Who Told You That?

We are all born free
and spend a lifetime
becoming slaves
to our own
false truths
~ Atticus

This week I stumbled across a poet who really speaks to me – I can relate to much of what he writes – to the point it is like he popped into my head and pulled out things I did not even know were there until I see them in writing with his name attached. Apparently he is already all the rage, but I’m a bit slow to the party at times. (Probably because I would rather stay home and read a book than go to the party!)

Have you heard of Atticus? You can find him on Instagram – @atticuspoetry and he has a book on Amazon – Love Her Wild. I like poetry but I’m not a huge fan necessarily – however, I did purchase the book. A friend keeps posting things on Facebook about his poetry and I’m loving it and decided it was time for me to get a copy of my own. I highly recommend you go check him out (after you finish reading this post of course).

The poem above is the first one that really caught my eye. It is so very true. I’m just starting to dig deep and beginning to reveal some of the false truths that I’ve lived with and become a slave to over the years.

Another friend recently told me about a bible study she is going through – I don’t recall the title, but I do know it is by Beth Moore. I’m a big fan. My friend told me that one thing that hit her was that Beth says we need to start asking the question “Who told you that?” We need to examine where our “truths” are coming from, what is the source.

This really hit home for me because I realize a lot of anxiety in my life is caused by these things that I believe to be true – things regarding who I am supposed to be and what I should be doing. But are these things REALLY TRUE? I’ve never stopped to ask this question. Where is it coming from? Who told me that? I’m too busy being anxious and freaked out about how I’m not doing what I should be or being who I should be that I have never looked beneath the surface.

I remember at one point a few years ago, when the housing market was crashing, there was a period of time when my husband and I wondered if we were going to be able to keep our house. I had a lot of good friends who lost theirs and it all of a sudden hit me that it could happen to anyone – even us. I had been raised all my life to believe that it was extremely important to have perfect credit. My parents did an amazing job given their circumstances in keeping great credit and it really helped them out a lot over the years. However, being raised with that belief had translated for me as “you are a failure and it will be the end of the world if you have bad credit and if you financially can’t keep your house any longer.” I remember laying in bed some nights during this time filled with so much anxiety I would be physically sick.

I finally had to sit down one day and really think it through – what is the worst that could happen? It was hard, but I made myself work through the scenario. And I realized something. If the worst happened and I lost my job (the economy was not great then either) and as a result we lost the house and our vehicles – would life suck? YEP, it definitely would. BUT would it be the end of the world? Would my husband and I be left destitute on the streets trying to feed and care for three children. NOPE. We had friends and family that would step in and help us out (I just had to be willing to humble myself and accept it – that was another hard lesson for another post!) I may not have a great job anymore and we may have to scrape and be very careful for awhile – but in the end we would survive, we would still have each other and we would make it through. That was a very eye opening exercise for me. And one that I had to keep going back to multiple times during that period in our lives.

In the end, I did not lose my job and we did not loose the house or either of our vehicles. We were late on some payments and we had to work some things out with people. We do not have perfect credit. But you know what? That is okay. I ask myself who told me that I have to have perfect credit to be a success? Is this really true? I realized it is not! If I had lost my house – would that mean I was worthless? Who told me that? Where is that “truth” coming from?

Here is a short list of some of the other things I’ve started to ask this question regarding. Now, these are not necessarily bad things and in many cases they are good things that I would love to be able to obtain. However, what I’ve needed to realize is that they are not things that define who I am and therefore, do not deserve the level of importance or anxiety I have assigned to them in the past.

  • Having a spotless house and/or a well manicured lawn – I would love both, I have neither. My back yard currently has been taken over by weeds and a 125 lb dog!
  • Having perfectly behaved children – pfft…not even close, but they are not bad and will some day give me lots of writing material.
  • Climbing the corporate ladder at work – I honesty don’t have a desire to do this but have been faced many times with the implication that I’m not successful for not having moved up faster or taken certain opportunities.
  • Being the perfect weight – working on being a healthier weight, but I’m learning to forgive myself when I falter on this path.
  • Participating/Volunteering for all my kid’s activities and/or school clubs/events/committees – I’m actually sticking to my guns this year and saying No to things I know I just don’t have time for and for the most part I’m not feeling too guilty about it.
  • Being perfectly groomed – my hair has sparkles (and I kind of like them) and my nails are definitely an after thought. My clothes are more comfy and practical than they are chic and trendy.
  • Being an expert in whatever I write about or else I am a fraud – I’m blogging now and I’m definitely NOT an expert in anything. Just writing about what I’m learning and feeling. And so far, it seems to be working.

Beth Moore talks about how if God is not the source of that truth, then you need to let it go and stop believing it (I may be paraphrasing a little – or a lot!) I do believe in God and I believe He has a hand in our lives. So this is a really big and important concept for me to really grasp. This is something that I want to make a practice of in my daily life. Asking this question and determining the source of the things I believe.

But I know some of you reading this may not share my faith. So you may ask, how does this apply to me? Really I don’t see it being any different for you. You can still ask yourself that question. Who told me that? Is it really something that is based in truth and something you should be believing and basing your life on? The more I dig and examine things, the more I realize I have a lot of “truths” that others have put on me, that society has put on me, which really are not true at all. How about you? What False Truths are you holding onto?

All this digging and examining has helped to control some of the anxiety I’ve struggled with all my life. It is helping me with the self confidence issues I’ve had all my life as well. It is allowing me to step out and try things I’ve always wanted to do but was afraid to try. It has helped me to realize I am not a failure. I AM good enough, just the way I am.

In fact, I’m actually pretty awesome and amazing!

Who Told Me That? Actually God did and now I am telling myself the same thing!

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4 thoughts on “Who Told You That?

  1. Pingback: Meaningful Work & Gremlins – My Journey to Imperfection

  2. Pingback: 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Round 2 – Poetry Style (Day 3) – My Journey to Imperfection

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