I Blog For Books

19 January 2009

Your Own Worst Enemy

Think about a time in your life when you anticipated something negative. Now consider the outcome. How many times was the outcome less negative than you thought it would be? (written 14 Sep 07)

Most of us have a tendency to be naysayers to some extent. Being a student again after such an extended period of time has brought that tendency to the forefront for me. The recent biology exam I took (that I just knew I failed?) is a good example. I didn't fail, but neither did I do as well as I think I should have. Yes, the emphasis is on the fact of what I thought. I'm not sure what the overall scores in the class were, but I get the impression that none of us scored quite what we felt we should have. "It's the first test," "you passed," "that's not a bad score," are just a few of the comments I've heard. All are true, but the comment that plays most frequently in my mind is my own refrain ... that's not good enough. Well, why not?

Picking up my book "Healing for A Woman's Emotions" today, it did not open at the bookmark, but fell open to page 145. Rather curious, considering. The third paragraph on the page is titled "What expectations?" and I quote it here as written because it spoke to me that loudly (in the library, no less!).

Maybe you have always felt as if no one ever loved you or treated you with sensitivity. You've always had to look out for yourself, because if you didn't, then who would?

No matter how hard you work or how good a job you do, you expect to be criticized. You feel as if you are not smart enough or sharp enough, so you expect to be passed over. You strive to win people's acceptance, to feel as if you belong, only to be rejected anyway (or at least that is how you perceive it).

These wounds you carry have lowered your expectations of what you want out of life, of your perception of others, and most importantly, your perception of self. (Sandford)

Parts of this are not necessarily applicable, most importantly the first paragraph, for I know without doubt that I was and am loved. God blessed me with a family that loves me unconditionally and for that I am very grateful. The limitations placed on me, the expectations that I set for myself are just that ... MY expectations. My daughter, my mom, my friends, my family: all of them told me "you didn't fail." My own perception, however, was vastly different. I view me in a far harsher light than others do.

How, then, do I overcome the negativity? Where do I find the inner resources to rise above my own pessimism? The phrase will be repeated, and probably frequently. I cannot do it alone. With God as my guide, I can.

Intellectually, I know that I have the capability and talent to succeed. Emotionally, I anticipate failure. Why? Because I view myself as less than I am. God is speaking to me, I am learning to listen. Some days are better than others, but He never forsakes me. I will overcome, and become what God intended me to be.

Thank you, God, for giving me the strength to acknowledge my own weaknesses. Thank you for being my strength. Without you, I can do nothing. With you, I can do anything, one day at a time.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."~Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

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