“She’s destroying the chair! And not just the chair. The couch, the ottoman, the dining room chair. Destroyed!” That’s me throwing a kitty tantrum.
My cute, lovable, baby girl Sweetness is such a gift to our household, but a destructive gift! Shocking right? A cat who scratches up furniture. What’s the world coming to? So why am I surprised that it’s happening? Or am I not surprised but rather disappointed that my superior kitty discipline skills haven’t kicked in?
I was sharing with some friends that I feel such guilt – yes guilt – over the fact that my furniture is getting destroyed. My friends asked why it bothered me so much. I explained that I feel I’ve “wasted” good money by letting the pieces rot at the hands of my kitten. I have an obligation to take care of my possessions. I must keep things in the best condition humanly possible. My things are blessings from God and should be honored and treated as such. And for goodness sake, I’m an adult who should be able to control her 10-month old fur baby!
But is it really about the money? Is it really about my inability to control my cat? Or it is more about what others will think when they see the frayed chair?
Oh no. Do we have to go there? Yep, let’s go there.
As I continued to chat with the ladies I realized that I WAS THE FRAYED CHAIR! The chair was a mess and somehow that reflected on me. If anyone saw the chair he or she would surely be critical and believe that I was incapable of managing a cat, let alone my life. The chair represents all the junk I want to hide. The chair represents imperfection. The chair represents failure. The chair is all the stuff I want to fix. The chair…. is a CHAIR! A chair God is using to show truths about who I am and what I believe.
What if I was no longer concerned about the condition of the chair? What if I no longer got upset every single time Sweetness intentionally clawed the chair? What if I accepted the fact that it is a CHAIR? What if I saw the blessing of having the chair and an adorable purring friend, even if they don’t get along? What if I accepted the chair in its current frayed state? What if I saw beauty in the frayed chair the same way God sees the beauty in His children? That’s a whole lot of what ifs.
My truth today is that I care far too much about the thoughts, opinions, and judgments of other people. As I shared in my Fear Much? blog, giving power to people’s opinions just cripples me. God and I are on a journey of recovery in this area. I am excited – yes, actually excited – to be reading the book Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer. It’s a breakdown of why people care so much about what other’s think, and how to find peace and full acceptance in God. I highly recommend it for anyone addicted to approval.
Maybe you don’t see yourself and your behaviors in a frayed chair, but do you see yourself needing to be “just right” to be accepted? Do you have some clawing and loose threads going on that tell you “you’re not good enough”? Friend, you are not alone. Come join my analogy bandwagon and be part of the frayed chair club. I will warn you, though, one of the rules of the club is we never try to get rid of the fraying. We learn to accept the imperfections and find the beauty in the rugged tapestry.
Sometimes when we discover the truth about who we are it hurts. I was bummed when I realized my obsession with the chair was just a projection of my obsession with being accepted. But God is showing me the beauty of having frayed edges.
- What in your life is “frayed” and hard for you to accept about yourself?
- What have you told yourself that other people are thinking about you?
- If you knew 100% that God loved and accepted you all the time, no matter what, how would that affect your self-perception?
Take some time to really reflect on these questions. I pray that you aren’t crippled by human opinion. But if you are, discover the truth about who you are according to your Creator. Read Psalms 139 for a sneak peek into what God thinks of you!