Sunday morning at church, every woman got a blank rectangle of paper.
During the message, our pastor, Dean, told us he wanted us to write the answers to two questions on our papers.
I grabbed a pen.
Dean asked us to write down what we believe about ourselves on our worst days. After a few minutes, he began to name some of the lies that many women believe about themselves.
I put my pen away.
I could not write down the lies, the ugly thoughts I have about myself on my worst days. I could not admit that those lies sneak into my thoughts even on some good days.
I will never be good enough. I am insignificant. I will never accomplish anything important. I can’t get anything right.
I know they’re lies. And I still listen to them, despite the fact that I know the truth.
Who I am is enough. I am valued and loved. I can make a difference. Who I am matters. I am good at what I do.
I know the truth and I listen to the lies, all at once.
Dean’s second question: What helps you stay focused on the truth on your best days?
I didn’t write that answer down either. I folded my paper in half and tucked it into my purse.
How do I stay focused on the truth?
More often than not, the truth and the lies co-exist for me: two halves of a whole, two sides of a coin.
I am confidence and insecurity, in the same moment.
Recently, I talked with my friend Guy Harris about the duality I experience related to self-confidence.
We stood on the sidewalk, soaking in the bright sun, and Guy said this:
It’s a choice. You can choose to believe and live what’s true.
Then he asked me, earnestly, if I would decide, once and for all, to choose to view myself in a positive way.
I teased him, told him it was a magical moment. The sunshine, the decision point.
I didn’t give him a clear-cut answer. I hesitated.
Here’s why: To stay focused on the truth, I need a hundred magical moments every day.
In the moments when those lies creep in, I have to decide, again and again to believe the truth.
It’s not a once-and-done decision. (I wish it were.)
Instead, I have to choose the truth again and again, moment by moment.
Tell me something! How do you stay focused on the truth? What has worked for you in overcoming negative thoughts about yourself? What will you do, today, to allow truth to win in your life?