Thursday, February 21, 2013

You, Me, and our Perceptions {along with a book review}

Did you know we are made unique and different from every other person in this world? Sure ya did. But most of us don't live like we know this little nugget of truth.

We spend a lot of time trying to be different instead of looking inside ourselves to see what unique gifts and talents we have.

These gifts are given to us from birth and if not affirmed by our parents (the way God intended) then we grow up trying to fit into a mold created by others.

When we're not sure of who we are we can we live in this Cycle of False Identity.

This Cycle of False Identity as identified by Joseph Cavanaugh III in his book The Language Of Blessing, starts at 1. Lack of Self Awareness 2. Minimizing 3. Projecting 4. Unfounded Expectations 5. Judging 6. Labeling

The cycle starts with not knowing who we really are, so we aren't self aware, we don't recognize our own giftedness, then we,

Minimize-"if the primary focus has been on what you lack rather than on what you possess-then it is very difficult not to minimize the gifts you do posses."  

Then we start projecting- if we don't believe our own gifts are special then we start to think that everybody should be able to do what we do. This is especially hurtful for our kids who may not have the sports ability that you have, but instead they may be more inclined to music, and if you don't recognize that and keep pushing sports on them they are going to grow up feeling defeated and never good enough.

How many times have you heard "Oh, if I can do this, I know you can do it too?"  Many times I'm sure, and Mr. Cavanaugh says this is  "classic minimization and projection, and we have all done it."

There are things that come so natural to us that lead us to "Unfound Expectations of others based on our own gifts and not on the talents of the individuals...

 Judgments and labels- how we expect people to act based on how we act and react to situations, we then judge(or misjudge) and stick unfair labels on people that dehumanize them because we get tired of trying to figure them out.

"After all, they are sure their children, employees, or friends could do what they do-if those people just tried harder, practiced longer, tried to be more sensitive..."

People spend so much time over coming weaknesses (perceived from others) that they never grow into their true selves and end up "hiding one's true self behind a mask" Amen to that!

We can try really hard to be what others want but if we are never honest about who we really are our lives never seem to work out the way we want them too.

This book explained what I've been discovering about myself . It gave it words.

There are many consequences to living out this false identity and a few of them are fear and toxic thoughts, "..anger, unforgiveness, self-pity, and jealousy...they suppress our immune system, makes us physically sick and constantly tired, affects our ability to reason, and much more." These thoughts are detrimental to our health!

With fearless being my word this year, the section on fear also really hit home. In his sessions Dr. Cavanaugh asks his patients "What is the opposite of love?" and most of them say hate. To which he points out is incorrect. In 1 John 4:18 it says "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear."

"Fear is the opposite of love

The two cannot exist together. They can't. God didn't give us a spirit of fear. Out of his love he blessed us with gifts and talents that no one else on this earth has. When we realize this and walk in this there is no need to fear we aren't good enough or no reason to compare our gifts with others and be jealous of what others have.

We will know that we each have our own purpose. And that purpose is to love and serve God and others through the gifts He has given us.

We walk this world hand in hand. Not trying to change each other or judge for the different ways we do things but we can embrace who we are individually, and know that we are each the way we are because God planned and prepared us this way.

Such sweet relief and peace.

When we work outside of our God-given talents trying to be what others think we should be it exhausts us!

When we get to the point of being comfortable in our own skin then we can more easily turn around and listen and affirm others for who they are. Their personality can be celebrated.

My question to you, what do you love? What it is? Do you not do it out of fear of what others will think? I pray you will not let others,( who may not even know for themselves) tell you what you were made for.

We are all missing out on your special one of a kind gift if you hide it. You have this one life, don't be scared.

This book has so many beneficial elements to it. I wish I could cover them all. There are things that I won't soon forget, especially the chapters on how parents can recognize and affirm the gifts in their children and how I can be better at not pushing my own agenda on them.

****I was given The Language of Blessing, by Joseph Cavanaugh to review by Tyndale for exchange for my honest opinion. No money changed hands here. This is my honest opinion and endorsement of this book.

Linking with the Faith Barista at Faith Jam, Intentional Thursdays

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  1. Perfect love expels fear, yes. Our flawed human expression doesn't always. I am practicing loving despite fear - that emotion welling up in the throat. NOT trusting the emotion, but putting feet to obedience. Because I trust that all of this is true, even if I cannot see it through the clouds of today.

  2. Wow, that's very insightful. I guess that sometimes we don't think that we're able to do things, because it is a gift. I've often wondered why people couldn't do things I considered simple tasks...this is helping me to see differently...especially for my children. Thank you for sharing today...visiting from StudioJRU.

    1. It really opened my eyes too! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, Alecia! Just what I need today! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. :) You make me smile so BIG! Thanks for being such a blessing.

  4. Alecia ... LOVED what you wrote about being at peace in our own skin! What peace, what freedom, what release When we accept who we are ... and then the joy begins to flow to others!

    1. I think peace with who we are is what we are all after, and it starts with Christ. Resting in who He says we are. Thanks for coming by Linda!!

  5. Alecia, God met me in this post and showed me something I really needed to see. Your comment above about "resting in who He says we are" is it. I have been slowing down and trying to abide in Him. Just live and move and breathe in Him, as Acts 17:28 says. It has been better than words can describe. I've been giving a specific fear a lot of power over me though to the point where I think about it all day everyday, and tonight God showed me that I can't abide in His love and walk around with this fear constantly hanging over my head. I'm going to practice handing it over to Him, and even though I pray that this fear doesn't come to pass, I also know that I can fully trust Him and that I'm wrapped in His embrace of love. I'd wandered far away from this abiding and this trust, and I'm grateful to have others help point me back to the right path. God bless!

    1. I've dealt with fear of so many things my entire life, he showed me too that that I had to start letting it go and trust him. I'm so thankful God met you here with this post, you're words affirmed why I felt it was so important to write this, not only for me, but maybe for someone else that needed it too. God Bless you Kim.


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