Recently, my friend Andrea gave me a necklace of a babushka doll. It’s not the whole set of nesting dolls, but just the center one on a chain. When I saw it, I thought, “Oh, that’s cute and quirky, I love it!”
Yesterday, I put the necklace on and held the doll in my fingers, admiring its quirkiness in the mirror. And that’s when this hit me: I can learn from this. I can be inspired by this.
Okay, so I AM running over 100 degree fever these days (in what appears to be a mono relapse) but bear with me. I don’t think I’m being delusional.
You know what a Babushka doll is, right? It’s a set of wooden dolls, cut from one piece of wood, of decreasing size placed one inside the other. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
I am a people pleaser by nature, though I’ve gone through phases of my life where it was a non-issue (hello freshman and senior year of college!) It’s something I love and hate about myself. I love it because people are pleased. I hate it because sometimes what they’re pleased about has nothing to do with my true nature. If you will, sometimes I take who I am (the baby middle of the set of dolls) and put something else around me, hiding that part, and showing something else (the outer layers of the dolls).
So what can we people-pleasers do to show the inner “me” and be happy with and proud of who we are? Find a way to believe truth over lies.
I’ve recently read a book about how our negative life experiences can create lies we believe about ourselves and put on repeat in our minds. I’ve been practicing a new discipline lately where I replace lies I believe with truth through meditation. It’s remarkable how much I’ve changed.
For example: One lie I tend to believe is that if I’m totally myself, people will not accept me because I’m not good enough. My mind can easily bring up memories that back-up that thought. So I pray that God will take all of those unhealthy beliefs, images and memories and replace them with his love and truth. Then I meditate for a while on the truths that specifically deal with that lie. In this case, I use:
- I am a child of God, accepted by him with a parental love that is unconditional. (from John 1:12 from the Bible)
- I was predestined for greatness as God’s child. Before everything He chose me and after everything He continues to choose me. (from Eph 1:4-6)
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (from Ps 39:14)
- I’m a lovable, significant, whole person of worth, no matter what anyone says. I have hope and a future with wonderful things in store for me. (from Jer 29:11)
- My future is not tied to my past. (from Phil 3:13-14)
Almost immediately, those negative memories have faded away and the truth sits at the forefront with more control over my actions than the lies. Awesome.
(Books inspiring my new discipline: Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore and The Healing Code by Alex Loyd)