Give thanks, be kind, write, meditate and work on my conditioned responses. Four out of five dentists surveyed is statistically believable and worthy endorsement, right? Or is that 9 out of 10? It is the conditioned response that is my true birthday gift, or rather breaking them. I have had amazing abilities to change my behavior, shift my perspective. This is the first time I am doing it for me. In the past, I was motivated because I got a blunt and harsh performance review: you are unprofessional and bad for morale. My emotionality was like a silver ball in a pinball machine. It hurt to hear it, especially from a peer. It was likely very hard to tell me, because I was working hard and doing alot of work. No one could complain about my productivity. But, people underestimate or assume that the highly competent are immune to criticism. I think the exact opposite may be the case. Criticism is a lethal wound. And hearing that I was “bad” for the environment hit home like a heat seeking missile. I also heard it. And I changed my behavior. Certainly, my staff now will say I have my moments. And I cannot completely camouflage my emotions. If I am upset, it shows. If I am happy, that shows too. Years later, in my marriage and as a mother, I could hear myself speaking with anger or disappointment or being negative. I equate negativity with the harpies. I sounded like a nag and no one loves a nag. So, I gave up pessimism for Lent. Then worry. Then self doubt. I gave these things up because they made me treat people around me (and myself) is a very bad way.
Always in the past, I focused on behavior modification so as to please other people. How does that comedy skit go? “You have reached the mental health hot line. If you have OCD press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, have someone else press 2 for you, if you have a multiple personality disorder, press 3,4,5 and 6……..” Today and this month, I am doing this for me. The conditioned responses I have hold me down, hog tie me and derail my momentum. They also act like energy sinks, zapping whatever self-confidence I have garnered.
I have plugged into this higher stream of presence. I hear that refrain from the hymn, “I knew you and you are mine.” I believe. I believe in me. I believe in my Creator and that He had purpose and intent and I am exactly who I was made to be. He has no chorus of detractors, only enemies that want to separate and pull apart. It is the Enemy that whispers in my head that I am not enough. It is this critic that feeds the doubt and the anxiety and the second guessing. In my heart of hearts, I know the critic is wrong. The critic wants me to stumble and fall. And it isn’t about him then having a chance to help me back up. The critic wants me DOWN. If I get up, I keep moving towards the place I am supposed to be. Looking back, I am amazed at my tenacity and perseverance. I just keep getting up. Skinned knees, bruised, bleeding, even broken, I have gotten back up over and over again. That, my friends, is FAITH. Faith in myself and what I know at my core is my destiny. Those things that have held me down, tied me down, restrained me and poisoned me, I can see clearly.
What is that song? “Monday Monday…..”