Too many people are told what they can’t do. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I can’t do something, I would be a rich man. I’m not talking about going past reasonable limits so much so that you damage your health. I have been down that road and even now struggle with doing too much. My mind wants to do so many things. My body can’t keep up with what my mind wants to do. How many of us experience that?
Instead of believing all the things you can’t do, focus on what you can do. All of us no matter what our challenges are can do something each day to brighten our life and the lives of those who love us. There is such power in a smile. Have you noticed how when you smile it creates a positive energy of its own? Smiles are the gift we give to ourselves and others. Did you know it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown? I think God designed it that way, so we would be more inclined to smile than to frown. Now, if I could just get that message across to our kitty, Catherine, who has her frown perfected to an exacting science. What puts a smile on Catherine’s face, our musical kitty, is when I sing her favourite song, All Things Bright and Beautiful. Catherine listens and soaks in the spirit of that song. But if I sing Jeremiah was a Bull Frog, that frown comes out. If I have our other kitty, William a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot, do a dance singing a song while I hold his two front paws he looks at me as if he is saying, “Please, kitty daddeh, just tell me when it’s over!” Playing with them helps me smile.
Karen lights up inside when I sing to her. It is one of the ways I speak her language of love. When you do something like that for your spouse, you are showing a light inside of you that is powerful and transforming. Every time when Karen gets down a song, especially one I have written, uplifts her in a way words often fail to reach. I’m acting out my love for her.
I have positive affirmation statements written on a piece of paper, which I refer to. They are on our kitchen cupboard. When I am having a stress-filled day, I find that going to those affirming statements about myself reminds me who God created me to be. Try this for yourself. Write positive affirmations about yourself using I AM statements. Put them on your fridge or wherever you know you will see them the most. These are some of the affirmations I have written down for myself. I am a compassionate person. I am intelligent. I am creative. I am a giver. I am an encourager. I am a good listener. I am a good singer, who uses it as a ministry to wounded hearts. These are some of the affirmations I have written down for myself. When I focus on the I AMS, it serves as a memory jogger of what I can do, not on what I can’t do. That isn’t always easy to do, because I am a survivor of child abuse from my schizo affective father. It has been a real battle making that long and painful journey of overcoming that abuse, of all those hate-filled words that I’m stupid, lazy,weak, and will always be a failure. I have been called by my Lord to forgive him and all those in my life, who spoke their words of death and destruction into me.
Abuse causes those who have suffered it or are currently exposed to it to be told all the things they will never be capable of. The abuser gives the abused person a false self. The abuser speaks darkness and failure into its victim. The abused are told that they are worthless and will always be that way. Those wounded by abuse fight against those destructive tapes whose primary objective is the destruction of that beautiful soul God created. Whether you call it darkness or the work of the Enemy, the purpose of the attack is the eroding of the true self, that wonderful person God made.
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (NASB). The Enemy is a robber of the true self. Jesus says that His whole ministry was devoted to telling everyone that He gives us the gift of His abundant life. In the Greek New Testament the abundant life referred to is called zoe. “It speaks of the life that is given by God through Christ Jesus to those who believe the gospel. In this usage, zoe is often modified by the adjective aionios [English: eon] which means “eternal”, “everlasting”, “of endless duration.” This scripture is often taken out of context to support the idea of success theology, that the believer is showered with lavish wealth and abundance. God can provide that. Yet, His far greater concern is that we would be led into a relationship with Him that leads us to a richer spiritual journey of really knowing Him and believing in Him even in our times of greatest darkness. God blesses us in that relationship with Him into the overcoming knowledge, that we are not the lies the Enemy has spoken into us. This gives us the ability to live our life with a freeing grace that moves far beyond any human words I could use to describe it. It is a liberation of the imprisoned child, who longs to be released from a prison of agonizing terror and defeat.
I pray this piece has helped you to see what an amazing child of God you are! If I was in the same room as you, I would with your permission lay my hands on your head and say, “What a beautiful child of God you are! Embrace all you are in Christ.”
When you embrace and believe the true beautiful you that you are, you will make yourself and all of those around you smile. That’s much better than wearing one of Catherine’s frowns.
Kevin Osborne is a counsellor,singer,advocate, song writer and motivational speaker. He has been given the honours of Doctor of Divinity,Doctor of Science in Clinical Christian Counselling and Diplomate in Creative Ministry by St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. He is a graduate student there in an M.A.-Ph.D. program in Clinical Christian Counselling. Yet, he prefers to be called a servant of his Lord and a student of life.