Chapter 7 of Get Thin Stay Thin focuses on “The Present, Not the Past.” I find my study of The Search for Significance pointing me to this emphasis as well. The chapters on shame have been very powerful…and I realize, now, that I have been on a pendulum that I only realized and mentioned here at the blog yesterday.
Too often our self-image rests solely on an evaluation of our past behavior, being measured only through a memory. Day after day, year after year, we tend to build our personalities on the rubble of yesterday’s personal disappointments. The Search for Significance, p. 96
This is NO way to live.
Here is a question…my past failures are a fact. The love, mercy, and power of God is also a fact. Which one will I value more? To which will I ascribe more significance to affect me today? If I continue to value my failures, I will continue to be absorbed by a “woe is me” sort of attitude…the feeling that I am “stuck.”
God’s Truth (big “T”) is way BIGGER than my truth (little “t”). He brings HIS Truth to bear on my truth unless I choose to value my truth more by saying I am stuck allowing it to define me. I love that he doesn’t ask me to deny my truth…he wants me to embrace HIS Truth and to allow it to override, influence, the impact of my truth on me now. (Don’t know if I am making any sense!)
Lord, I see this so clearly in this moment. All through the years I have allowed my sense of value to be based on my behavior–whether I’ve failed or succeeded–done well or not. So, when I lost all the weight, I felt like I was on top of the world! A success! I had arrived! The world noticed and celebrated! I felt good about ME! ME! ME! I was a conquering victor!
Then I began to desperately cling to that trophy…to the trophy of a thin body and to those Levis–instead of to you, Lord. Thank you that you have forgiven me for that.
But as my grip on those idols kept slipping, my sense of value and identity slipped with it. I was a failure in my mind. I clearly had not changed where my sense of value came from. I hadn’t really overcome the shame of the past (which is what I thought had happened because I felt so much better about myself), but I had only masked it.
Shame comes from letting my past poor performance define me. My shame was replaced by pride when I was performing better…”succeeding” in the presence. It was like the flip side of the same coin. I am so glad to see this right now. Lord, please let it change me. Thank you for showing me this truth.