Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Bring Yourself Up

It’s easy.

Looking at all the little things in your life that drag you down.

The procrastination.

The slipped words of anger.

The anxiety of life.

It’s easy.

To hold these insecurities, sins, fears, in your palm.

And clutch onto them like your life depends on it.

It’s easy.

To bring these vices up to eye level and stare at them all. day. long.

Today, I went to confession.

The priest talked to me about refocusing.

He mentioned that focusing on the sins is not going to lead me to holiness.

“Focus on the bigger picture,” he said as he pointed to the crucifix in the confessional.

“He died for you.”

These words were very simple, but moved my heart.

It is true that focusing on our faults is quite easy. It is like an artist focused on that one tiny crack in his or her sculpture and forgetting the masterpiece already created.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up, bring yourself up.

Focus on God. His mercy. His everlasting love for you.

The only way to grow in holiness is letting go of the perfectionism.

“God knows your heart.” said the priest.

He truly does.

So it is time we start living like it.

With hearts not focused on our faults, but aimed at loving God and others.

We are His

If you look back on your day, how much of it was consumed with negative thinking? Not just about the circumstances of the day, but of yourself?

If you are like me, a lot of it.

It is almost as though I was a fish at the bottom of a lake. As I swam about my day, the more I moved my fins the more murky water would rise up.

All of the concerns (lets call them the roots), go back to the trunk of the tree (fear).

Common fears are:

It’s my fault. I’m to blame. Why am I this way. Where are my headed. Is this right? Will I fail? Why did I mess up again. Why am I so weak. I am lost. I will forever feel like this.

Then the dwelling starts. A cycle of tasting more fears until eventually you are filled with them. And what happens when you eat something? It starts to be what you are composed of. If you eat healthy your body becomes healthy. If you eat junk, your body starts to not feel the best.

So, what was I doing? What are you doing? Consuming fear daily.

For the longest time, I wondered why I was so confused. Some days I would just struggle to see the world clearly. The truth was the road hidden behind the foggy windshield.

That is when I knew I needed to change.

So I started making declarations.

I once talked to a priest in confession. He told me I needed to start looking in the mirror and reminding myself “God loves me and I am lovable.” He told me I could stop when I believed it.

That is one declaration. Something I know is true regardless of my mind or feelings which are telling me otherwise.

Here are some declarations you may want to use:

I am loved by God.

I am a child of God Almighty.

I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

I am watched over by the Blessed Mother, the Angels, and the Saints.

I believe in the Gospel.

One day I will embrace Christ.

I am a Knight of Christ.

I am a warrior for His Kingdom.

I will courageously do Christ’s will. 

Friends, it’s all about changing what we consume. Over time by declaring and following through with your statements, you will experience change. Fear will scatter.

C.S. Lewis has a famous quote,

“My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices because I am out of the fight.”

So fight. Fight against fear by declaring the truth.

Because everyday you might not have the power over your feelings.

You might get lost in the ups and the downs.

But in the end, you are in charge of the will.

The will to do His will.

You were born for greater things.

The other day I came across a speech from St.John Paul II from November 15, 1978.

In this speech given to the general audience at the Vatican, he talked about the virtue of fortitude.

Specifically, he spoke about a man named St. Stanislaus who was from noble birth and chose to live a life of poverty and service to Christ.

His motto was,

“Ad maiora natus sum” (“I was born for greater things”)

I have really been thinking about this quote a lot recently.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of false humility.

An attitude where we neglect our dignity and worth of children of God.

C.S. Lewis says, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”

I know I personally can almost use humility as a crutch to not accept my worth and power as a child of God.

Why?

Because I fear disappointing Him. I fear not living up to my potential. I fear the responsibility.

So instead what do I do?

I ruminate. I lament. I complain. I allow my circumstances to toss me about like a row boat out in the middle of a hurricane.

I don’t like being a row boat. That is no fun.

You may feel the same?

Do you recognize and accept the responsibility and power within you to do the work of God?

Does that scare you or fill you with zeal?

A zealous peace through the storm must be the attitude.

If you are in a season of your life where you feel lonely, hopeless, useless, unworthy.

This situation is not the end.

Friend, you were born for greater things.

You were born to shed the light of Christ onto others through love.

You were born to face your fears and be a solider for the King.

You were born to use your talents to heal the world.

You were born to study hard and succeed as a student.

You were born to see the pain in those around you and do something about it.

You were born a child of God, do not throw that attitude away.

Capture the zeal. Bring in the peace. Feel the beating of your heart. Feel the breath fill your lungs.

Now.

Do what is courageous. 

 

Below is the link to the speech.

Fortitude Talk by St.JP2