I’ll never be good enough for her. She will never be pleased with what I do or how I do it.
No matter how much I accomplish in a day it’s never enough. According to her, there’s always at least one more thing I could’ve done.
She always has a To Do list for me that I can never seem to complete. And even if I do happen to finish everything, she guilts me for not paying enough attention to my kids.
She’s such a tyrant. Everything must be perfect. And no matter how early I start, I’m a procrastinator to her and I should be able to get everything done faster.
She is never satisfied. She constantly stands over my shoulder pointing out the spots I’ve missed or the ways I could’ve done it better.
“You should’ve done it like this,” she says. “Why can’t you do it right the first time?” she asks. “Why are you always in such a hurry and so unorganized?”
I am sick of her. She’s making me crazy. Her voice grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. I get a knot in my stomach when I think of her and yet I can’t seem to deny the desire for her approval.
She tells me everyone should like me, think I’m fun. I should light up every room I walk in to, blazing with love and joy—regardless of how I feel at that moment. And even when I think I’ve done that, she tells me I missed my chance.
She makes me analyze every conversation, reevaluate every encounter to assess whether I said or did the right thing.
“There’s always room for improvement,” she says. I can always be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, hostess, driver, citizen…
She’s with me all the time so you’d think I’d be used to her by now or able to tune her out. But she’s like a siren I can’t silence; a piercing sound in the night and a steady ringing in the morning.
Believe me, I’d LOVE to get away from her but I can’t. She’s everywhere, all the time. I cannot escape her presence. She is powerful and extremely influential. She governs my thoughts and directs my steps.
Will she ever give up on me and let me be? Why does she find such pleasure in taunting me? She is cruel and brutally honest. How do I get rid of her?
I have kindly asked her to leave, dropped subtle hints, even flat out demanded she go. I’ve tried every approach but nothing has worked.
I am left with only one option. It’s not a pleasant one but it’s the only choice I’ve got left.
I have to kill her.
She won’t go down easy, that’s for sure. I know because I’ve done it before. Killed her, that is. But it’s like she’s got nine lives. She keeps coming back.
Who is this woman, you ask? And why do you associate with her? Is she your boss? Your mother? A so-called friend? An enemy? The Devil? Why do you allow this person into your life?
Because she is Me.
I am the bane of my existence.
I am my own worst critic. I make ridiculous demands of myself and hold myself hostage until they are met.
Oh, I cutesie it up by calling myself an Over-Achiever or Type A Personality, but what I actually am is a bully. I beat myself up and compare everything I do to the “ideal” way it could have been done.
I wish I could blame this tendency on Momma or some traumatic experience I endured as a child but I can’t. My childhood was happy and pretty much a yawn fest when it comes to drama.
I am this way through no one’s doing. (Well, perhaps we can toss a little blame to the ad exec’s and air-brushed magazine images.) I am this way because it is my nature—my sin nature.
I am the only one torturing me. No one else has these expectations of me, only I do. I am the one I am trying to outperform and impress. I am the one who has created these absurd requirements for living. Me.
In fact, I am harder on myself than God is.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so The Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”~Psalm 103:13-13
My heavenly Father knows who I really am. He does not demand these things of me. All He requires is that I love Him above all else and that I love my neighbor as myself. That’s it. (Matthew 22:36-40)
He doesn’t tell me my house must be spotless and my flower bed weeded. He doesn’t say my parties have to be Pinterest-worthy and my décor HGTV-ready. He doesn’t demand my car be clean and my kids wear matching outfits. He doesn’t even require I maintain my ideal body weight or that I move up the ladder at my workplace.
These are lies from Satan and Myself.
C.S. Lewis said, “Oh to be free from myself just for a moment, from all my silly posing and posturing and look at me and aren’t I a good boy. Just to be free from myself for a moment is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.”
Oh, Mr. Lewis. You hit the nail on the head with that one.
“Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.” ~Isaiah 52:2
I do long to be free from Myself, my captor. I want to wage battle on this fleshly part of me and end the war once and for all. I want to be at peace with Myself and have patience with Me. I want to finally see myself as God does, a precious daughter whom He loves enough to die for.
