The Twist inside of Us

I sit at the table, a stack of papers in front of me. The red pen is dancing across the white sheets as I cross out something here or correct something there.
I am grading papers – one of the uncomfortable parts of my teaching job.

The more I have to tell others what they did wrong, the more I realize how twisted the mindset behind it is. We focus so much on our mistakes, call out what is not going well and complain about everything we lack. We have drilled our minds to watch out for the negative and always strive for improvement.

And while I’m not saying that we shouldn’t grow and learn and change ourselves, I wonder if this mindset tells us something about a belief we have installed in our society and allowed to trickle down into the very core of our DNA: We are not good enough. There’s always something wrong about us. 

This lie has shaped our identity from early on and affects the way we perform in school, engage in our relationships, practice our faith. In this fast-paced world of ours, we only seem to matter if we become faster, better, more effective at hiding our weaknesses.

But what if we shone some truth on this lie?
What if we celebrated our strengths and put them to good use?
What if we practiced more gratitude for the many great things we’ve been given?
What if we handed out compliments instead of criticism for a change?
What if we believed in the old words of “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing”?

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

12 thoughts on “The Twist inside of Us”

  1. I love this! I feel the same way about parenting. I try to praise the good when I see it but sometimes all I hear myself doing is correcting the less than good.

  2. YES YES YES. I give feedback to writers all the time … and having gotten feedback myself (and found it useful, fortunately, b/c the giver was good ad it) … I always try to remember to highlight something good at an unexpected time as well. It makes a difference in how we feel about our work.

  3. There is a twist inside of me,
    but it’s not within my mind.
    It’s a physical malignancy
    and I’ll leave the world behind.
    I see the lumps under the skin,
    they print right through my shirt.
    I don’t know where to begin
    to tell how much they hurt.
    But all this is my destiny;
    I live, and God disposes,
    and never did He promise me
    a lifelong bed of roses.
    The job I have, right unto death
    is to witness Love in every breath.

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