The above image quote has been on my mind today. I am going to take each part and try to apply it to my life. I am looking forward to making some positive changes in my life and this quote seems like a good place to start my thought process on just how to do make those changes.
"Face Forward." I am so used to having my head slanted towards the ground eyes looking at the ground. The dirt and I are on a first name basis, we know each other well. There is beauty in every grain of sand, every piece of dirt, every rock, blade of grass, flower, and tree root. There is no doubt that I love the feel of the earth underneath my feet and the treasures I find as I walk upon it. However, I am missing out on many beautiful things that would be at eye-level if I would just lift up my head.
You may be wondering why I am even blogging about this. Well, you see, I have suffered from low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. That is my main reason for keeping my eyes focused on the ground. I don't want to see the look on someone's face when they see me. I just know it won't be good! At least that is what I have come to believe.
I allowed certain people's words, actions, and beliefs muddy my view of who I was. I believed I was not good enough and my thoughts were not valid. Everything I enjoyed or had a passion for was looked down upon. So I began molding myself into something foreign to me and told myself daily that who I was and what I dreamed were of no worth and should be locked away in the darkest recesses of my being. (Just typing this makes me nauseous)
The work is hard. The journey is exhausting. The emotional roller-coaster it nauseating. Most days I want to quit and just live in denial. Working on my physical health is hard, believe me, but this the work of facing forward - straight at myself in the mirror - without casting my eyes downward - is so much harder than I ever imagined. It takes every ounce of energy, courage, and "just do it already" attitude to face forward - to face myself for 30 seconds. I don't like who I allowed myself to become. I don't like the anxious, panicky, depressed, unfocused, chaotic-minded person I have become - or maybe always was. I want to fight her - I want to beat her. But you know that is not the way to healing. I have to love her - accept her. That is much harder to do than to berate her for being this way.
My first step to facing forward is awareness. Something I learned from a few years of seeing a counselor (the best decision I have made!). Every moment that I become aware of my triggers, my defense mechanism, my negative self-talk, my need to please people and leave myself on the back burner, I get one step closer to freedom. One step closer to healing. Every moment I become aware of the lies of our spiritual enemy and refuse to believe them, I get one step closer to freedom. One step closer to healing.Now that I am well into becoming more aware of my inner workings, I need to work on the second step.
Step two to facing forward is "weeding my garden." Yesterday during my session I learned about a process of visualizing my mind, thoughts, attitudes, and feelings as a garden. (I have always found peace in nature). As I sit in the quiet, stillness of my garden I need to look around and find those weeds of self-hate, low self-esteem, doubt, negativity, unforgiveness, bitterness, and any thing else that I have held onto that is hindering my growth. Anything that steals my peace, joy, love, and happiness. (Joy and happiness are different, more on that in another post). Once I find them, I need to pull them out and throw them away!! One by one. Step by step. One day at a time. It may sound simple and a little corny but why over-complicate something that just needs a simple corny solution!?
There are many more steps along the way to healing. As I weed my thought garden I will practice taking every thought captive and guarding my heart so the enemy won't gain a foothold in my life. It may seem as if our battle is with people but it is not. It is a spiritual battle. The enemy, Satan (negative, evil energy), is out to manipulate, steal, kill, and destroy every single good thing inside of every single human being. He doesn't want us to have peace, joy, love for ourselves or others. So he uses us if he can to hurt each other. To bully, be little, and sometimes even physically harm ourselves or others. If he can keep us busy being angry, bitter, hurt, and trying to one up each other then we will not grow into the amazing, fearfully, wonderfully made, human beings we were meant to be. It's time we stop fighting ourselves and each other. It is time to allow the healing to take place.