My brain has been in so much judgement lately. That’s not exactly accurate, I’ve realized my mind has been under so much judgement lately. If I think in depth it’s been there as far back as I can remember. Early on like everyone else I crafted a way of interacting with the world. Thoughts that were created out of love to keep me safe, to keep me from being harmed and to ensure I’ll be loved.
A mentor told me once all thoughts and feelings are really grounded in love when you think about it. I really find a lot of truth in that. Our thoughts may feel crippling, they may feel like our brain is constantly seeking for a perfect solution, a certainty, a “right” way of living, of being, of interacting with the world. But what they ultimately are doing is trying to keep us loved.
The underlying part of us may not be holistically rational, but it is rooted in goodness. God made us. Love made us. But over time life hurts us. Whatever happens when we are young, however innocent and seemingly small, we learn certain things. Sadly we learn messages like the ones my mind runs rampant with. We’re made fun of so we work mercilessly to correct/judge/conform that part of us so it doesn’t happen again. We don’t want to be hurt, seen as unloved or unworthy again. Conservative Christian values however great and beautiful and helpful also can create prisons of needing to always be perfect on our own forgetting Jesus’ grace can and will cover our failings and fallings and flaws.
What I’m realizing the older I get is that all of these “rules” I’m trying to live by – how I should feel, how I should act, spend my time, treat my body (eat, wear, size & shape), think of circumstances, desire, figuring out what’s “best” and “right” – may not be worthy of living under.
Besides the fact that all of these rules and definitions of what’s “best” are a certain “bondage” we live within, did we ever pause and question – where did they come from? Other people wounding us? Cultural messages? If you had you been born elsewhere, to a different family, a different culture, a different upbringing would these rules still apply to you or even be thoughts in your mind? I want to guess that many times the answer would be probably not. Our inner critic is grounded in a lot of personal history, wounds we’ve lived through, messages we’ve pick up from others, TV and magazines and media. Our inner critics accuses… yes it may be trying to help us, but it also may not be God.
This year, a mere 4 months ago, I selected the word Grace to be my focus, my guide, my intention to learn and embrace with my whole self. It is no surprise that this year I’ve also struggled the most with needing it within, realizing my inner judgement and desiring deep in my bones for release, for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness… a life of grace, forgiveness, grounding, truth. And as with all journeys that last, the only way is through. Wading through every thought we have to ask the tough questions, to recognize it’s source, to comfort the damage and to graciously guide our mind into a new way, a new truth.
If you’ve ever looked into word meanings in scripture, Satan is the word accuser in Hebrew. God never calls himself anything even close. He calls himself Love. Salvation. Pure presence. His purpose has always been to forgive, to cover over flaws with his perfect love, to make all things new. This God is not one of judgement, accusation, condemnation, but one of Truth, of gentle guidance toward real open spacious life.
So friend, whatever signals your mind is sending today, whatever inner critic is ruling your day, may you like me question it’s source. May you choose to recognize it’s voice and name it for what it is and choose, with God’s Help in you, a new way. A new thought. A new grace. May you, in time, live by Grace, by Faith, by a new mind and free soul. There is always room for change. There is always hope. And there is always more grace. Against these things there is no law.
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
This month went fast. With turning 30, the joys of Easter get togethers and obviously all the thoughts in my head this post took time to bubble to the surface. Thanks for still tuning in.
I’m grateful for these physical reminders I wear (now with one more bracelet from a friend this week!). They remind me I’m loved – engraved inside my ring – strong, communicate well and desire to live by grace inside and out.
Over the last season my book club and I have focused on the book The Road Back to You and learning the Enneagram. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a personality typing system and has been helpful to many. Check it out. My type definitely is healed by comforting and quieting the inner critic (hence this post 🙂 ). If you’re like me this podcast was very insightful (Episode 30 The Road Back to You).
Book on my horizon I’m looking forward to reading when it releases: What is the Bible by Rob Bell Here’s a funny video intro 😉 Also been thoroughly enjoying his Alternative Wisdom series on his podcast The Robcast.
This season is incredible. One thing Spring can do for my active mind is ground me. The trees, the sun, the birds… all of it gifts in the moment. Soak it in friends.
Thanks for reading!