Lately, I’ve been thinking about the lies we tell ourselves. Maybe we didn’t start out telling them to ourselves. Maybe first they were told to us, by people we loved and trusted. People who never intended hurt in their words, but gave it anyway. Or maybe the lies were told to us by people that on the surface we couldn’t have cared less about. But yet the lies still burrowed under our skin, put down roots and started to grow. And before we knew it, they were lies we told ourselves. We repeated them over and over again and soon they become our truth. Each time we heard them we tied ourselves up a little more. Until we couldn’t move from the lies that held us captive.
“What lie have you believed so much it’s become part of who you are?”
The text was written by a friend in a moment of extreme vulnerability and weakness for me. I had been reminded of a certain lie. A lie I had been told enough that I had accepted it as the truth; started telling it to myself instead of waiting for others to tell me.
I have lots of lies I tell myself but this is probably the most pervasive one, the one that popped in my head the moment I read that text…
I’m too much
Too much energy
Too much work
Too much intensity
Too much to handle
It’s a lie that has been said to me by people who never meant to hurt me when saying it. “Oh Janelle you’re so intense.” “Oh gosh here she goes again, another day another rant.” It’s a lie that’s been said to me by people who definitely wanted to hurt me when saying it. “Why is everything such a big deal to you!” “Can you just give it a rest?” “You’re driving me crazy, I can’t do this anymore.” “You set people up with unrealistic expectations so they have no chance of success and then you can lord their failure over them.”
And somehow over time I started to believe the lie. It stopped being a lie and become the truth. The first thing that came with my belief of the lie was the determination to fight it. I was too much? I would stop being too much. I would keep quiet. I would let everything go. I would fit myself into a tiny box so I didn’t scare people away. I wouldn’t be too much to handle. I would be easy to handle. Easy and light.
Obviously, this did not work and so I tried a second tactic; embrace the belief. I was a lot to handle. Let’s revel in it. I wouldn’t ever stay quiet. Everything was an important issue. You can’t handle me? You’re damn right you can’t. I’m a handful and if you don’t like it? Tough luck; this is who I am.
And yet I didn’t feel any better embracing the idea that I was too much than I had when I was actively fighting against it. In fact I almost felt worse. And I couldn’t get a grip on why. And then it hit me.
It was a lie
So no matter how I dressed it up I wasn’t going to feel comfortable wearing it. I had tricked myself into believing that this was who I was. Someone who was too much. Too loud. Just….too much. The lie had become a part of my soul and I had to figure out how to get it out. I knew the answer to the first part of the text, but I couldn’t find the answer to the rest of it. The part that said “Every single lie you’ve ever believed, be set free. Be set free right now.” How could I make that happen? What could I do? Lying in bed night after night wide awake listening for what, I didn’t know. Until I heard the small voice in my spirit whisper.
“You’re too much?
You’re made in my image daughter
Am I too much?
Don’t ever call my creation too much
You are mine
You existed in my thoughts since before the world came into being
You, exactly as you are
Take this lie off of you
Be set free from it
Put on the truth of my words
You are fearfully and wonderfully made
Don’t squeeze yourself into a box that wasn’t made for you
I’ve made you the way you are for a purpose
And anyone that can’t see that?
That’s their problem
When they throw the lie that you’re too much at you, remind them who’s you are
Forever and always
I’m not going to pretend that it’s been smooth sailing forever since then. There are still days where I give in and pick up that old lie. But, I’m learning that as quickly as I pick it up I should throw it back down. I don’t have time for garbage; I have things to do. People to meet. A world to change. And so do all of you. What lie have you been believing about yourself? Throw it away. And pick up the truth of who you are. A person created in the image of an Almighty God who never makes mistakes. Goodbye lies, hello truth.
We’ve got things to do.