The Manipulator

The commanding timbre of her voice more than compensates for any lack of logic. “No, you must do it this way.” It’s not that when questioned she doesn’t have her reasons, but the reasons are shallow and antiquated. They were helpful for a time, but that time has passed.  She continues on, not realizing her lack of relevance. And when her caution goes unheeded, her insistence morphs into poorly veiled threats. “You’ll be a bad person if you don’t.” And that, well, that is really what underlies all she has to say.  Fear. Fear of being bad.  For it is in being good, very good, that she finds belonging.

The record has a scratch that causes the lines to repeat in the back of my head. When I internalize the message and believe the fear, I find myself making painful, boundary-less, unhealthy decisions that paradoxically result in the very outcome I was determined to avoid.

Dear Younger Me,

You are of value because you are a human being loved by your Creator. Your value does not stem from your performance. You are finding a way to get your needs met, and that’s OK for now. But realize this is simply the starting place for your journey. It’s not the end-all.  One day you will find more beneficial, healthier ways.

There is a voice more powerful than fear. Listen for it. That voice is not demanding, so its urgency can be easily overlooked when compared to the voice of fear. The voice of fear will tell you that any course other than the way it demands will make you bad. But fear lies.

While it will feel destabilizing to let go of the fear that has controlled you, press on. You will learn to ride the waves and will experience a fuller life than is possible while standing in fear on the shore. You won’t be the first in your circle to step out in the waves, nor will you be the last. Don’t get too caught up in the people still on the shore. It’s OK if you go a different direction. In fact, you were designed to do so.

Be confidently you. The world needs it. And so do you.

Much love, Me

Image result for manipulation emotional

There is no manipulator stronger than the one that lives in your own head. From it, all others gain their power.