the lies we tell ourselves // feeling comfortable in your own skin series

the lies we tell ourselves

You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.  -Psalm 139:2 NLT

A woman steps in front of the mirror and looks in timidly with a bit of a sigh.  She notices the dust on the edge of the mirror and the streaks on the glass.  Then she sees past it all to her own image.  And her image stares back at her with hollow eyes.

Just then, her man steps into the room.  He sees her staring at herself.  He notices the dust and smears as well.  And then his hurtful words begin: “You just can’t get it right, can you?  You can never keep this house clean.  It’s always a mess.  You need to learn how to cook too so you don’t just serve me a greasy disaster every night…”  He pauses, steps closer and then continues to torment, “Remember how pretty you used to be?  Why don’t you get ready anymore?  You always have dark circles under your eyes. You never lose the weight you say you will.  It’s gross.  You aren’t the woman I thought you would be.”

She stands quietly and takes it all in.  She doesn’t say a word.  She doesn’t disagree.  She just takes it all in.  The man walks out of the room and she is left covered in a cloud of the words he has spoken.  It seeps into her soul and becomes entrenched in her mind.  He was right.  She just wasn’t good enough.  And she probably would never be.

Okay, let’s take a breath because even to write that was heavy for me so I know it must be a bit heavy to read this too.  Forgive me for the darkness of the words but I want us to analyze this a moment.

If this woman was your best friend, and you knew her husband talked to her like this, what would you do?

I can tell you I would try to speak words of life over her.  I would tell her he was wrong and that she didn’t deserve it. I would tell her how beautiful she is, how wonderful her spirit it, and how much value she has in her life.  I would advise her to at least separate herself from someone who was so cruel until he had the counselling and healing to be the loving spouse she deserved.  I would tell her to not believe the lies that have been spoken over her for so long.  I would tell her to fight back against those lies with the truth of God’s word and what He says about her.

What would you say to her?

I want us to take another step back and let’s remove the man out of the equation completely.  What if there was no man?  What if the words that were spoken over her were from her?  What if, as she stood in front of the mirror, she criticized herself with all the awful words we just blamed her husband for?

Can I tell you something?  I have been that woman who sits in front of the mirror and tells herself everything that she is not.  Have you?  I critique, even in awful, hurtful words to myself how I fail as a mom, wife, woman, friend, and even just as a human.  I scrutinize every inch of my life that I don’t like and see as awful.  I tell myself I will never be good enough.  So I speak those dark words over myself and then walk away with a sigh that I will try harder to be a better person tomorrow.

But I will make this statement: if it is NOT okay for a husband to verbally abuse a wife or a bully to be vicious to their victim, why is it okay for us to speak hurtful words over ourselves?

And you may say “Tammy this is a bit extreme!  Not everyone talks that way about themselves!”  And your right, not everyone does.  But A LOT do.  A lot of women are quietly speaking out over themselves words that hurt, wound, and cause suffering… They are tearing themselves down.

And I think to some degree we all do it.

“I look fat.”

“I am so stupid; I can’t believe I did that.”

“I am such an idiot.  No wonder I can’t get promoted.”

And if we say these words outside to others, just think of how much we speak over ourselves in the hidden parts of our lives?

If we are ever to be comfortable in our own skin then something we must stop is the destructive thoughts and words we speak about ourselves.

Because we can’t live peacefully in our body if our mind is at war with us.  

For what we are speaking over ourselves is simply lies.  There is no truth in them.

And as you sit, looking in the mirror, even innocently attacking yourself, someone is watching and His heart is silently breaking.

Remember the verse: You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. – Psalms 139:2

You see we are the creation of God.  We are made in the likeness of Him.  So when we speak the lies we have told ourselves, the untrue thoughts we have believed, they go against the words of life He has spoken over us.  They go against His creation.

I truly believe the Father grieves when He sees us destroying ourselves with our thoughts.  He sent Christ to give us new life in Him.  He wants to speak life into our hearts and mind.  He wants to fill our hearts with the peace of the Holy Spirit.  He wants our thoughts to be filled with His grace and mercy… even towards ourselves.

So what do we do?

  • We speak life over ourselves.
  • We stop believing and proclaiming the lies.
  • We take every thought captive and replace them with the truth of who God says we are.  {You will find here a pin on phrases to replace what we say for what God says and the verses that go along with that.}

I truly believe the next step to becoming comfortable in our own skin is to break down the lies we believe and exchange them for the truth of the Word of God.  It’s time to fight the lies.  Are you ready?

{Call to action: today I encourage you to catch yourself every time you begin to have a thought that is destructive to who you are as a person.  Whether it’s over the way you look, your job, your actions… Today, instead of beating yourself up with your words, take that thought captive and instead thank God simply for being His child.  Thank Him for creating you.  Ask Him to show you how to focus on the beauty of His creation and begin to also speak truth over those around you.  Break the lies down and focus on His truth.}
This is part 3 of the Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin series.  To start at the beginning, see part 1 here. To continue, see part 4 here.

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