Have you ever had one of those days or a week when you lost control of your mind? You know, that time when something was bothering you and it kept popping up in your mind over and over. At first it is just a little annoyance that you try to ignore. Then it festers a little and you try reasoning it away. That ends up not working because now no matter what you are doing its beginning to consume your mind. It robs you of your peace, causing self-doubt, calling up old belief patterns that you thought you have over come. Worse of all, it usually hits you out of the blue when life seems to be cruising along quite smoothly. Wow, the stress of a mind that is running-a-muck!
This happened to me this week. I have recently announced to my Facebook friends and family that I had written a book called Spiritual Springboard. Everyone was very supportive and excited about reading it. However, the book is quite personal and made me feel very vulnerable. Honestly it doesn’t bother me one bit to think about complete strangers reading it and I thought I was okay with my friends and family reading it too. I am way over caring about what other people think. “I am courageous, there is power in vulnerability.” I told myself. Then it happened out of nowhere, my mind ran-a-muck!
It started rather slyly with my husband asking me what our closest friends and family thought about my book. Some had given me positive feedback but others hadn’t said one thing. The seed was planted. I started wondering why they hadn’t said anything, good, bad or indifferent? I knew they had read it. I tried not making a big deal about it and tried pushing it out of my mind. That didn’t work! There I laid, trying to fall asleep wondering why and feeling a little hurt that people closest to me had no comment. Then I reasoned, “they are just really busy, they have their own stuff going on, it’s really not a big deal.” The next morning I awoke obsessing in my mind, unable to shake the thoughts of why there was no comment. My emotions ran the gambit. Sadness, anger, pity, unworthiness and resentment all landed punches in my mind. The worst and final blows, doubt and fear consumed me. “You are not an author, people are probably laughing and criticizing your grammar. They probably aren’t saying anything because they hated the book. They probably don’t even care about you or even want to be your friend. What business do I have even writing, I am no expert and Lord knows I am messed up!” In my mind the blows just kept coming one after another until I was laid out on the floor a sobbing mess. “Oh God, why is this happening and what is my lesson? Please help and save me from these overwhelming thoughts!”
Then it happened…a stillness, I picked my self up off the floor and trusted that it was going to be okay. Looked at my phone and saw a message sent 2 minutes prior from one of those people I so desperately wanted to hear from! I thanked God and sat down to read and reflect. I picked up a book and this is what I read, “find freedom through seeking to please Me above all else. You can have only one Master. When you let others’ expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds. Your own desire to look good can also drain your energy.” As I sat in silence and contemplated what I read I knew that my subconscious was still plagued by the acceptance of others which I thought I had overcome. My energy had been crazy scattered by a mind out of control. Needless to say at that moment I realized how ingrained my fear of rejection is and that I need help in overcoming the habit of pleasing and placing my value in what others think so I will be accepted. I began to talk to God, asking for his assistance in breaking old patterns and thanking him for the lesson and the correction. Then in stillness I heard “to be of full service to Me, you can not care about what others think. There is no freedom in it and hinders the work I want to do in you and through you.” I received His message loud and clear. He then proceeded to send me encouragement to dispel all the ugly lies my mind had conjured up earlier. Twenty minutes later while speaking with a friend who is an avid reader, she tells me how much she loved reading my book, that it read so fluidly and that my sentence structure and grammar was as good if not better than most books she reads. How did she know those were my biggest insecurities? God is good!
As the week went on I felt more at peace. When ever an unruly thought has popped into my mind I simple asked God to give me his help and grace. Habits are not broken in a day so I do my part by keeping my eyes on pleasing God and guarding my mind.
The take away from this lesson is threefold.
The mind is so powerful and it can be used as an enemy or ally, to harbor fear or create peace. The choice is yours.
Caring about what others think imprisons you and does not allow you the freedom to be the person you were born to be.
You don’t have to do life alone or act like you have it all together. Do you need help? Ask for help!