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Bullies -Carrie Roark

Published November 1st, 2017 by Unknown

“Stupid!” “Ugly!” “You suck!” “Who do you think you are?” “You’re just selfish!” “I can’t stand you.” “I can’t even look at you.” “You’re too fat.”

It’s hard to imagine anyone being so overtly cruel. Yet, I hear these words every day. No, really. I do and I have for as long as I can remember. The words hurt. In fact, they are devastating. Do you want to know why I tolerate them? I tolerate them because I am the one saying them.

I would never say such awful things to another human being! Never! I can’t even imagine it. And really if someone else said such things to me, I wouldn’t have anything to do with them again. Yet, I speak these words to myself on a regular basis.

I am a harsh judge of myself and I hold nothing back when it comes to my self talk. What’s worse is that these words have been repeated so often that I actually believe them. So much so, that the words and actions of others get filtered through these words and I am convinced others judge me just as harshly.

My battle with insecurity is a long one. In fact, in my first year of marriage, I became borderline agoraphobic because I was convinced that if others really knew me they wouldn’t like me. I put up walls and kept others at a distance. Fortunately, that phase didn’t last too long.

I learned to like myself, at least a little. And over time, those cruel words faded into the background. But a glance in the mirror or a fight with my child would bring them to the surface.

I am learning that these toxic words do not serve me. I believe God loves me the way I am and he wants me to love myself too. I am learning to stand up to my inner bully. I no longer tolerate such cruelty... even from myself.

I try to live by Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I find it powerful to insert the word “myself” after each attribute. For example, “...whatever is true about myself...noble about myself, right or pure or lovely or admirable within myself...think about such things.”

My mind is a powerful thing. I can either choose to use it for good or for evil. I can use it empower myself or tear myself down. It is really my choice. It’s not easy because I’ve gotten so comfortable with my self loathing. Really, it is my worst habit. Well, it used to be. I have retrained my thinking and now have a new habit of seeing myself through a grid of gentle honesty. I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind. And when my inner bully tries to tear me down, I push my hand in her face and say, “Talk to the hand…”

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you your own worst enemy too? Let me challenge you to be your own advocate and stand up for yourself TO yourself. No longer tolerate that kind of self talk. Instead, be gentle with yourself. You are one loved of God. Treat yourself accordingly.

Carrie Roark


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