emotion, therefore these two stages might be easier to overlook in your process of grief. Now we are moving into stages that require and demand all your emotional attention.

The third stage in the grieving process is anger. It is hard to outrun your thoughts and emotions of anger. Not only are you aware you have entered into this stage, but a good bet is that everyone else around is aware as well. Anger is an emotional response as a result of a wrongdoing. Anger is that emotion that burns up within the deep parts of you. The one thing you can count on with anger is that it will find a way to release itself.

There are two responses in dealing with anger.

The first response is turning inward and using anger against yourself. One classic phrase of inward anger is, How could I have been so stupid?” When someone has hurt us, we can blame ourselves instead of the one who caused the hurt. Another way inward anger masks itself is by taking on too much responsibility for the wound. This response is most often chosen when the wounder does not take ownership of the wounds they inflicted.

I experienced inward anger many times after my father left. I often spent hours thinking through what I could have done differently to make him stay. I went through a gamut of thoughts: if I had been smarter, spent more time with him, talked with him more, etc. then he would not have chosen to leave. My father was not around to work through the conflict with me, nor was he claiming any of the blame for his choices. We often think that there has to be some explanation for what happened. If the wounder is not willing to take that ownership, we may take it on for them. The fact remains that my father chose to leave. This was not my fault.

Inward anger can be experienced silently and subtly. Inward anger can manifest itself in our beliefs about ourselves. Inward anger can lead to low self-esteem, dismissal of encouragement and compliments, always taking on too much responsibility for conflict, always thinking you are the problem in every scenario, harming yourself, and believing you are not or will never be enough.

Outward anger is hard to find a right outlet for. Outward anger can be hard to shake and is the hardest emotion to sit in. More often then not, the wrong people experience the wrath of our anger. Outward anger can be described as an unleashed beast. I am sure you have experienced being on the receiving end of anger so you know what I mean.

This is a hard stage to experience. I want to encourage you to watch how you respond in your grief. Ask yourself the questions:

  • How often do I blame myself?
  • How much responsibility do I take on in conflict?
  • What do I do when I get angry?

For those of you reading this who are saying, “but I don’t struggle with anger,” tomorrow we will look at what pure grief and sadness look like.

How do you struggle with inward or outward anger?

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Sometimes I just feel like I only have a voice shouting to God from a distance. Sometimes I just see through the lenses that are filled with wounds, scars, and sin. My jaded self-perception gets stuck on seeing the old me; the dirty and weighted down me. Sometimes I see a me that only seems to reflect the lies of being the “un-able.” Through those jaded lenses, I see a me that is un-lovable, un-ownable, and un-worthyable. Those are the “un-ables” in me.

I will admit that sometimes I only have the guts to yell out to God from a distance. I see the state of my heart and keep my distance. It’s in those times I have missed the reality of who Jesus really is.

Through reading the story of the Ten Leper’s, I see myself through the eyes of one.

Leper’s are the outcast and disgrace of a community. They are forced to live outside of the life and love of the “clean.” I find myself there so many times. My heart is messy.

One night, ten leper’s had a chance to connect with one who was not only clean, but one who could make them clean again. So they shouted from a distance, bringing the only thing left to bring, their voice. Jesus stopped, took time to meet them where they were. Jesus used his voice to make them well.

One man recognized his deep healing. One man recognized that Jesus’ voice made all things new in him. One man took that same voice used earlier from distance and knelt before Jesus. A voice redeemed. A shouting voice now spoke softly on it’s knees praising the salvation of a savior.

Jesus took one voice, who only knew worthiness only from a distance, and drew him close. Jesus only heard a voice of his beloved. Jesus only saw a man who was his child and worthy of healing.

I have been a voice begging and shouting from a distance. I have experienced times of only being able to see through fogged covered lenses. Jesus hears me, always, and invites me to himself. I have a choice to hear his voice and go on with my day, healed, but empty. I also have the choice to return to the voice of  my healer.

We have two choice: to either experience the healing or experience the healer.

Which will you choose?

Do you have the guts to call out?

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For the past week I have been wrestling with this nagging concept that I will call, “False Humility.” False humility is that response that looks like humility, may even sound like humility, but it is really insecurity. There is a fine line between the two. False humility is very subtle and often dismissed. I am having a hard time dismissing false humility in me.

