When this post first appeared July 2011, I was shocked at the number of women who responded. From moms who felt overwhelmed to single women putting too much pressure on themselves, girls told me over and over how much they needed to hear they are doing a good job. Sometimes we just need to renew our minds. We need to take the broken record off the turntable and replace it with a fresh outlook.
(ps…if I lost you at “turntable,” you missed out on a sacred part of music history and I’m sorry for that)
Ok, girls. We need to have a chat. There is an issue and it needs addressing. Mom-guilt, Girl-guilt or just plain Guilt. It’s gotta go.
Guilt is defined as “the fact of having committed an offense or crime.” Did you read that, sister? Read it again if you need to. To be guilty there has to be fact that you committed an offense. In short, you broke a rule. When you go to work and your baby girl goes to the daycare you have meticulously chosen for her, what rule did you break? When you take a day off to reconnect with your sanity, what offense was committed? When you actually finish your plate instead of sharing it with at least one other person, what fact is there of a crime? What was that? Speak up. I couldn’t quite hear you. Did you say none? Say it louder. None. NONE! You know why? You aren’t guilty of anything!
As girls, the thoughts that race through our minds can be overwhelming. They begin going in one direction and before we realize what’s happened, we are 1,000 miles off course. You started out thinking about your career and ended up flooded with guilt that you aren’t at home with your kids. You begin to think about a new pair of shoes only to find yourself surrounded by knives of condemnation that you should be thinking about others instead of yourself. Like an unmanned boat in open water or a Mac truck on the interstate with no driver, your mind was not made to run on its own. Disaster is the only outcome probable if you turn a boat on full throttle but then don’t steer. A truck with no destination and no guidance will destroy most everything in its path. Your mind is powerful. It’s creative and intelligent. It can hold a wealth of knowledge and yet be compassionate and kind. But if you don’t own it, it will own you. That’s when guilt happens. So what do we do? We have to learn to remind ourselves – to REmind – renew your mind.
Start with what you feel. Whatever it is, it’s ok. You’re allowed to be mad, sad scared or hurt. But the problems come when we stop there – when we focus only on what we feel and go no further. Replace what you FEEL with what you KNOW. Redefine what a successful day looks like. Rewrite the imaginary rulebook your mind has confused. In doing so, you are steering. You are telling your mind where to go instead of letting your thoughts drive you to a place you never intended to visit.
So grab a pen and some paper. Allow your feelings a moment to breathe. Write them down. Own what you feel. Remember…it’s ok. Then start writing what you know. If you struggle with this part, start with these…
You can KNOW…
You are a daughter of the King*
You are allowed to make a mistake*
You are loved*
You are blessed to be a _______________ (wife, mom, doctor, agent, friend, sister, etc)
Your need for rest doesn’t mean anything other than you’re human
You were uniquely designed for the life God’s called you to live
You are beautiful
*If these confuse you, then there’s one more step. Grab a Bible or go online to YouVersion.com. Read the book of John. It’s true you aren’t perfect. You can KNOW that. You can also rest in the fact that you can stop trying. It’s never going to happen. Being imperfect means you can’t get there (to God, Heaven or anywhere) on your own. Jesus loves you more than you or I will ever comprehend and He did all the legwork. He made a way; you just have to Admit you aren’t perfect, Believe He is and Confess that He gets to be in charge. It’s as easy as A, B, C!
And if you do that, send me a message so I can celebrate with you!!