Thursday, February 7, 2013

Correcting in Anger...or Love?

How many of you struggle with a critical inner voice?  You know the kind I mean.  The one that is constantly telling you that you suck, that you don't deserve good things in your life, that your best efforts will never be good enough.

I hear that voice often in my life.  It points out all of my mistakes, and it puts me through the wringer for them.  It saps away my energy, and leaves me an empty husk.  More than anything, it gives me cause to harp on myself for almost every mistake I make, big or small.

Now I am all about improvement and becoming more like our Savior.  That is a big part of this life.  But I have learned (or at least am trying to learn) that correcting myself in anger doesn't work.  It just doesn't!

How many of you have kids?  How well does it go when you correct them in anger?  If it's anything like with my kids, it creates hurt feelings and tears.  It doesn't work any better when I turn it on myself.  I've been ripping myself to shreds for years, and it hasn't worked.

According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.  Continuing to rip myself to shreds will bring more of the same result.  It's time to try something different.  It's time to try love.

I'm learning that my internal self-perception is flawed.  At some level, my inner critical voice tells me that I am bad, flawed, terrible, etc.  If I can change that perception, that paradigm, I can change my world.  But until I do, no one will be able to get through to me, and I will be unable to receive the love that is there for me.  It's time to try something else.  It's time to view myself as the Lord sees me.

"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him.  Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation...He saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price." -2 Nephi 26:24-25

When the Lord speaks about "all men" and "all ye ends of the earth", He is including me.  And He is including you.  Even when we feel otherwise.  We can love Him, because "He first loved us." (1 John 4:19).  This is His promise to you.  And to me.

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