Friday, October 22, 2010

You Have to Go Back To Go Forward Part 2

Last post we talked about how our family of origin forms some of our thinking but to a much greater degree I believe it is the world around us that forms our thought process and our view of ourselves.  School experiences, relationships with those outside of our family and the culture we grow up in.

We all have horror stories from school and as much as we laugh now or say it doesn't matter that fact is that the messages we were given in school has a huge impact on our thoughts.  The relationships with those outside of our family also have an impact on us - what they said to us, how we fit in, how we perceived ourselves in relation to our peers.  Early dating relationships and even beginning jobs and teachers all have had an influence on our thinking.

Again, as with our family of origin we have to take those messages that we have embraced as truth and realize they are lies and they are keeping us captive.

Some examples from my life:
I always struggled with my weight as a child and teen - I was called names at school always felt my friends (and they were :)  were thinner than me.  So one of my battles in my mind it to accept myself as God made me.  I do my part - I eat fairly well, I exercise but I in my mind will never be as thin as I feel I need to be.  For years I struggled with this, it hurt my self-esteem and confidence.  But although I am still conscious of it I no longer allow this to consume me.

My parents were older parents - my mom had me when she was 40 and back in those days 40 was 40 :) She was not someone that was conscious of style whether clothes or hair and we didn't have alot of money.  So I usually went to school with out the advantage of looking like everyone else.  In my perception everyone seemed to look better - clothes, hair, stuff they had.  Even going to their homes and seeing their rooms.  I always felt that I didn't measure up.  What that created in me was a discontentment throughout my life.  No matter what I finally obtained or looked like I still never felt as good or that I had as much as the others in my life.

Include with all this the influences of our culture - everywhere you look you are told what you need to look like, what you need to buy and how thin you should be - Every book, commercial and ad - shows pictures of perfection whether it be how you dress, look or your home and all that you own.  No one can possibly live up to these images.  A few years ago Dove soap came out with a very real video on how our culture is influence our daughters.  Here it is:  

Side note: We need to teach our kids these concepts and do all we can to help them to be confident people.  They are growing up in even a more difficult culture and environment than we did.

In both these cases I had to change my thinking.  I had to see that the messages that were brought into my life by early experiences where lies.  God made me the way I am and I choose to be happy with that.  I needed to begin to see all the good things in my life and what I do have not focusing on what I don't have.  In later posts I will give some tools to help with these processes.  And it is a process - when you have thought one way for years and years it takes time to reverse that thinking.

Next post we will talk about the third roadblock to our thinking -  "The enemy, the father of lies"

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