Recently, God showed me that my current relationships are often affected by past hurts. When last I blogged, I acknowledged that when people in my life touch spots I thought had healed, it reveals wounds that have scabbed over but still carry much hurt beneath the surface. I shared that the acknowledgement of these triggers gave me power to manage my emotions and relationships better.
Identifying those triggers was very important. That process has set me free in so many ways. It takes much of the sting away when someone intentionally or unintentionally pushes my buttons because some of those buttons no longer work.
But some of them still do.
Over the last few weeks, I experienced victory followed by defeat. One week, I acknowledged my triggers and managed my relationships well. The very next week, I missed a friend’s intent and spoke words formed from old wounds. I wondered why I had done well in one situation but failed in another.
Sometimes acknowledgment is not enough. Sometimes you need to do some necessary work on your scabs. I asked God to dig up my roots once again.
When faced with disapproval as a child, I decided to alter myself. I changed things about me (the things that make me unique and awesome) that people I love criticized.
He showed me that I have been making changes in order to blend in, stay under the radar, find approval.
Today God told me that I was not meant to blend in, stay under the radar, or find approval in man.
I was made to stand out, to bust the radar, and fly. And to only find approval in my God, who incidentally approved of me long before He knit me together in my mother’s womb.
This is when I got a little angry.
You mean to tell me, I have been trying to find approval that I’ve had all along!?
I have been driving myself crazy trying to please people and God, a task that, according to God, isn’t possible (Gal. 1:10).
I have been at odds with myself.
No wonder I end up in sticky situations concerning my relationships. I try to please people, contorting myself in uncomfortable ways. When these same people express disapproval, I experience anger and hurt because I tried so hard to please them and it feels like they basically spit on my efforts. It also brings up the original hurt of disapproval from the people who mattered the most.
The answer is simple. Stop trying to please man. Stop trying to “fit in.” Stop trying to stay under the radar. I wasn’t made that way.
I was made to fly, to break every mold, to confound masses, to do things that eyes have not seen, to say things that ears have not heard, to conceive of things that have not even occurred to anyone else (1 Cor. 2:9).
If I fit in, all I’ll ever produce is the same, old stuff. The very essence of doing what God made me for is laced with man’s disapproval or lack of understanding. I have to be brave enough to live my unapologetic truth.
And so do you.
But first I have to face the fact that not being approved of as a child, hurt me. Then I have to go beyond just acknowledgement and pay attention to how the hurt affected me.
I realized that making alterations began when I was a child, that I am all grown up now, but I have still been functioning from a plan I made when I was a kid.
So, maybe you don’t have the problem I have. Disapproval may not be your trigger. Once you acknowledge what your trigger is, go deeper.
Find out what happens in your relationships today that brings up old fears? Find out out why. Ask yourself what old plan you may be functioning from that is ruining your future?
What buttons do you need to deactivate?
Take some time to acknowledge the hurts acted upon you that now you may be acting upon. Old stuff may have hurt you then, but you don’t have to let them continue to hurt you today.
Take some time to let God dig up the roots that have grounded you in festering hurt and pain… because you were made to fly!
Here’s some music for the journey