As I was pickling some cherry tomatoes early this morning, I got to thinking about the Bible study I began last night with a group of women from my church. The study is entitled ‘Me, Myself & Lies’ and was written by an inspiringly talented and brave woman named Jennifer Rothschild. There are four women from our church co-leading the study… two of these women I know and have an incredible amount of respect and love for. Two I am looking forward to getting to know better, along with the other members of the group, over the next 13 weeks.
I will do my best to briefly explain the concept here, but please understand these ideas are Jennifer Rothschild’s, not mine – although I suspect and hope that by the end of this study I will have begun to believe her message instead of the lies!
Click here to listen to a little ditty about lies by Dave Barnes.
The focus of the study is the lies we tell ourselves that wound us. We may have made these lies up ourselves or we may have heard them from others (including Satan or sadly even from people we love) and believed they were true so we started telling them to ourselves. If you are a woman reading this, you already know what I mean even if you’re not willing to admit it. [You may know what I mean if you are a man, but I’ve never been a man so I don’t really know for sure].
These lies are things like, “Why did you even try that? You knew you were going to fail.” Or “Don’t bother looking for a bathing suit this season; you’re too fat to look good in one.” Or “You’re not smart enough for that job so don’t even bother applying.” And on and on it goes – where it stops, nobody knows. And we tell ourselves these things often enough that we start to believe them – I mean really believe them in our souls – and they begin to affect our behavior and even the course of our lives.
Anyway, why am I writing about this on a food blog? Because I realized this morning over the hot steam of the pickling liquid that perhaps the reason I love cooking and entertaining so much is because I don’t tell myself those destructive lies when I am cooking and entertaining. I know I am good at these two things. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not in any way trying to sound prideful or conceited. However, I have so much “cooking DNA” in me from generations of amazing cooks and I feel such passion for it that I don’t even question whether I can do it. If only I could transfer this confidence to other areas of my life and to other areas of yours!
As I looked around the circle of women last night and as I listened to their brief introductions (and mine), I had nothing but compassion for each person in that room. I was uplifted by the notion that I will link arms with these women for a season to bolster one another and to extinguish the lies.
You see, in our culture women can be vicious to other women. I don’t use the term ‘vicious’ lightly. I’m not sure where we learn it or when, but somewhere along the line mainstream culture teaches us that it’s ok to say things (even if it’s only in our own heads) like, “Why in the word would she wear that? Doesn’t she own a mirror?” or “If I were in her shoes I’d just leave him” or “If she just disciplined those kids they wouldn’t act like that.” No wonder we tell ourselves lies! We say them about others and others say them about us and in our heads the boundaries between truth and lie, acceptable and unacceptable become blurred.
This morning, I am grateful to have a passion into which I can escape. A place where the lies STOP! A place where I feel confident and competent. I encourage you, if you don’t have one, to try so many things that you find that place where you can silence the lies.
And I challenge you to learn to identify the lies you tell yourself so that you change the messages you send in your own head. And even more, I challenge you to identify those negative things you’re saying (even if only in your head) about others and change them into positive things. We women have enough challenges in this world (don’t worry men, I’m not about to have a Betty Friedan moment) that we don’t need to put up roadblocks for ourselves and others. So put your arms around the next woman you see – tell her she’s wonderful and beautiful and that the lies are just that – lies. Or even better – find a reason to cook for her, eat with her or entertain to serve her!
Click here to learn more about Jennifer Rothschild.