Do you remember those times when you asked questions, in the innocent spirit of a child and you were slammed with really blunt NO’S and you had no idea why? And no one cared to explain why?
Have you ever had those moments when you really expected to hear “well done” or “good job, i am proud of you” and all you heard was “why did you not try better?” or “what’s that F doing there?”
Have you been turned down so many times as a child that as an adult you got scared to ask even the simplest questions, for the fear of being shouted on, or told no? Or verbally abused?
Growing up, I had so many of these happen to me- and I grew up scared of people. Most people did not notice but it took me time to socialize at times. I grew up in such crippling fear that sometimes life just passed me by- because I was afraid to ask, afraid to talk. The fear of being misunderstood, the fear of being judged, the fear of NO- sound familiar to someone?
No, I’m not writing this for self-pity. I am writing this to reach out to those of you who have heard so many NO’S and negative statements from those you felt were closest to you-parents, siblings, even friends. I want you to stop and do the following:
- Learn to do things for YOU: When we put expectations on people, do things to get their nod or smile or gesture of approval and the situation does not turn out the way we envisioned, it leaves us hurt. However, sometimes if you search yourself deep within, YOU NEVER WANTED TO DO IT! Funny but sad stuff. I want you, yes you to stop doing things to gain people’s approval. Do things for YOU; grow YOU. Promote YOU. Because at the end of the day, you are the one hurt while some of these people were too busy to notice you doing anything to gain their approval.
- Face your fears: I am personally still scarred and scared of the word NO. I usually run from situations that would warrant me standing my ground. ( yea I can be chicken like that sometimes, but I’m growing). Fear is like eating beans; it makes you drink plenty water without increasing in size. Yet because you are taking in so much water it feels like the small bean seeds are the size of oranges in your belly. Stop feeding your fear! The world won’t end if you hear a NO; the ground won’t open up if you get shouted on. What you allow will affect you; stop allowing your fears. As long as God approves of you, human approval should never steer your life. You are more than the fears that torment you; take a stand and whoop fear off your life!
- Get close to God: As you journey through life with God, you will be amazed at how powerless some of your fears are; you will discover that most of the things you’re struggling with, like low self-confidence, addictions, fear of rejection are toothless bulldogs; they only have as much power as you give them. Knowing who you are in Christ and constantly reminding yourself about it is one of the best ways to get yourself back, the original you that God intended before life and words messed you up. Please note the key word here is CONSISTENCY. If you don’t stir milk consistently while it boils, the bottom of the pot gets scorched with burnt milk. If you don’t constantly spend time with God, you might find yourself good today, 5 steps back tomorrow and one step forward the next. I know how that feels and I won’t want it for anyone. Start gradually, and with consistency some of your past thoughts will make you laugh in the future.
- Forgive: This has been one of the hardest things for me, because it hampered my relationship with my parents; I got more distant from them and dealt life alone. Unforgiveness is a slave-master that does not allow you see the good in those who are supposed to be your closest people in life. Generally, parents especially always want to do the best for their children, but because they speak a love language different from that of their kids (will talk on that in my next post) their kids often grow up feeling unloved and feeling a void that they try to fill with different dangerous stunts that lead them astray. Whoever you know that had a hand in you becoming the way you are, you need to set them free in your heart. Believe me this is actually the most important step because if you don’t consciously release them, you will keep coming back to that spot.
- Learn for your future: It’s seen as a normal cycle when drunks raise drunks, addicts raise addicts……..NO! Your negative experiences should never have a repeat button extended to your kids. In life we go through things for a purpose, and one of these purposes is that it shapes us to be better parents and wards. Because you knew what it felt like to live in a home where you were afraid to ask questions, one of your objectives should be to create a hassle-free, fear-free environment for your children where they can talk to you about the most embarrassing stuff from wet dreams to weird feelings to first smooches and kisses to the first period experiences- everything! As a father/mother, your child should learn about sensitive issues firsthand from YOU not their friends, media or society. Be that gossip buddy to your kids. I am fully aware that the system was created to run people who originally entered to run it, but you can break out from the system and make your priorities clear. Get close to your children, get to know what is that thing you will do, or say that will make them feel like they walking on cloud 9 because they are 100 percent sure that Mommy loves them. Find out what they love; encourage them even when they come home with that ugly F. Help them build their self confidence from a young age; make them love themselves in spite of the glasses, the pimples, the skin disorder, the bow legs. Prov 22:6 was not just talking about teaching them to know the LORD: it was also talking about teaching them to discover themselves. The Word of God holds so much more if only sometimes we choose to tune our spirits to His.
Trust me; the process of breaking from your fears is hard, you will feel weakened, you will feel bored, but consistency is a wonderful helpmate when you hold it close, with God on your side.
“For God has not given us a Spirit of fear…….” Till I write again I remain the girl in glasses who writes once in a blue moon.
Efunnuga Henrietta Adedayo.