Tag Archives: Phillipians 4:8

Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser–Stuck in the Muck

Forgiveness.  The Bible tells me to forgive others. The Bible promises God has and will forgive me.  Psychologists and medical doctors say unforgiveness causes many physical and emotional problems. 

I understand all this. I can accept the premise of all these. Over time I have learned to forgive others for the wrongs done against me.

There is one I have the most trouble forgiving.  ME. This keeps me stuck and I am unable to move forward.  Everytime I try to step away it pulls me back in.

I have accepted the fact that harboring anger against another doesn’t hurt them one bit – it hurts me. I can be wary that I not allow you to hurt me again, but I forgive you.

What I have trouble forgiving is my part. Whether it is something I did that caused the other to hurt me OR my reaction to the hurt, I hold onto that pain I inflicted on myself. I feel such shame I cannot get past it. This guilt and shame keep me stuck and I am unable to move forward.  Every time I try to step away it pulls me back in.

Recent devotional and Scripture studies have led me to discovering the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is that feeling when I have done something wrong – shame focuses on who I am.  It has caused me to step back and look deeply at what I am holding on to.

I have had to look closely at what it is I am facing: guilt or shame.  I realize much of it is shame. Why? Because of the effect it has on me.  Shame tells me ‘I am not good enough”, that “no one could love me because of this” and “I am a failure”. 

These are LIES!!! I have to choose to ignore these lies. I must fight to remind myself of the truth. I am valued. My Savior died and defeated death for me. This would not be done for one who is ‘worthless’.

For what I am guilty of, I repent. Shame has no place in my life.  I CHOOSE to turn away from the negative thoughts and lies. I CHOOSE to focus on what is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (see Philipians 4:8 )

I choose what I put into my physical body when I eat, I also choose what I allow in my mind.  I choose to take control of these thoughts and focus on truth.

What do you do to keep shame at bay in your life?

Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser – The Voices In My Head

I hear voices. Sometimes my mind is like the hard drive on my computer. It is filled with lots of information, much of it obsolete, some of it inaccurate like many posts on facebook, a bit of it incomplete; some are lies, some the truth. 

There are days it seems like I put the lies on an audio loop and turn the volume up to a deafening level.  I cannot think beyond the sounds, I cannot see clearly, I cannot function. “I am a failure” and “you really screwed that up” and “who do you think you are that anyone would listen to you”. The loop runs continuously with no escape.  It’s like the instructions on the shampoo bottle: lather, rinse, repeat.  The last instruction is repeat. There is no exit from the loop.

LatherRinseRepeat

Eventually the shampoo bottle is empty. By the same token, listening to the wrong words empties me of strength: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Phillipians 4:8 tells us to “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”  Dwell on these, not the negative, defeating voices.

I like that word “fix”. There is a lot in my life I cannot fix, but what I allow myself to think on is something I can fix. I know not to keep repeating the shampoo  loop until the bottle is empty so I stop the process.  I must do the same with the voices in my head. But how????

Maybe I need to do like the woman in the War Room movie did, go outside and yell ‘NO’ to the voices. Sometimes I put on encouraging music and turn its volume up to drown them out. Other times I find a quiet spot with God’s Word. That quiet can be very powerful against the loud attacks if I will allow it and ‘fix my thoughts on what is true and good and right’.  If I think of the many good things about the person I was hurt by, I will drown out the yelling sound resonating in my head of the one thing that hurt me.  ‘Dwell on the fine, good things in others” we are reminded.

I love 4 part harmony in a song. The 4 parts some together so smoothly.  I like to try to tune my ear to one part – usually the bass, I love the sound of the bass line in the harmony. As I struggle in the loud roar of my mind to hear God’s still, small voice I am reminded He is with me, He never leaves me.  I need to turn down the voices of the world and turn up His voice. I need to tune my ear to that one part and hear what He is saying.

(edited to add the following which I remembered after publishing)

Something else I am doing I learned from a lesson by Theresa Ingram (see my previous post about her series “Precious in His Sight“).
I have some 3×5 index cards.  On one side I write at the top LIE/MISBELIEF.  Below that I write an untruth that haunts me.  In big letters below that I have written STOP, That’s not true.
Then I turn the card over and at the top have the word TURTH. Below that I write God’s truth.
I keep these in front of me at my desk and add cards whenever another lie attacks me.

What do you do to ‘tune out’ the negative, defeating voices from your world? Comment below. I’d love to hear how you face this.