One day, my husband and I engaged in a mild dispute about something unimportant. In my mind, I blamed him for our miscommunication. His thoughts remain unspoken, but he turned away and rolled his eyes. Anyone ever experienced a moment like this? All marriages have two people, so differences are unavoidable and not a big deal, as long as the partners are emotionally healthy. However, a strong person can have bouts of self-doubt. I wasn’t my best self because of health issues, social isolation, and a job status change. Without awareness, my state of mind transitioned to old patterns. Mike, the bully voice in my head, began hammering at my self-worth. His name stems from one of the first bullies I encountered in childhood. “You are stupid. You do not know how to talk. Everyone despises you because your ideas are dumb. You have no abilities. You should not have been born.”
Years ago, I would have acted the same as when I was a child. I would have sat in my closet, in the dark crying because I felt unworthy and forsaken. No more, I believe in myself, and I am infinitely worthy of love. I am intelligent. I communicate quite well, and my ideas are often creative. Mike, the bully, can shrink his way back into his closet!
After the moment of discord with my beloved partner, I put on my headphones and started a playlist. My music tastes are random and oddly diverse. Justin Furstenfeld’s lilting voice began to sing “Fear” from his SWAY album, and I focused in on the lyrics. He artistically composed the words to explain the metamorphosis from a broken person into a stronger man. He personified fear breaking him. One of his stanzas show how he began to believe in himself and God helps when we need Him.
The beauty is…I’m learning how to face my beast, Starting now to find some peace. Set myself free… Ask him to help you carry on.Blue October. “Fear.” Sway, Up/Down-Brando Records, ©2013.
The last line of Justin’s song, “Ask him to help you carry on.”, triggered my thoughts toward God. One of His last acts provided an example of the struggle human beings experience: desertion, abandonment, isolation, love ones ignoring us, being an outcast, or forsaken at times. Jesus cried out at the ninth hour as he was struggled to breathe on the cross, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He knew that he had not forsaken himself, and I know I am not those things Mike, the Bully, said I am.
God allowed himself to show us the human side of Him. I think he wanted us to understand that the negative feelings we experience are normal, but the truth is that if we love ourselves as He loves us, we can become strong and healthy.
In my thinking, the ninth hour represents a time of intense suffering. It isn’t about an actual time, but more like falling in the Blue October song. We will fail, but we can get up again. Jesus loves us and he reaches out to us though many sources to help us believe in ourselves and seek to love ourselves.