This may seem like a pep talk, but let’s call it more of a truth talk. People have described me before as a motivational writer. Truth be told, I don’t really care for the label. I’m more interested in truth that takes root in your soul than a pep rally to only motivate you momentarily. I’m passionate about bringing truth to the lies that rob people of the abundant life they are meant to live. A life of being loved, accepted and enough. So if my writing motivates people closer to truth, then I guess I will happily wear the label.
I had a conversation once with one of my teenage sons about an upcoming event at his school. I was asking him about going, secretly planning in my mind all the fun mom things I would get to do in preparation for it. He quickly deflated my daydream with his abrupt response that he had no plan of going because he didn’t have anyone to go with.
“But you haven’t even asked anyone yet,” I countered. Now I know that as his Mom I am tipping the scale on the biased side, but if you ask me, who wouldn’t want to go with him? I couldn’t even imagine.
But he could. In fact, that question was all that he could imagine, that no one on the planet would want to go with him. My Momma heart winced that he could believe this about himself.
We do this as adults too, don’t we? We rob ourselves by believing the thoughts that enter our minds.
One time I saw someone that I know and love at an outdoor public event. We were estranged and our relationship was broken at the time through a series of events that felt outside of my control. I saw her through the thick crowd of strangers. As our eyes made contact, we both looked quickly the other direction.
The band, Twenty One Pilots, has a lyric in one of their songs that says this:
“Sometimes quiet is violent.”
Indeed. I wanted to approach her and mend the brokenness, but I didn’t. I remained silent. In my mind, I believed the lie that my approaching her was the last thing she wanted. I couldn’t handle the possible rejection I might have faced. My silence causing violent pain to her and deeper fracture to the relationship.
Sometimes we have to speak truth to ourselves. Sometimes it means writing that truth on a hundred post it notes stuck to random places in our home, car and workplace. Sometimes we have to set a reminder on our phone. A pop up alert throughout our day of the truth we need to remember. Sometimes it means looking at a friend or someone we trust and telling them to tell us the truth we need to hear.
Our worth is not based on the approval of others. It’s safe to risk rejection. It’s safe to risk failure. Often times, it’s not as much of a risk as we think.
I heard an interview once with Mike Tyson, one of the most vulnerable and honest people I’ve ever heard interviewed. He is well known for some of the not so name worthy things of his past. I’m not here to judge. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the whole truth. I only know what the media writes and I know how I feel about the media. What he is also known for is being the youngest heavyweight champion of all time at the age of twenty. This young kid from the projects who grew up with an absent father and a mother who passed away when he was sixteen. This kid who often got in fights with other kids who teased him about his lisp, his first fight being with a kid who harmed a pigeon he loved and took care of. This young kid who was arrested thirty eight times by the age of thirteen for petty crimes and most unlikely to succeed at anything.
Do you know where his boxing ability was discovered? By a counselor inside of the boys home he was placed in after the death of his mom. So how did this kid from the streets of New York make it to being named heavyweight champion of the world?
Because one person saw what no one else saw and believed in him.
Mike talked in his interview about how his trainer, Cus D’Amato, convinced him that out of five billion people on the planet, there wasn’t a single one that could beat him in the ring. He entered every fight with that mindset.
Maybe you don’t have a Cus in your life. Maybe you don’t know how to be your own Cus, and believe better or truth talk to yourself.
I’ve got something even better for you.
There may be roughly seven billion people on the planet now, but there is only one you. Only one magnificent you. When God created you, he looked at all that he made in you and said “it is very good.” A stamp of approval. A finished work. Perfected. Complete. Enough.
How about trying a little truth talk to yourself? It may take time, but eventually, you just might start to believe it.