Can I Forgive Me?

This morning our deacon talked about how we were made to be communal. I wanted to laugh because just moments before coming to sit and listen to him speak I wanted to give up on being communal. It seems I'm constantly making mistakes.

I've been reading a book called "Worrier to Warrior." Its a book to help parents and teachers teach their children techniques on getting rid of the "worry monster." Its been a fascinating read and so much of it I can apply to myself. There are different kinds of anxiety and for me the one I struggle with the most is Perfectionism. Now, I've given up on my house being perfect or what I wear looking perfect and I've definitely given up on a perfectly clean car. Where I struggle mostly is in relationships. I want my relationships to be perfect and when they aren't because of me my anxiety level raises through the roof.

Henna from a day retreat with Special Needs moms.

I'm a deep feeler so when I recognize I've hurt someone I am dumbfounded. How could I be so stupid? Why didn't I just shut my mouth and think before I said that? Will they ever think nice things about me ever again? Then a negative tape begins to play that further these thoughts to want to exile myself from community. I am not worthy to even be a part because I mess it up so much.

One of the techniques in this book is to play the "what if" game. What if they don't want to be around you anymore? What if they do tell everyone you are a jerk? What if you never see them again? What if you are no longer welcome in their life? The "what if" game can be painful but ultimately it can release the anxiety. Even if those things do happen, I will still live and move on.

There is rarely a time that someone hasn't extended grace to me but somehow I cannot extend that same grace to myself. One of my daughters inherited my perfectionism. How can I teach my child about the very thing she struggles with if I am so lousy at it myself? Ugh, anyone want to come to my house and teach her? I will do your laundry in exchange!

From what I hear Jesus is the biggest giver of grace. And, one of my mantras is Jesus' words to love my neighbor as myself. I try really hard to love my neighbor but I don't really try hard to love myself.  And, although, my efforts are great I need to empty me of myself and breathe in the love of God. That Love will be what loves me and that Love is what will love my neighbor.

Lord, May you fill me with Your love. I give you these negative thoughts and ask that You replace them with Truth. Touch my friends and those that are reading this that we would know Your truth and that we can accept that Truth so that we can be set free. Help us to forgive ourselves and to continue in the way of living in community with You. Amen.


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