Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Rules I’ve lived by

on February 3, 2014

Yesterday my fiance, Ashley, and I met with our pastor at church for pre-marital counseling.  His name is Marc, and he has some wonderful insights into healthy relational communication.  He has already given Ash and I so many tools to use!  One of our assignments this week was to reflect on the “rules” we each live by.  He was explaining that so many of us live by rules that area self-imposed and harmful to the way we perceive ourselves.  He was also explaining that these rules can have a negative impact on our relationship.  The purpose of this activity is to recognize the rules, understand the lies entangled within them, and ask God to help us change them.   Some of these rules are rules I’ve lived by in the past, and some are rules I still struggle with today.  What you are about to read is a minor open-heart surgery. This is raw self-discovery, coming to the page – literally – as it surfaces in my heart.

Rule #1:  In order to be accepted, I must perform well.

Rule #2:  To be worth something, I must have validation from others.

Rule #3:  In order for a choice to be right, I must have someone else’s permission to make it.

Rule #4:  I need to keep everyone around me happy.

Rule #5:  All conflict is negative, avoid it at all costs.

Rule #6:  My body size and shape determine my value.

Rule #7:  In order to be beautiful, I must look beautiful – and in order to look beautiful, I must have the approval of people and society.

Rule #8:  I am only what others say I am.

Rule #9:  Depending on someone else will always end in disappointment.

Rule #10:  If I want it done, I have to do it myself.

Rule #11:  If I don’t act now, I am going to miss it. (whatever “it” is in the moment)

Rule #12:  If you are mad at me, I have to find a way to fix it.

Rule #13:  I am only valuable if I am doing something that others see as valuable.

Rule #14:  Other people know me better than I know myself, so I should take advice from others before following my own path.

Rule #15:  Taking risks in relationships leads to pain.

Rule #16:  Being vulnerable always leads to heartbreak.

Rule #17:  If my kids are misbehaving, there is something wrong with me as a parent.

Rule #18:  If you like me, I am ‘OK’.  If you don’t like me, there must be something wrong with me.

Rule #19:  I must do everything I can to make you like me.

Rule #20:  All pretty people are snobs.

Rule #21:  I must stay constantly busy.

Rule #22:  God’s love is tied to my performance.

Rule #23:  My problems define me.  My issues define me.

Rule #24:  If my relationships are good, I am good.  If my relationships are bad, I am bad.

Rule #25:  I am in danger of losing you if you are angry with me.

Rule #28:  I am being rejected if you need ‘space’ or choose to spend some time alone.

Rule #29:  I am whatever you say I am.

Rule #30:  I am a bad mom if I yell at my kids.

I am sure there are many more, but my eyes are getting sleepy — and tomorrow is an early day!  Tonight I will prayerfully request that the Lord helps me see the lies in these “rules”, and that He helps me release them!!





2 responses to “Rules I’ve lived by

  1. Plymothian says:

    I shared this on Facebook because I think it will help students who are wrestling with these thoughts in their twenties and it also complements Kelli’s blog post on 20 things she would tell her twenty-something self.

    • Hi Peter! I am honored that you believe my words could make a difference in another person’s journey. I am beyond grateful that the Lord uses me to share His truth on a daily basis. He is such an amazing God!!

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