Thursday, April 11, 2013

"On Fire": Do You Trust Yourself? (Why or Why Not?)

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"All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in."---I Timothy 1:19(Message)


So tonight...

As I was doing a bit of writing and reading emails from some of you, "trust yourself" came to mind. I went online to see what kind of articles were available on the topic and I peeped this line from an article that was in Forbes magazine: 

"Trusting yourself is a learned skill. It requires a deep understanding and acceptance of who you are and what you represent."

OK, so trusting oneself is something that you have to *learn to do*. It requires understanding and accepting who you are AND understanding what (or in this case who) you represent. Spiritually, that would be Love (I John 4:6&18) and Light (Matthew 5:14).

Then I saw this on a website called Purpose Fairy:

"So how do you access this inner knowing, how do you get to this point where you can trust yourself, where you can access the truth? Well, silence is one of the ways to do so, silence can help you achieve that, and I honestly believe that this is something everybody can do. This is something we all can do but as long as we keep an open mind, for 'minds are like parachutes: they only function when open.' Lord Thomas Dewar
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.' Mother Teresa of Calcutta

By doing so, by setting aside 5 – 10 minutes every day somewhere where nobody will disturb you, 'the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself' Laurence Sterne. By taking time to be silent, not only will you be able to access the source of knowledge that lies within you, but you will also be able to tame your mind, and get to a point where you will be able to trust yourself completely, and from that point, your whole life will be transformed."

This author is onto something for sure. Although meditation is not a word that is used a lot in Christianity, it is indeed biblical: "When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches" (Psalm 63:6-NKJV) and "I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds." (Psalm 77:12-NKJV) One thing that happens when you *quiet yourself down* is that you are able to get into the space that King David once penned. You are able to "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) Being still reminds you whose *really boss* which puts you in the position of being better able to acknowledge that reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) and then follow God's directives (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Then an author on Refresher recommended these two points:

"Be willing to take risks, go for it, and make mistakes. So often we don't try things because we think we might fail. I love Michael Jordan's quote about this, he said, 'I missed 100% of the shots I never took.' While it can be scary for us to take risks in life, one of the greatest ways we can build our capacity for self-trust is to go for it...even if we fail. As we build up our ability to take risks, we also grow our capacity for courage, which in turn expands our ability to trust ourselves. 

Forgive yourself! This is a life-long process and is vital as it relates to self-trust. One of the main reasons we don't trust ourselves is that we haven't forgiven ourselves for mistakes we've made, pain we've caused, or regrets we have. These 'demons' from our past haunt us and we use them as evidence to not go for things and not trust ourselves. As we enhance our capacity to forgive ourselves, we heal from the past and breathe new life into our experience. This creates a genuine sense of enthusiasm for both the present moment and for our future. And, as we're able to forgive ourselves, we can let go of our attachment to being 'perfect' and having to do everything just right...which then allows us to trust ourselves more freely."

There are a lot of women who write me who really need to download these two points into their psyche. Indeed, one of the best things about Peter walking on water is that *he actually got out of the boat* (Matthew 14:22-33)!  How are you going to ever expect to live an abundant life (John 10:10) without being willing to take some major risks from time to time? 

That brings me to the second point...

A lot of people remain stagnant because they are literally obsessed with their past. It was Oscar Wilde who once said "No man is rich enough to buy back his past" but some people pay a pretty hefty fee by spending days that they will never get back pining over it. My aborted babies? I counsel couples and doula newborns and speak out against sexual brokenness as a way to give them a legacy. If I hadn't forgiven myself of those choices, not only would I not be doing those things, but honestly, I probably would have been successful at a suicide attempt. No joke. Satan is stealing a lot of people's potential by keeping them so consumed with what they've done that they won't take risks to get...well, past their past.

According to Psychology Today, one of the main keys to trusting yourself is this:

"Find people you trust: Surround yourself with them. The more you feel connected to and safe with the people in your life, the more comfortable you will feel with yourself."

All people need individuals to hold them accountable, who will be honest with them (Proverbs 27:6) and who will love them no matter what (Proverbs 10:12). Indeed, some of us don't trust ourselves simply because we don't know who to trust. If that is your personal testimony, ask the Spirit (John 4:24) to provide you with divine wisdom (James 1:5) on who is trust-worthy for you in this season (Ecclesiastes 3). I will continue to recommend the book Safe People until Christ returns to help people figure this particular point out.

And finally, Handy Life Advice had some real pearls of wisdom too:

"Second, take a look back into your past life experiences and analyze the reasons why certain events in your life didn’t go your way. At what point did you begin to realize that something was wrong? What did you do to fix the problem? Did you ignore all the warning signs? Maybe things didn’t feel right from the beginning? If you failed a class in your younger days, what was causing that situation? Was it a yearning for a relationship? Not being able to have freedom from your parents? Not having your own car? You weren’t accepted by the popular crowd?

Finally, listen to what your body is saying to you. Any kind of stress can cause your body to display illnesses. Be more aware of what is going on in your body. Body illnesses tell you that you have anger, guilt or resentment built up. People come up with all kinds of excuses to for why their life is the way it is. They do this to avoid facing the truth and dealing with the situation. In reality, the reason their life is the way it is, is because they created it that way."

Most of us are familiar with the verse in Scripture that says "As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." (Proverbs 26:11-NKJV) Take it from me, if you don't *make the time* to see why YOU have found yourself in the situations that you've been in (or are in), there's a pretty good chance that you'll remain in the cycle that continues to create a dissatisfying pattern in your life. It's not about what "they did". It's about what you attract, accept and settle for. And yes, your body, one way or another, will oftentimes let you know when something is just not right; when you are betraying some part of your mind, body and spirit.

When it comes to knowing if you really and truly trust yourself, it's good to keep in mind that trust is defined as being "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence". If you're not sure if you trust yourself, take out some time over the weekend to jot down your strengths, abilities and the areas where you are sure that you have confidence. Then jot down why that is the case.

Then *and only then* should you write down your areas of weakness and the places where you lack integrity. Integrity is defined as the areas where you adhere to moral or ethical principles. So, if you know that you are not the best with money, then a way to build trust in that area is to save more. If you know that you battle with sexual sins, then you need to be single and have a season of "detox". If you know that you tend to not be the most honest person at work or in your ministry duties, then you need to confess that to someone who can pray for you (James 5:16) and focus on being someone more reliable in "the small things" before taking on more responsibilities.

Trusting yourself doesn't "just happen" any more than losing 15 pounds does. It requires daily commitment and a significant amount of hard work. But when you get to a place where you know your God and you know yourself, you'll be amazed what you'll be able to accomplish.

Life opens up to entirely new dimensions when you learn how to really and truly...

TRUST. YOURSELF.

tmm,

SRW


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