own-er-ship (noun): the act, state, or right of possessing something
pos-ses-sion (noun): the state of having, owning, or controlling something
I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been dealing with some feels that I didn’t want to acknowledge. Emotions…feelings…they can really suck sometimes, ya know? Sometimes all the feels seem so off the hook that we can’t even identify our own emotions. Sometimes it takes some hella hard soul-searching to figure ourselves out. But, once we can take ownership of what’s ailing our minds, once we can take possession of our thoughts, that’s when we can begin to heal. Amiright?
So, what is it that I’ve had to take ownership of? Well, it may seem a bit odd, but I’ve had to take ownership of all the things I’ve written about so far in this sad little blog. Kinda ironic that I can write about what I’ve been through and yet fail to take ownership of it. I’ve had to actually deal with the fact that I’ve hurt others and that I’ve been hurt by others…not think about it or write about it, but DEAL with it. Unfortunately, I’ve had to spray some Febreze on my attitude, for reals..
I’ve had to take possession of my thoughts: I got it stuck in my head that because I had made life-changing mistakes and had committed horrible sins in my past that these decisions now somehow define me. I got it stuck in my head that because I’ve been married and divorced twice that it now somehow makes me a scandalous woman who can’t love or be loved. I got it stuck in my head that because my role as a mother went from traditional to non-traditional that it now somehow makes me a terrible parent who only projects negative influences over her children. I got it stuck in my head that because I’ve experienced trauma that it now somehow makes me an unfixable victim. I got it stuck in my head that because I’ve struggled with substance abuse that it now somehow makes me an unredeemable outcast of society.
We really are our own worst enemies, y’all. We can self-sabotage our lives so easily (and even unknowingly) just by getting stuck inside our own damn heads. So, I’ve decided to try being intentional about staying out of my own head…it can get scary af up in there. Here’s my fresh outlook: while I take full ownership of my past and I fully acknowledge my wrongdoings, those things do not define me. I will take possession of my thoughts. I am not who I was yesterday. It is important to know where we come from but isn’t it even more important that we don’t stay there? Growth is not easy, folks. That’s why we call it “growing pains”, no?
I made a decision, thanks to some wise counsel and some patient friends, to be intentional about forgiving myself and about forgiving others. The best way to do that? Stop focusing on me. It’s so incredibly easy to remain hurt and to remain defeated when our problems and our pain are our focus. Instead, we should focus on others. Come on now, not in a gossipy, mean girls sort of way…we should all know better than that. Our focus should be on serving others…especially if we identify ourselves as followers of Jesus. We’re all called to be feet-washers (John 13).
Here’s the thing, y’all…we’ve all sinned. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Because of that truth, I wanna challenge all of us (myself specifically) to start focusing on what God says about us instead of what we say about ourselves (or what other people say about us). Because Jesus finished his work on the cross we are not defined by our sin, thank God. No, seriously, thank God! That’s HUGE.
Sometimes our soul-searching is gonna take us to parts of ourselves that we don’t wanna acknowledge. Sometimes it’s gonna take us to all those feels that we keep repressing or ignoring. We’ve gotta take ownership of where we’ve been and what we’ve been through…and we’ve gotta trust the growth process. And we need to remember that God’s never gonna leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He’s always our biggest fan.
And because He’s our biggest fan, God sometimes needs to send a little discipline our way. Recently, some of my discipline has been in the form of some difficult conversations in which my issues have been gently pointed out to me by a few folks who care about me…gentle or not, it still stings to have your shit called out to you right to your face. Ouch. Sometimes we just gotta spray Febreze on our shitty attitudes, yo.
I’m gonna end this post with some truths that I need to focus on…perhaps you do, too? Here are just a few of the things that God says about you and me:
- I am a child of God (John 1:12)
- I am not condemned by God (Romans 8:1)
- I am a friend of Jesus (John 15:15)
- I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
- I am justified and redeemed (Romans 3:24)
- I am God’s work of art (Ephesians 2:10)
Well, fellow humans, until next time…