I woke up early this morning. (It was almost 9, but everyone else was still asleep so that still counts as early right?) Anyways, I had had two distressing dreams.
The first one was that I went to school with Gunner and no one would play with him on the playground. I was devastated. Why wouldn't anyone want to play with him? Was it because I was there? Was it because I hadn't raised him right? Was he mean to the other kids? Or was he too different? I woke up feeling this nasty little burden. I tossed and turned but finally fell back to sleep.
My next dream was set in this weird cooking competition type setting (that's what happens when you binge watch The Great American Food Truck race before bed. Thanks a lot Food Network!) Anyways, I was responsible for one course of a meal and I felt really confident in it, but my team members didn't think I was capable. They were reaching over me and doing things for me before I even had a chance to do it for myself. They were pointing out my weaknesses and laughing at me when I made a mistake. I woke up from this dream feeling downright worthless. There was this ugly voice in my head that just kept whispering, "You're not enough. You're not enough. You're not enough of this... You're not good enough at that..." And I just started to cry.
Where was all of this coming from?? I wouldn't say I'm a super confident person, but I'm generally very comfortable with who I am. Most days I like who I am and feel like I'm doing alright. So I've been trying to figure out where all of this nastiness is coming from.
I think the most important factor to recognize is the adversary. Satan's trickiest tool is making us believe he doesn't exist. He'd like for me to believe these ugly feelings are coming from God, or even myself, that they are a manifestation of something real. Worse yet, he'd like me to blame someone I love for these feelings, and let them fester until a relationship is tarnished. He'd like me to believe that these feelings are valid. But, as soon as I recognize that they are coming from him, they lose their legitimacy.
Wouldn't he just love to break me? Here I am, raising two of God's children; teaching them about God and Christ. Praying with them, and especially for them. That must drive him crazy. As a mother, I've been given the privilege and responsibility to teach my kids what is right. If he could break me, he could break them. And I'm sure he'd just love to use our souls for his cause, to bring other people down, to spread more evil. I'm sure he loves to see me suffer, to see me forget my value and worth. He is so tricky to excentuate our flaws and exploit our insecurities. But, I'm putting my foot down. I'm not going to let him into my heart. There is no room for him there.
This reminds me of my favorite scripture.
2 Nephi Chapter 4
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
If there has ever been a passage of scripture that gives a voice to my soul, it is this one! So, today I'm choosing to rejoice! I'm going to forgive myself for my weaknesses, because God already has. And I'm going to make those weak things become strong. I'm kicking Satan out of my heart and boarding up the windows. There's no room for him here.
If you're feeling bogged down with feelings of inadequacy, or self-loathing, remember to consider the source. God loves us so much, he'd never ever want us hate ourselves. Kick Satan out, he's a lousy house guest anyways.