One of the things we’ve been talking about around our house of late is mind-sight.
Mind-sight is a little something that involves seeing as well as hearing since it focuses on the way our minds picture situations. With me it can range from the way I see myself as I sing (or possibly dance) along with a song in the car (in my head I look good) to how I can feel SO less-than when I’ve forgotten to look at Attire on an invite and I show up casual to a Business (which in Dallas actually means cocktail/formal) event. My mind can trick me with with messages about identity and self worth that may or may not be true. (But my singing/dance-moves in the car is/look good – unless you ask the kids.)
Apparently, I’m not alone with mind-sight challenges.
Yesterday, when dropping off the kids at school, I said these simple words, “Wow, we got here in great time.” Because we had. Without speeding or any quick-stops, I made it with time to spare. By luck, we had made every light.
But what I said and what a kid in the back-seat heard were two very different things.
His response to my simple observation was: “IT’S NOT MY FAULT I COULDN’T FIND MY SHORTS!”
“WHY IS EVERYONE MAD AT ME?!”
“Wait,” I stop him before a waterfall of excuses fills the car. “What did you hear me say?”
“You said that we were late because of me. And I know everyone is mad.”
“We’re not late and no one is mad – I promise.”
Here’s where mind-sight comes into play. What he heard wasn’t close to what I said. He heard an indictment on his character. I was simply commenting on how we weren’t going to be late. I had no idea what was racing through his head. Honestly, I was already in the car when the kids were final-gathering their things. I didn’t know he had been frantically searching for his shorts and super stressed about making everyone late. Because if we don’t leave by a certain time (7:32) the domino affect means that our last drop-off will likely be tardy.
“I didn’t even know you were racing for the car – let alone stressed about being late,” I assured him. “I was just commenting about our luck in making every light.”
His mind had told him a story that he bought hook, line & sinker. He heard that in the race to school, he was at fault and, the clincher, that he was a loser. At least that’s how his mind saw it.
And usually our minds go negative.Rarely is mind-sight 20/20.
Lysa TerKeurst shared a little about our mental story-telling when we chatted earlier this week on SaySomething (a-come-as-you-are vodcast for walking life’s roads.) Here’s what she had to say as it related to a lovely Jr. High experience where not only was everyone invited to a party – except for her – they had matching pink t-shirts that they wore to school and into the carpool that took them to the party:
We all have a story. And we all have a story we tell ourselves.
So the story that day was – she (the birthday girl) probably just didn’t even think I was close enough friends with her to invite me to the birthday party, end of story.
But the story I was telling myself is: I’m never going to be good enough. Like I’m always going to have to navigate this feeling of being slightly left out, slightly forgotten or being completely overlooked.
She brought the story into today’s terms with social media and all that can fake-remind and instantly transport us to our Jr. High insecurities (that seem to be just a flesh-wound away) and the inevitable question – Am I good enough?
THEN, Lysa landed here:
Why in the world do I keep asking myself, “Am I good enough?” Because, God never intended me to just be good enough. God intended me to be better than that.
For more, click here or watch the video below:
The good news – we’re not alone. I could relate to the kid in my car and the countless times I see and hear differently that what is actually being said. And I’m SUPER grateful to Lysa for so vulnerably sharing the truth about those inner feelings and equally importantly secrets to the promise of a better way to live. Like this beauty
She’s has more to say about the subject in her new book, Uninvited (already on the NYT bestseller list.) I have plenty to ponder along the way and share with my passengers, as well as fellow travelers. I relish the sight-adjustment my friends (and kids) send my way. Lots of freedom tends to be involved.
Thanks for walking it with me.