HOW TO DEAL WITH THE NEGATIVE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD

You wouldn’t know it by looking at my Instagram feed, but sometimes I move through the world like I’m moving through a minefield: hyper-vigilant, sweaty with fear, and certain I’m about to be blown to bits at any moment.

I’m not kidding. I’ve got a whole world of weirdness inside of me that neither the Sierra or Hefe filters can improve.

As the result of my minefield-mindset, I tend to hold back – in relationships, pursuing my dreams, developing my gifts, giving generously, serving others.

Instead, my energy drifts toward daydreaming about my goals, avoiding intimacy, and pretending to be ok when I’m not.

How did I get this way?

How did I grow up into someone that often walks around with fists at the ready, eyes all squinty with suspicion, neck all tweaked from constant swiveling?

It’s a long story, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes:

A long time ago, I caught the sound of a small voice in a tiny corner of my mind. It made weird little squawks and, at first, I could ignore it as easily as I could attend to it.

But over the years I increasingly gave more of my attention to the voice in the corner.

As I got older, the voice got louder and more articulate. It started to make really convincing arguments about why I was unworthy of love and how I didn’t fit in like the rest of the kids. It provided endless evidence that I was fat and smelly and unable to talk to girls.

Eventually, the voice in the corner came to sound like TRUTH, like the only voice that could really be trusted. And for much of my life, I’ve let that voice boss me around.

The problem is, when we give our attention to the lies in our head, reality gets twisted. The reality of who we are, of how the world works, of who God is and how he feels about us. It all gets messed up.

At least it did for me.

But at some point – through therapy, prayer, reading, writing, small grouping, listening – a spotlight came on and lit up the voice the voice in the corner.

And it turns out the voice that sounded so massive and terrifying…is actually the size of a Malibu Ken doll.

Don’t get me wrong – Malibu Ken can be terrifying. That blank, drug-induced stare. That “neither male nor female” body.

But my point is, what felt bigger and stronger than me could actually be knocked over on to his smug little face with just the flick of a finger.

Are there whiny little plastic lies that have bullied you for a while? Maybe for years?

Here’s a secret: you don’t have to agree with those lies anymore.

You can “break agreement” with those lies. You can shine a spotlight on them. You can name them, deal with them, then punt them to the curb.

Then you can point and laugh at Malibu Ken and his crack-less butt, and get on with your life.

Because the truth is you were set free to live free. To enjoy freedom and share it with others. Not to crawl on the ground, praying you don’t trip a mine and piss off God. He’s not that kind of God, and he doesn’t want you to be that kind of person.

Remember, a condemning voice is a lying voice.

So stand up with me, shake off the dirt, and take a good hard look at whatever lie is tormenting you.

Do you believe you’re unworthy? That your past will always define you? That you’ll never get free of that bad habit or addiction? That you don’t deserve deep friendships or satisfying work? That God isn’t real, or worse, that he is real but he’s really grumpy and judgmental?

Say this – out loud if you need to – every time MK speaks up:

I break agreement with the lie that I (I’m) _____________. I refuse to listen to you anymore. Suck it, Malibu Ken.

Then get back to work enjoying your freedom and living as a freedom-distribution channel for others.

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