a blog written by Jennifer Lynn
In my previous two blog posts I discussed both the criticisms we hear from others and also from ourselves. Add in the “voice” of social media and that’s a lot of voices to take in for any one person. Everyone now a days gets to have a very public opinion. About everything. No fact checking required because who the heck cares about silly things like that. Everyone’s talking about “their” truth which is really just another way of saying “this is my opinion” or “my story.” And when you have that many voices or “truths” being spewed out on a daily basis what inevitably happens is chaos. Everybody thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong. Then there’s the fighting, name calling, slurs, bullying, and just all around nasty comments and behaviour because over the years we’ve lost the common decency of being able to agree to disagree. God forbid we have conversations about important issues laced with respect, kindness and civility.
This all got me thinking; with so many voices and people declaring what is “truth” have we lost sight of THE truth?
I think one of the positive things that comes with getting older, for me anyways, is not caring what other people think. Yes, there are certain people who’s opinion matters to me but over all I’ve slowly started to let go of what people think. Life is too short for that kind of mindset. I don’t have the patience anymore. Not to mention, it’s a complete waste of time, and energy. More importantly, at the end of the day, there is only one person’s opinion of me that matters, and that is God’s.
Just like we have the choice in who’s voice we listen to as far as criticism is concerned, (both from others and ourselves) we also have the choice to listen to the truth in what God and his word have to say about us. It’s like listening to the radio in your car. Does anybody still listen to the radio anymore? Just me? I’m kind of an old soul so it’s cool. Anyways, when I’m driving in my car, I’ll keep the radio on a certain station, but only as long as I like what I’m hearing. As soon, as it turns to commercials or a song I’m not fond of, I turn the dial and change the channel. I am an avid radio station changer. And I’ll keep turning the dial until I hear something that I like. It’s a vicious cycle that I don’t see changing anytime soon. When I listen to the radio I love driving to songs that I love. That make me feel great. That tug at my heartstrings. I’m not willing to sit through commercials or songs that don’t move me to some degree.
We have the same ability to change “the dial” in our mind. To tune out what doesn’t matter or even what is unhealthy or damaging. Easier said than done at times. This I know very well. But it really is up to us in what we allow ourselves to listen to. Or to take it even a step further, what we allow to take root in our minds. A quote that I love and that I’ve referenced here before but is worth repeating is this:
“You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
What I mean by that is, we can’t control what others say about us. We can’t control others actions towards us. We can’t control the thoughts that are placed in our minds on a daily basis. But we CAN control whether or not we choose to let them stay and hang around. We CAN control whether we choose to dismiss a thought or mull it over and over…and over. We CAN control whether a single critical thought takes root in our psyche or emotions. We CAN control whether or not we allow those criticisms or actions to affect our decision making.
The past couple of years has been a case study in me choosing which voice to listen to. And I haven’t always chosen well. I’m still learning. It’s a process. Choosing well often is.
I don’t have all the answers to every single thing that we go through or experience. I don’t have any easy answers for anything. Life isn’t easy. It’s damn hard. But what I do know is what God says about me. What the creator of the universe feels towards me. I know how much He loves me, even if I feel others don’t. I know he craves time with me, even if others don’t. I know that He has my future in His hands and guides my steps so I don’t have to be afraid or be anxious of the unknown. I know that He has good plans for me. I know that whatever hardships that I may go through on this earth, all of that will be wiped away when I see Jesus face to face. And at that point, nothing that I went through on earth will matter anymore.
So, if you didn’t know, now you know. You do have someone who thinks good thoughts towards you. Who loves you like crazy. Even when you act crazy. Someone who will never leave you. His words are not just “a truth”. They are THE truth. Not to mention LIFE. Make the choice to tune out the criticisms and dial in to the only voice that matters.