Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone was unabashedly destroying you with their words. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar “You stupid idiot, why did you do that?” Or how about “Can’t you do anything right?” Or how about “You are not as pretty as, smart as, fast as, rich as, loved as…the list seems to never end.” If you have ever been talked to like this you know how awful it feels. How we can feel paralyzed and hopeless when someone who is close to us criticizes us like this. How can we value ourselves if someone who is supposed to be for us betrays us like this? Many of us have had a parent talk to us like this. Others, like me, have suffered feeling not good enough by the absence of a parent. But right now I am not talking about any of them. I am talking about you. What if this is the way your internal critic talks to you. Ouch!
The great news is today is your day to take back control. God did not wire us to tolerate critical and abusive words. He wired us to live and give love and that is where we are headed today. You have already done Step one and that’s identify the critical voices that are not serving you well.
Step two is to identify who they sound like from your present or past. If you are not sure then ask if it sounds like a male you know or a female you know. Sometimes you may need to pray and listen to identify the origins. When you get the answer write it down.
Step three is to look up in your Bible (or just ask Alexa) who God says you are. Ask how much He loves you and how He sees you. Does he think you are worthy of love, intelligent, good enough, and worth fighting for? If you are still not sure then Jesus dying to take your place is a good start.
Step Four is where the rubber meets the road and you activate God’s truth in your life. Select the top 5 scriptures and phrases you have found and immerse yourself in them. Do this a minimum of three focused times per day. This could look like morning, noon and night. In addition to reading and memorizing what is true, where a rubber band or set alerts on your phone to remind you to look at them throughout the day. And every time the negative voices begin spewing their venom choose to replace them with God’s truth. And watch your belief system slowly but surely begin to shift.
Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Therapist who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate. their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram at NewVisionCounseling.
For most of my life I have been ruled by fear of rejection. I remember being paralyzed in elementary school when they were picking teams for kickball at recess. I wanted to be picked first, but kids picked their best friends first so I was left somewhere in the middle or end. Sometimes I wouldn’t even play. In junior high I was afraid to ask questions in many classes because I didn’t want to look dumb and be made fun of. As a result my grades were average because I didn’t ask for help. And I won’t even go into how many countless opportunities fear of rejection stole from me in college, my career and potential relationships. Lets just say the words painful and regret come to mind. Can you relate?
You may be wondering how this relates to a funeral? Great question and this story will explain how. I remember being at a loved ones funeral several years ago. I looked around and it was a big church with only about fifty people in attendance. I was hoping more people would come to my funeral. The pastor got up and shared some obscure story about the man that further validated my suspicion that the pastor didn’t really know the deceased. I couldn’t help but thinking this guy lived into his seventies and this is it! Only 50 people say you are important enough to take off work and be inconvenienced for an afternoon.
I remember reading a book that stated at most funerals 10 or less people actually shed more then a few tears and actually cry. And the number one factor determining whether or not 50 % of the people go to the gravesite is the weather. So this man lived his whole life and the weather can sway someone that easily? Sadly, I don’t think I went to his gravesite so I fell on the bottom half of the 50%. If he got another chance I wonder what he would do different. Do you think he would have let fear of rejection stop him? I mean, where were all the people he was afraid of? Where were all those he didn’t want to fail in front of or be rejected by? What about going for it in his career? Would he have chosen to go to school and do something other then manual labor all his life? Possibly?
At some point in the funeral I came to a conclusion. Do I want a church full of more then 50 people I have loved and who have loved me? Do I want more then 10 people to weep because of the impact I have had on their lives? Or do I want to continue living my life out of fear of not wanting to be embarrassed or out of my fear that compelled me to always please others? I thought, “I don’t care what they think of me anymore. “They” or the fear of being rejected by “Those people” has controlled me long enough! I think of a man named Oral Roberts who built a place called the “City of Faith” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city consisted of three skyscrapers built with the vision to bring all the healing power of God and medicine into one community to bring God’s best to all people. I bet when Oral arrived in Heaven God DIDN’T say; “Oral, I just wish you would have had a little more faith and and took a few more risks.” No, I bet He said “Well done; you believed me for everything and entered heaven having spent all his opportunities here on earth.”
I see the great men and women throughout history have one thing in common. They refused to allow the opinions of others, perceived or real, control them. And at their funerals families, communities and nations weep at their departure. I want to be such a person! How about you?
Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has over two decades of experience helping people heal from their past wounds and creating lives worth celebrating. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling where he works with a team of highly trained and compassionate therapists whose mission is to change the world by caring for one person at a time.