“Jesus said, ‘You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’”~ John 8:31
“I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” ~Galatians 2:20
Jesus is The Truth and it is He who frees me from Myself. He is my defense; Truth is my weapon. I must die so He can live. I therefore have no other choice but to bludgeon Myself with Truth.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”~James 4:1
Before you join my battle cry, let me warn you—the truth hurts. When we allow The Holy Spirit onto the battlefield of our heart it gets touchy and uncomfortable. He’s a warrior and He doesn’t hold back.
But if freedom is what we’re after we must forge ahead and realize the truth of who we are, both in Christ and in our flesh. This truth is both atrocious and beautiful.
My quest for truth has uncovered an unrelenting and embarrassing need I have for validation. The People-Pleasing-Over-Achiever in me never feels I’m hitting the bar, so I am desperate for someone to tell me I am. I want others to appreciate and commend all I do so I can feel I’ve finally Done It. I want someone—everyone—to see how hard I try and tell me it’s enough. More than enough, actually.
But Truth painfully reminds me I’m not enough and never will be, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).
Conversely, though I was dead in my transgressions, I was still worth saving.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” ~Ephesians 2:4-5
The grace of God is enough for me.
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”~ Ephesians 1:4
Jesus is more than enough because I never will be.
Because of my relationship with Jesus, I am looked on as Clean. Forgiven. Perfect. God the Father sees the righteousness of Christ when He sees me.
Jesus is there pleading my case, praying for me, closing the gap between who I am and who God says I need to be.
The awareness of this gap is known as insecurity and it, too must be conquered.
Death by Truth is just the first battle; the next is even more sensitive. We must render ourselves insecure and seek humility.
Very few people want to admit they are insecure and even fewer jump at the chance of being humbled. But Insecurity and Humility staunchly oppose one another; they cannot occupy the same space.
Insecurity is a preoccupation with self and a delineation of pride.
Humility is freedom from self. It is making the most of others, not the least of me, for Humility has no thought of self.
Freedom is declared when Humility defeats Insecurity.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”~Psalm 46:10
The moment we cease striving is the moment we are free. No matter how “ideal” I try to be, God says He is going to be exalted, not me. He is going to get the glory, not me. This is freedom! This means I can quit trying to be Something and just be Me.
(Check out the song “I Can Just Be Me” by Laura Story. Awesomely sums up all I’m chattering about today!)
Girls, we say some of the meanest things to ourselves, don’t we? And for what, motivation? Out of habit? Because we feel it’s what others are thinking of us?
Let’s stop lying to ourselves about who we think we “ought” to be because that girl is outta our league. We are made of earth and dirt and we’re stained with sin. No one else really cares about the things we stress over and it is arrogant for us to think they do.
Let’s stop asking more of ourselves than God does. Rather than powering up over our insecurities or shirking back because of them, let’s allow Jesus to set us free from them. Let’s find our identity in Him and be okay with who we see in the mirror.
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” ~Isaiah 43:6-7
Read that verse again—YOU were made just the way you are for His glory!
This means He loves me whether my To Do list is done or I burn supper. He loves Me. My frazzled-always-a-tad-late-ness. My black thumb and lack of athleticism. My loud mouth and slightly obnoxious humor. Because that’s Me, the unique individual God masterfully created to bring Him glory.
Living within His love and acceptance brings a sigh of relief to my battle-worn soul. I can be Me because of who He is, trusting He can and will use me just the way He made me. I need no other talents or abilities.
Friend, what are some of the mean things you say to yourself? Do you blame your negative self-talk on others? What are you afraid of or stressing over? Is it of God or Yourself?
No matter your answers, I pray you begin to see yourself as God does. Precious. Beautiful. Worth Dying For. And once you see yourself in His light, I pray you are inspired and empowered by The Holy Spirit to go forth and do amazing works that bring glory to His Name.
Because that is a hill worth dying on.
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?…But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.” ~Psalm 13:2,5
“But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” ~James 4:6