Risking taking off our training wheels
We can hardly imagine our lives without conditions. Even though they keep us bound, we feel that at least we know and can more or less predict an outcome. For, “if we do this…then that will happen.”
What pattern do we tend to use to get ourselves to perform in a certain way? Do we have high expectations so are hard on ourselves if we don’t reach them? Do we even loathe and berate ourselves for a less-than-perfect performance? Or, do we laugh things off, quickly letting ourselves off the hook, accountable to no one?
As we look at the conditions we put on our self-acceptance, we may well swing from reward to punishment depending on whether we’re in a good mood or not. Fulfilled conditions make us feel okay about ourselves. Fearing non-acceptability, we micro-manage our lives. Our binding controls show that we don’t really trust life, ourselves, or God.
Our formative external socialisation became our framework. In it we learnt not to be ourselves, but to behave stereotypically, and how to look better than others. We so wanted acceptance, to be seen as okay, that we tried to be something through following the conditions that we were told would ensure this. The sad thing is that this taught us not to love, but to mistrust ourselves. It took away our spontaneity and cramped our natural creativity. Is it possible to loosen this ever-tightening grip of conditional acceptance?
It is like all our lives we’ve been learning to ride a bike, but have kept our training wheels on. God knows we are tentative about trusting ourselves without our restrictions, that we fear failure and risk falling without our props. Yet, He sees our freed and bigger self and His passionate, unique love for each of us will not let up. He knows He made each of us to be significant in whatever He’s gifted us in. As we believe what He believes about us, we can begin to let go of our smaller limitations. As we pedal along with His, “Yes” always over us, we will be surprised at how exciting life becomes, how liberated we feel.