I will admit that I am really bad at receiving compliments. I dismiss them even before the compliment is fully out of the person’s mouth. I am not a good receiver period, but more so with compliments. For me compliments highlight my insecurity. I respond out of that insecurity, but that response can also look like humility. It’s not. I think the lie behind false humility is that I think dismissing a compliment, or encouragement, makes me look humble. I can’t even say, “thank you” before I am justifying why I am not that compliment.

Choosing humility does not come at the price of my own self-worth. If I am responding in a way that dismisses my self-worth that is insecurity. Tearing myself down is not humility it is insecurity.

So what does “false humility” look like?

Here’s an example from my life. Let’s say someone compliments me on something I have done. They tell me that it’s really good. My immediate response is, “I could’ve done better. It’s not my best work. Or really you could’ve done better.

A more identifiable example has to do with looks. If someone compliments me on my looks some how I immediately dismiss their words. My response can sound like, “it’s not my best hair day. Or this outfit? I got dressed really fast.” Subtle but dismissive. This says more about my insecurities than my humility.

What does humility look like?

Humility is a character trait that acknowledges the need for a savior. A person of humility is real about their weaknesses in a way that acknowledges a need for grace and forgives, but does not diminish their self-worth. Humility acknowledges sin, but does not diminish the worth of the sinner. The person who humbles themselves is teachable. Teachable people don’t claim to know it all, but also doesn’t dismiss what they do know. Humble people are approachable and open for conversation, even hard ones. Humble people own their stuff, as well as, engage to make things right. Humble people do not dismiss their self-worth in any of those areas.

Humility does not take the place of honor, but considers other better than themselves. False humility in this mindset can sound comparative, and more often involves a blow to the self. Humble people who are able to consider others better looks like celebrating another person gifts and talents. Humility can celebrate someone else fully without comparison.

Jesus was perfect humility. Jesus chose to die to himself all the time in humility. Jesus never dismissed his self-worth, or the worth of others. Jesus never compared himself to anyone. Jesus valued everyone. He considered everyone better than himself and valued them fully.

Jesus spent many days giving the most incredible speeches to hundreds and thousands of people. BUT then he washed feet and touched the untouchable.

One day Jesus gave an amazing speech and performed a miracle to feed five thousand plus people, but he also helped pass out that bread and the  fish he just multiplied. Jesus never acted like he was above anything.

I want to be a person of true humility. I want true humility to take root in me. I desire my response to say more about him than my insecurities.

What does your humility saying?

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There have been some pointed times in my life where I can hear God. Those words are usually in bite size sentences. Whatever the words, they stick. Sometimes he just asks a question. Sometimes he speaks tenderly to me. Lately, I have been hearing his soft tender voice with simple words that get into my core.

As I have been thinking through this season of life I am in, I keep hearing the repeated question of, “Tracee, am I enough?

My knee jerk reaction is to say, “of course you are Lord.” Almost like Peter saying to Jesus, “you know I love you”on the beach that day. But is he?

Maybe I need to be asked three or more times like Peter. A repeated response can start to make you think.

I have talked before about my struggles with knowing that I am enough, but what about God? Is he enough for me?

There are conversations in the bible where God says, “I am with you.” The same is true for someone who follows after him. This is a promise.

So why do I dismiss the promise? What keeps me from believing?

For me, my lack of belief stems from different things. I have old patterns of life that keep me on the path of self-sufficiency. Out of that place, I choose the way of control more than trusting in him. I can depend on my logic verses faith that believes in what is unseen.

I also struggle with beliefs about my self-worth. If I am being honest, I question being someone who is worth staying with. Therefore, it seems easier to dismiss the promise for me.

Another subtle way I can dismiss the promise is by asking others to pray for me. I also realized that I can depend on the prayers of others to talk to God for me rather than believing in his words for me. As if saying that someone else is more worthy of the promise than me. God says to me, “Tracee, I am with you.” Those words are for me.

To really grasp the understanding of God being WITH me would change my life and perspective. I know my life would look so different if those words took on weight. Those words matter. Those words should be everything to me.

I want God, and just God, to be enough for me. I think about how much pressure, and even sometimes demand, would be removed from other people if I believed God was enough. There is freedom, even for myself, when I surrender to the promise that He is enough.

He is working on me. The more I understand that he is enough, I will know that I am as well.

Is God enough for you?

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