rethink

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Sometimes you hear yourself telling someone else exactly what you need to hear. Last Thursday, I met a very nice lady who was very distraught because she was afraid her daughter had “lost her salvation” because her daughter died as an alcoholic. I found myself telling her God loves us in spite of ourselves and that God’s love and grace are gifts we do not have to earn. I even reminded her Jesus used to hang out with prostitutes and tax payers—–sort of his culture’s equivalent of our culture’s “addicts and alcoholics.” I explained to her I am both an alcoholic  in recovery for over 32 years and a diabetic and my God does not love me any more or less than anyone else  because of those diseases. I also hugged her and asked God to bless and keep her. I hope she found my words comforting.

I didn’t realize I needed to hear my own words until I was sitting in church yesterday and the rector preached about how we often feel unworthy, and how our thoughts about ourselves are actually quite powerful. He talked about the importance of replacing negative self-talk (thoughts) with positive self-talk. For instance, if  a  new crochet pattern I am trying out is just not working, I may automatically think,  “I can’t crochet this pattern,—–it’s a mess! I’m stupid, I can’t learn a new technique, I can’t  get this yarn to work, etc.” I should, instead,  think, “I’m doing the best I can. What else  can I make out of this “project?” I actually have several nice things I’ve crocheted that are the result of just such creative moments—-ones that changes dismay and anger to something useful that I actually like! Now I need to work on doing the same thing with the way I unconsciously think of myself.

I think part of my discomfort last week was based on realizing I was distancing myself from God’s love —–and later that  under that “layer of the proverbial onion” is an even deeper insight that I, quite frankly, do not like to acknowledge—-that at a very deep, inner part of my being is  an almost unconscious litany of self-talk that tries to convince me I am not worthy of God’s love or of loving myself.  I remember recently asking God to help me love myself as much as he does. I think that was my slightly different way of asking God to let me feel worthy, not just of his love but also my own love. I realize my old enemies of low self-worth and poor self-concept  (powerful thoughts) can invade and control my inner being and consequent outer behavior if I am not careful. But I have to love myself enough to want to be careful, to want to allow God to love me, and to consent to live my life in partnership with him.

It is sad when a psychiatric  nurse has to admit she has problems with her own self-worth. What I heard yesterday from my rector and from myself last Thursday, reminded me I am both worthy and loveable.  The scripture supporting this belief is from Isaiah 43:4: “You are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you.”  Now it is up to me to remind myself over and over again that I am precious, loved, honored, and definitely “worthy.”  God sent me two “Eskimos” last week to remind me, and he definitely is answering my prayer to help me love myself.

Just as God gives me the grace to make  something wonderful out of crocheting mistakes, I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he is helping me transform the mistakes and negative thinking in my life into a creation we can both love and value.

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