Monthly Archives: July 2016

Going In Before Going Out


This morning, the lesson was about God having given me all of His powers.

The words in these lessons usually inspire the thought, really? Because if you asked me at some random point during the day whether I feel powerful, I  say “Are you kidding?! I feel anything BUT powerful!”

But this isn’t because I’m not powerful. It’s because I don’t FEEL powerful. The distinction is important.

Like many people, whether  I consider myself powerful or pretty or smart is based on what is happening outside myself. For example, a woman organizing a conference called me saying a friend suggested she call me because “Judy knows everyone.” Hearing that made me feel proud and powerful. Well if someone else says that it MUST be true.

Which is the problem.

First because people’s opinions vary. One day someone thinks you’re wonderful. The next day you say something, upset them and they think you’re horrible. Have you really changed that much?

No! But it’s crazy how I’m willing to allow my self-esteem hinge on the assessments of others.

Then things get really fun because I assume there must be a good reason for the other person’s assessment. I wonder what did I do? What did I say? Or what did I fail to do or say?

And if you’re like me, you dig even deeper and get down to what you believe is the TRUTH about yourself. And the TRUTH in my case is not a pretty picture.

Somewhere around the age of two or three I came up with the the idea that I didn’t deserve to exist and that was the TRUTH about me. Where this idea came from I can’t say for sure. I was raised in a loving, middle class family and I was never abused or mistreated.

But who can say what happens that gives a three-year old the idea that she doesn’t deserve to exist. The birth of a new sister, a look from a parent, being punished for something I didn’t think was wrong?

But small children know instinctively they need their parents and other adults to survive and tend to believe those adults are always right. Therefore, it is they who are somehow wrong when an adult is unhappy or angry.

The irony is we rarely re-examine those early ideas. Instead they get codified and reinforced as we add layers of adult reasons and beliefs until that belief becomes our reality.

In my case, the belief I don’t deserve to exist has turned into a whole nest of beliefs such as “I need to get everyone to like me.” “I must do everything perfectly.” “I must fit in.” “I must be the winner.”

It’s not surprising I’ve spent a lot of time feeing guilty, angry, and anxious. Guilty when I displease someone important. Angry when I go along with what someone else wants even though I don’t like what I’m doing. And anxious because I spend a lot of time alone without feedback at all and I’m always wondering and worrying about whether I’m “doing it right.” Even though “doing it right” hasn’t been much of a recipe for personal happiness in my case.

In my case the “antidote” has been to stop depending on what’s outside as an indicator of my right to exist and feel happy.

Every once in a while, this morning for example, I remember that before I try to do anything I believe will make me feel better about myself to first go within and find peace. And here’s something really cool: I always find peace! Always! If I can quiet my anxious thoughts just enough, I find peace and quiet.

And once I find the peace and quiet I notice how full my heart feels. The fullness is Love. Not hearts and flowers love. Divine, unconditional Love. The Love that is there no matter what I do, say, or think.

It is from the peace and love which is always present in my heart that I would now go into the world with. And this is a very different presence than the anxious “please tell me I have a right to exist” presence I would otherwise bring.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized