Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Don't Own Me

These words were immortalized in a 1963 song recorded by Lesley Gore. Can't say I know much about the song or the woman who sang it. (But I did just find out it's in the same key as Edward Elgar's Enigma piece of music ever! It also shares the first four notes...) But I've been thinking lately about things I've been owning. Or allowing to own me.

I'm a grudge-keeper. I will spin a negative comment in my head 'round and 'round and 'round until I'm dizzy. Then I'll keep spinning it.

This past school year, my sick brain has had many such comments I've allowed to slosh around in my mind:

"She's an embarrassment to the school."

"The longer she's here, the worse things will get."

"You're bossy and controlling. It will be a wonder if you'll have any friends left."

"She doesn't play well with others."

Okay...some of those aren't verbatim quotes...but the message they have been screaming at me has been loud and clear. I've let them destroy my confidence. I've let them fester like a cancer in my soul.

And now...I want to be free.

I've been going through the book "Made to Crave" with other women at church. I confess...for the first few weeks, I just wasn't getting much out of the study. I figured I had bigger issues to resolve than whether or not I was making good food choices.

But this week...a whole lot of things started to make sense. Lysa Terkeurst mentioned in her chapter "I'm Not Defined by the Numbers" a situation where someone made a careless comment at the gym. Instead of allowing that comment to fester and become cancerous, she writes "{this statement} was not life and it was not godly. Therefore, I didn't have to internalize it. I could leave it...and walk away. That statement didn't belong to me. That statement wasn't my issue...I could feed that comment and let it grow into an identity crusher; or I could see it for what it was, a careless comment." Lysa goes on to say "We can literally say to a comment or a thought that presents itself to us, 'Are you true? Are you beneficial? Are you necessary?' And if the answer is no, then we don't open the door of our heart."

So now, I'm cutting out the cancer. I'm taking those thoughts captive, bit by bit. I'm fixing my thoughts on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy."

And those other don't own me anymore.

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