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Head Over Heels about . . . Me!

Graham Douglass

“You’re not good enough.” “Don’t even try.” “He is so much better than you.” Sound familiar?

The small but powerful voice is all too familiar to me. It started as a whisper; but over the years, it grew into a devouring monster that filled my mind with negative thoughts and bared its vicious teeth at my weakest and most vulnerable moments.

Over the last two years, the monster expanded its territory. I felt physically weak, my heart raced, my mind clouded, and I eventually lost touch with myself. Even on good days, I preferred hiding at home rather than facing the world. Simply put, I disliked myself.

God felt distant. In rare moments when I vaguely sensed God’s presence, I didn’t welcome it. I was angry. How could God, who professes deep unconditional love for me, sit back as I spiraled into detached darkness?

My way of life had become a destructive habit, maybe even a toxic addiction. I fearfully wandered a sharp, rocky path in the dead of night.

A “destructive habit” and a “toxic addiction”—my point is that in the devouring darkness, I still had a choice. I say it again: I had a choice. I could feed the monster with negative thinking or I could starve it.

With the aid of my long-time friend, Dan, executive director of Mount Horeb House Ministries, I learned that God blesses God’s children with the ability to choose. However, God lets us decide how to utilize this gift.

My time with Dan also taught me how profoundly I believed in fear. Fear-based thinking had become so common for me that I trusted it to protect me. Yet I dreamed of freedom from my destructive thoughts. It was time to trust God and to love myself.

I chose a divine addiction, sending my negative beliefs to God and replacing them with empowering thoughts that were grounded in God’s fulfilling peace. God began to show me that God is my protector, that I am good enough, that I do have something to offer, and that I can love myself. Actually, God demands that I love myself.

The darkness lifted, and my path felt smoother. I had purpose: loving myself.

As a society we are convinced that fear is crucial to living, that without it we are lazy or unmotivated. Believing the fear that lurks around every corner, we think we’re a failure if we aren’t chosen for the team. We think we’re not smart enough if we aren’t granted an internship. Sound familiar?

What would happen if we released our fears to God and chose to empower and love ourselves instead? Try it. Grant yourself permission and freedom to love. Love yourself!

 

DIG DEEPER

For one day, keep track on your phone or in a notepad of the negative thoughts you have about yourself. At the end of the day, review the list and release each negative thought to God. Rewrite each thought, transforming it into a positive statement. Then write on sticky notes loving and empowering thoughts about yourself. Stick them on your bathroom mirror, in school binders, wherever they will help you remember that you are loved.

Graham Douglass is a former devozine TAB member. He currently lives in New York City, where he works in television and as an actor.

—from devozine (January/February 2012). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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