Today I had what I believe will be a key breakthrough in this 52 day journey that deals directly with the negativity issue discussed in day 2. Funny how the universe (or for me, God) works. And the fact that it happened on day 3 only fills me with utter excitement because 3 is my favorite number in the world.
Disclaimer: when it comes to this blog, the deepest desire of my heart is that people who share my faith, and people who do not, will read it and identify with it. This post will discuss two things that people who do not share my faith may find weird and freaky, but also may not! If you’re willing to approach it with an open mind (that does not ask you to believe what I believe, simply to read about it) I think you’ll more than likely identify in some way. So, if you can get through like three Bible verses and a little explanation…press on. And hey, why not get weird early on? At least that way, you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Ok - so:
I think regardless of faith or religious beliefs, most people believe that there is good at work in the world and there is bad at work in the world. Some refer to it as good energy and bad energy. Forces for good and forces for evil, good spirits and evil spirits. How else could we explain things like war or famine or abuse or addiction? In the Christian faith, we believe that Satan, a fallen angel, is the author of evil and of lies and thus arrives a term that is often accompanied by assumptions of craziness or weirdness: spiritual warfare.
In the bible it says,
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, (we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies,) but against the (evil) rulers, against the authorities (of the unseen world,) against the (mighty) powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil (evil spirits) in the heavenly realms (places.) - Ephesians 6:12 - New International Version (New Living Translation)
Humans are spiritual beings, so it makes sense that there would be good spirits and bad spirits, regardless of where we believe the spirits come from.
Christians believe that God did not accidentally drop any person onto earth; that every single human being was deliberately placed on this earth for a purpose <- what’s up Bieber album?
The Bible says that God knew all about us before he formed us in our mother’s womb, that He set us apart for a holy purpose (Jeremiah 1:5,) and that every hair on our head is numbered (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7.)
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ or got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” - Ephesians 1:11-12 (The Message)
Christians often call this God’s plan for our lives. Others might refer to it as destiny.
So, if God has a purpose for my life, and I ultimately believe that God is good (which despite the anger expressed in recent posts, somewhere deep down I still do,) then I also believe that the purpose for my life is for good and not evil. For joy and not pain. For provision and not lack. And if I believe that satan (or the enemy) is the author of evil, then his goal would understandably be to derail that plan for my life.
Or in non-faith terms - why would evil forces or negative energy be excited for good to prevail?
You’re probably like, ok Becky thanks for the religion lesson, but could you get to the point?
Ok the point is this: I believe that satan’s greatest weapon against the human race is to attack the mind. Or, in other terms, for the bad energy at work in the world to create a mine field of negativity.
I’ve been pretty transparent about my negative thoughts on this blog so far, but there’s a deeper level to that negativity that is almost embarrassing to admit. Negativity is a kind way to refer to how I’ve been dealing with myself. The more accurate description would be self-hatred.
I was on the phone with my therapist (yeah, I’m back to that, but this time I’m actually being honest and it’s crazy how much that changes things…except it’s not crazy and makes total sense) and was narrating a recent experience when she stopped me and said, “Wait- what did you just say?” I quickly repeated myself so that I could get on with my story when she stopped me again, “Becky - do you hear how negatively you are speaking about yourself?” The honest answer was - no, I didn’t. I have become so used to the way I address myself, that it no longer strikes me as abnormal. She asked me to expound upon my general self-talk patterns of late:
- “You’re fat”
- “Your skin - ew, why would anyone want to look at you?”
- “You’re a whale.”
- “You’ve got so much baggage, no one will ever want to take all that on."
- “See, there you go f*****g up again. You are SO past the line of God’s actual forgiveness. Prepare for withholding of blessings, big time.”
- “You’re SO negative- look at all these terrible things you think - geez, it’s no wonder you’re depressed. You’re depressing."
- “You’re on your own - good luck.”
- “You don’t deserve good things.”
- “When will you ever learn? Are you this stupid?"
- “You’re a liar and a fraud.”
- “Can you imagine if people knew that this is how you truly are? My god, you’d have ZERO friends. You can’t tell anyone."
- “Whey even try for the life you long for? Never. Gonna. Happen.”
— and then I’d get mad at myself for thinking all of these horribly negative things: cycle repeat —
My therapist asked me what I feel like is keeping me from the life I want - because believe it or not, this ain’t it!
The best way I can describe it is this: I can see the life I want. I can picture it vividly. I can almost touch it. It’s just waiting on the other side of this impermeable, multi-layered plexiglass wall. I’ve tried bulldozing it down, walking around it, punching it, body slamming it - and nothin'. It will not budge. She asked me, “if words were written on this wall, what would they be?”
give up now
“You know what? That is not your voice and that is not the voice of the Lord,” she said. "That is the voice of the enemy. What would God say in response to all those statements?” (Go with me here, y’all - I know to some of you, this is SO WEIRD.)
- “I’m a child of the most high God.”
- “I’m a daughter of the King”
- “I am set apart for such a time as this”
- “I am beautiful and there is no blemish in me”
- “I am cleansed, washed clean, and restored”
- “I am found”
- “I am a lover and not a hater"
- “I am free”
- “I am gifted with a beautiful mind, equipped with love and positivity.”
- “I am created with a purpose.”
- “I am promised more in this life than I can even think, ask, or imagine.”
- “I am a servant of the king.”
- “There is a plan, set apart before the beginning of time, for my life.”
- “Every hair on my head is numbered and known to God.”
- “I am known for all that I am, and I am loved.”
- “I am never alone.”
- “Jesus is my truth and His voice is gentle."
Without any concentrated decision, the statements immediately switched from what I like to call, you:accusatory statements, to I:ownership statements. Because my spirit recognized the truth on its own. And I felt my heart lighten. (for those of you who are Christians, I think it’s worth noting that satan is no dummy. It’s no coincidence that the pride surrounding his beauty and intelligence, and his desire to BE God is what caused him to fall from heaven in the first place.)
It’s amazing how the truth can turn your whole life around. I have been believing versions of those you:accusatory statements since the spring of 2013 without even realizing it.
Tides are changing sweet friends!
I am committing to amending #11 on my prep day list from “no needless negativity” to “NO negativity - especially in my mind.” Anytime a negative you:accusatory statement arrives in my mind, I will answer it back with an I:ownership statement.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
- Mahatma Ghandi
I hope that this post was enjoyable and made sense to anyone who read it. While my faith is the most foundational thing in my life, I think that faith so often needlessly divides people - “oh, she believes in something so big that I don’t believe in, that there’s no way we can relate.” I just don’t buy into that. We’re all sharing the same human experience - we’re just sharing it in different ways.
It’s strange to be going to bed not dreading tomorrow. I can’t remember the last time that happened.