The OATH

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We got bumped off our flight from Minneapolis to Omaha. We were given a stay in a nice hotel and vouchers for food and future flights, and we spent the night in Minnesota. I was without luggage. No toothbrush, no makeup, no change of clothes. Just a comb and a brush in my purse. And lipstick. I expected to find myself in a panic. But I was surprisingly calm.

I think most of us have something that we hide behind. Some baggage that we carry around with us wherever we go. Lately I’ve been noticing the words we women say to ourselves, about ourselves. I’ve been guilty of it: Not pretty enough, or thin enough, or smart enough, or whatever enough. Too thin, or too short, or too whatever to matter. And so last month I decided enough was enough. I took an OATH for me: Only Adjectives That Heal/Help. I think that’s why I didn’t panic when separated from my MAC cosmetics for the night.

That’s me up there in the photo. Makeup-less. That night in Minnesota my husband loaned me a pair of gym shorts and a tee shirt and he told me I was beautiful. And I believed him. Because I had believed myself first. Because I had loved myself first. The next morning I boarded the plane wearing the clothes I had worn the day before, with bed head, not a stitch of makeup, and not a care in the world. When we landed in Omaha I claimed my luggage, but I left the baggage behind.

The OATH means using Only Adjectives That Heal/Help. Won’t you join me in the OATH? For the next twenty-one days, make a commitment not to let yourself speak badly about yourself. Only good self-talk allowed. Keep these thoughts in mind:

1. If you’ve been engaged in negative self talk for awhile, if it’s become your habit, it might be hard to just stop cold turkey. I know it was for me. So I just started by applying some mother wit to myself: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Start there.

2. The OATH is not about bragging. There is a difference between being a braggart and loving the person God created you to be. Love yourself. Just don’t boast or brag.

3. If you slip back into your old habit, just switch gears and start again. Don’t beat yourself up. Just move on.

4. Soon you’ll find yourself thinking differently about yourself, and that will spill over into your relationships with others. You’ll have more grace, more patience, and more love. I don’t know how it works or why it works, but it does.

Are you in? Great! Copy and paste this button on your blog, mostly as a reminder to yourself. You can leave your baggage here.