Those special qualities that come naturally to people, I call them spiritual gifts. [It’s not original; I know; it’s just the term I learned to describe them.]
Everybody has at least one spiritual gift. It’s what’s coming out when a person gets that child of light brilliance going on, when they’re in the flow, when they’re being them.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed that people seem really out-of-touch with that part of their selves. I’ve seen it in people from time to time, when life didn’t treat them so right. I lost sight of mine for a LONNNGGGG-ASS time. I was scared of failure (thanks, law school). I was hurt. I doubted myself at every turn.
And that doubt didn’t make sense. I was doin’ it! I kept coming through for myself (and imperfectly, to be sure). But I was so scared that I couldn’t stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I was too wrapped up in things that either I couldn’t control or didn’t have anything to do with me.
That fear really seeps in when we’re hyper-saturated with concerns. The presidential election and new administration has done it to us bigly.
People are worried about terrorism and that the 9th Circuit’s temporary restraining order on the Muslim Ban will make us susceptible to it. Others are worried about a Secretary of Education who is woefully un-qualified but perfectly financed for the job. We’re fighting with each other to no avail. And we’re mad that everyone doesn’t see our POV.
And that makes us insecure.
And insecure makes us scared. It’s all the same to our brains. Learn why here.
But, ask yourself this: What does someone else’s mind have to do with me?
And what does your mind have to do with anyone else?
Our brains are private places. Nobody knows what you’re doing in there. That’s why I said yesterday to set goals FOR yourself, and why I’m saying now:
Stop being afraid of yourself!
My childhood church was pretty fire and brimstone-y. Like, the types who rooted against Kevin Bacon in ‘Footloose’. I can remember hearing bleak sermons that left me afraid of being curious about anything for fear of having a “bad” thought (which, I guess was one that wasn’t in keeping with their beliefs). The prospect of being a sinner was terrifying. Sinners went to hell, and that place sounded suuuuper scary.
But how would I learn, if I didn’t know anything? Why wasn’t the lesson about how to go out and build strength by facing everything? Why didn’t we plan to succeed by preparing for all the bad stuff that’s out there?
I didn’t know it then, but I know now that I wanted to LIVE the “Whatever you are, be a good one” saying.
I didn’t know what it meant to be a good one. All I had heard was what not to do.
I was afraid of myself, because I thought i was bad. Before I had even done anything, even without bad intentions, I had convinced myself that my thought were evil and that paralyzed my actions.
I see that same type of mental insecurity happening in people.
We’re so “governed” in instances like what is and is not “politically correct”. We feel judged for what think. And I know i haven’t made it easy for people to be open because I’m a judge-y loudmouth who writes passive-aggressive fb posts to get reactions from people in the hopes of presenting a new perspective.
We’re inundated with “think positive” “just be positive” messages. When it’s not reality to be la-la-laaa happy all the time. Reality is that we experience negative thoughts and feelings. Not everything is hunky-dory 24/7.
What you do with those thoughts and feelings matters.
When I was a teenager, I was a bundle of anger and frustration. One day, when my temper flared, I put my fist through the drywall. Have fun being grounded, dipshit… It was my way of fighting fire with fire. I felt like I didn’t have any other recourse.
I still feel that same anger from time to time. It’s the product of bottling up things, rather than dealing with them, and putting too much stock in others. I also hold back from expressing when I have a problem because i’m a female from Texas—we’re well-versed in bottling up. Unpleasantness? Nah, don’t confront it.
But punching things is just as un-doable for me as bottling up.
I had to re-wire myself to deal with the adverse in constructive ways. I took more steps back from more situations, emotionally-speaking. I asked myself who I wanted to be. I created a vision for myself that didn’t include anger.
I started asking myself What does this have to do with me?
I started realizing that I can be in any situation and remain unchanged.
And that conscious choice is when I started to get less angry. It’s when I started to trust myself more. And it’s when I started to get some of my sparkly, carefree self back.
I had to trust that I was good, strong, and would remain true to what I stand for. And everybody is equipped with the same abilities.
If only we trusted ourselves more.
Check out the second episode of my Mixed Feelings Podcast that inspired this post: