I am currently working (slowly) through the book The Creative Call by Janice Elseheimer, shown here.
It’s really written–I think– more for people who are younger [than me] and deciding whether to follow a creative path or take the more practical road. I’m doing it simply because I love books, and especially love reading literature that is related to using our gifts and talents.
So it surprised me when the ‘homework’ said to think deeply on your past and write down limitations that came from another person.
I was even more surprised when I actually did it.
Because what happened was that voice, the voice of another girl in my class at school a hundred years ago, echoed as if she were standing right here. The years fell away and I had that same knot in my stomach, the same shortness of breath accompanied by tense, rounded shoulders and the cringing, shameful feeling of I’m not good enough.
I can’t go into the particulars or I will out the perp, so I have to jump over the specific things that were said. They hurt me to the core. They were multiple assaults. The person in question is one of those people you suppose “has it all,” so I’m not sure why she said the things she did.
My mother probably told me, “she’s just jealous.”
Yet what she said is still echoing in my head…. and we are about to have our 35th class reunion.
Good student that I am, I ruminated on the voice, the words, the results for a good 24 hours. Yes, I have limited myself in that particular art because of that person. I have skipped chances that would have driven me to the top, and given self-talk that would make your hair stand on end.
And yet God made me good enough.
He made me exactly the way He wanted me to be. And I think when He creates us, He expects us to use the talents He gave us. Instead I have spent a lifetime hiding mine under the proverbial bushel, fighting it, struggling with it, and asking Him why in the world He gave me this talent that hangs like an albatross around my neck.
A talent I love, and at the same time I despise.
It weighs me down, I tell Him.
That’s not what weighs you; look again, He urges.
Sure enough, it’s the words, the mean hateful youaren’tgoodenough words, that’s what weighs me down. THAT is the albatross around my neck.
I tried to think on the words and feel the hurt and throw it all out the window. Forward, forward; we always need to go forward and not back. Then I realized I didn’t know what forward really looked like. So, like any intelligent soul, I went to Facebook. (Hah!)
Have you ever thought deeply on your past and realized you limited yourself for years because of what someone else said? How did you come to terms with it?
When someone hurts you, it’s important to feel it, not stuff it, *says the Queen of Stuffingit.
Be sure to put it into perspective. If you stuff it and don’t think about perspective, the hurtful words grow. They become like a twisting, fire breathing dragon up over you when in fact maybe the person is a little shorter than you and the words are just small, momentary bits that go into the air and dissipate.
Yes, dissipate! Poof, there they go! Words weren’t meant to linger in your brain hurting you forever.
Remember too, wherever that person was in life at that moment probably also contained insecurity. She was having a bad day, or her cat died, or she was insanely jealous because your mother let you do whatever you wanted and her mother was really strict.
Yes that’s a babified example; I was in high school, remember?
And this: She wanted to put you down? So what?
So what works really well for me. Bad Tanya, the one on my shoulder, wants me to start saying it aloud. Good Tanya says nuh-uh. Bad Tanya says Maybe if I see her at the reunion I’ll say SO WHAT?
Of course. There are several Bible verses for moving on/ moving forward:
Isaiah 43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
2 Corinthians 5:17 The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! (MSG)
Philippians 3:12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running,and I’m not turning back. (MSG)
Job 17:9 The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)
And of course, stay in your Bible:
Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Psalm 119:110 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
(Verses from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.)
I truly feel better already. Knowing that I am made in His likeness, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God’s Word lives in me–that’s exciting. Reading His Word is exciting. Feeling empowered by His Word–that’s exciting.
If you’ve had an experience like this one, I’d love to hear your thoughts.