One day, I found myself speaking out at a time when it would have been better to be a good listener. I was really embarrassed and felt really incompetent.Has this ever happened to you?Later, as I processed what had happened I realized that I had a choice as to how I could react. I felt like I was standing on two different paths, one foot on each.The trail to the left was well worn. It was called Inadequate. Little bushes of embarrassment, shame, not-good-enough and perfection lined the way. The sun beat down there & it was hot. But it felt really true. My upraised arm reached into that space so easily. Surely this was the place I should camp and agree. Thoughts came like, “You should have known better. You really don’t have what it takes. Why didn’t you listen better? How could you jump in so fast and appear to be so foolish?”) Ah…the old accusations…the old familiar sadness of not being enough.
But before I got too far down that inadequate path I realized that my right foot was standing on a different trail. That trail was named Grace. Big bushes of forgiveness, peace, kindness, truth and ‘you-don’t-need-to-be-perfect’ lined the way. Away from the blaring heat it was cool and comforting. My upraised arm begged to receive here but I wasn’t sure I deserved it. It wasn’t a place I was used to going to, in fact I would tell myself I had no right to find my place on that path. It was not true about me.
Surely the path to the left was where I needed to park, walk, and sulk to nurse my wounded self esteem.
What was I to do?
I realized that the big lie was before me! Was I going to step into it and agree with all the inadequate accusations flying at me there? Or was I going to take one step to the right, into the light of truth. But the step to the right felt much less familiar.
But my “Love that will not let me go”…kept calling me back with the words, “But what is the truth?”
What is the truth? What have I learned about that nasty accuser who wants to take out my heart? What have I learned about that totally adequate Savior who covers me?
I have learned a few things and these I pondered as I stood: one foot on the inadequate path and one on the grace trail:
My performance does not equal my worth.
It is OK to feel what I feel and now I have choices about those feelings.
It is OK to be Deane. I don’t need to be smarter, quicker, wiser or deeper to be acceptable.
It is OK to make mistakes – I don’t need to be perfect to be OK.
God knew my heart and was pleased with me.
Jesus has become my good-enough-ness who loves me as I am. I can trust him.
This took me several days of feeling like I was standing, with arms outstretched, wondering which way I should go. Until at last I was able to reject the lies and embrace that which has been true from the beginning. I am loved as I am and I can turn to the path of grace, learn from the situation, and move comfortably forward.
This is what we call soul hygiene, allying, believing the truth. This is also called FREEDOM! I do not have to agree with the accuser! I am free to be me and to offer grace to myself as He does. I now have a choice and I choose “YES” to life abundant.
I read recently that we do not need higher self esteem…we need greater self-grace. This is so true and such a relief.
Psalm 121: 5 The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand…