I recently wrote a post for (in)courage about how a mean girl helped me make a positive change. You can read it here if you’re interested. At the end of the post, I asked readers to share their own mean girl stories and how those encounters helped them choose to do something positive.
One of the commenters stunned me with her answer. She wrote:
I was my own mean girl. I was as self-depreciating as they come, often calling myself horrid names for my imperfections. One day I stood up to myself in the mirror and decided to prove that mean inner voice wrong. And I did 🙂
Wow. She could be me. Could she be you? I’ve been a mean girl to myself. Things I’ve told myself I would never breathe to another person. I’ve berated myself, called myself lazy, ugly, a loser. I’ve despaired over this. Wondered why I did it. Puzzled over why it’s a struggle.
Then I thought about mean girls in general. They usually victimize others because they have their own insecurity and injury. To cover up their vulnerability, they maim others with their words. It’s a defense mechanism to keep people far away from their hearts.
How is this true for me? For you? Has your own insecurity and injury caused you to turn on yourself, call yourself horrid names? Do you victimize your own vulnerability under the guise of trying to be self aware and godly? Would you say that your voice that shames you is Jesus’ voice? How has injuring yourself kept yourself from your heart? Have your mean words resulted in positive change? Freedom?
It’s time we stop being our own mean girls. It’s time to be gentle with ourselves. One time I let my hubby know what kinds of words I pummeled myself with. After he heard how hard I was on myself, he said, “Mary, I would never treat you that way. And you wouldn’t treat others that way. Why in the world would you treat yourself like that?” His words stopped me. And helped me.
So if you struggle with being your own mean girl, ask yourself this next time your being mean to yourself: Would you treat your best friend this way? And if you did, what would he/she feel? What would those words do?
Mind if I pray for us?
Lord Jesus, help us not to be our own mean girls. Forgive us for harassing your creation (us!). Heal us so we don’t have to treat ourselves this way anymore. Thank You for absorbing all those mean words on the cross. Thank You for loving us beautifully. Help us to realize that our harsh voice is not Your voice. Help us silence those tirades so we can hear Your encouraging, cheerleading voice today. Do something brand new in us. Free us from ourselves. Amen.