Sometimes, even as early as childhood, we are given “gifts” that do us more harm than good. Sometimes they are given to us quite on purpose by loving but misguided people who think they are “doing it for our own good.” At other times these “gifts” are given to us by dysfunctional people who are, deliberately or unwittingly, trying to manipulate us so that they can get their own needs met. The unwelcome gifts I am talking about are things like fear, low self-esteem or self confidence, feelings of lack of worthiness, of never being “good enough” to please a parent or loved one.
If we continue to hold onto these unwelcome “gifts,” to believe these false ideas and act in harmony with them, we cannot reach our full God-given potential. Be assured that these feelings do not come from God.
Imagine that these feelings are like clothing. We open the box and try them on. We may wear them for a very long time, but we are capable of taking them off, putting them aside and choosing something else to wear.
At their most destructive this clothing is like a suit of body armor. It will protect us from being hurt. But it is very heavy and it saps our energy to wear it. We may not be vulnerable to the arrows or bullets that may come our way, but we also cannot run or jump or dance while we wear it. It severely limits our freedom to explore our world, find our talents, experience joy.
Imagine that we are living on the seashore. As we “go out into the world” we walk into the ocean. Free of the body armor, we can swim. We can hear loving voices calling to us and see the light of the lighthouse so that even if we venture out into deep water, we can find our way home. Wearing the body armor, we quickly find ourselves under water, feet firmly planted on the ocean floor. Our Rescuer sits in a rowboat over our heads, holding a tube down to us so that we can breathe. We gulp the air from the tube, feeling like the world is a very hard place to live. We cannot hear clearly. We cannot see clearly. We cannot move quickly or easily. We may be developing very strong muscles as we fight to live under the water in this way, wearing the armor that is weighing us down, but at what price?
Take off the armor! Let it go! Even if it was a gift from someone you love, it is causing you to drown! Will taking it off make you vulnerable? Possibly, but you will shoot to the surface, be able to breathe deeply and fully and freely. You will hear the voices of Love and Truth clearly calling to you. The Rescuer will help you into the boat and carry you safely to shore. He will protect you and heal you when you get hurt. You will be able to swim, to run, to laugh, to play, to experience joy and fulfillment. These are gifts that are far more valuable than the suffocating “protection” of the body armor. Let go of fear. Trust the Rescuer to protect you.
- What feeling, thought or ideas are weighing you down that you can take off and let go of?
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