Last week, I met another creative who said, “I’m just a beginning writer.” I understood what he meant, of course, but I wondered about that little word “just.”
How many times do we use “just” to describe ourselves, not realizing that in the process – we are embracing shame.
“I’m just a beginning writer.”
“I’m just a housewife.”
“I’m just the receptionist.”
To be authentic persons, I believe we should eradicate this use of “just” from our vocabulary.
None of us are “just” anything and when we put ourselves down, we throw ourselves into the trash bag of a “less than” mentality. Any type of emotional trash bag will suffocate us.
“I’m just” is another way of stating, “I’m not enough.” Not rich enough. Not smart enough. Not accomplished enough.
And when we shame ourselves, we become our own judge by comparing our worth to another person.
God never shames us. He never says, “You need to be like that person over there.” Instead, he promises he has a good plan for our lives, for each of us, based on who he created us to be.
Sure, we creatives strive to learn more about writing and become best-selling authors. That’s one of my goals. But even if that never happens, if my words touch ONE heart, if even one person finishes my books with a lesson learned or a nugget of joy intact – that’s success.
Being a housewife, keeping the home operational and raising the children is one of the highest forms of work because it influences the next generation. Just a housewife? Not possible. Wouldn’t it be more uplifting to say, “I am so privileged to be a housewife.”
Anyone who works in an office knows the receptionist is the first line of defense. This important person schedules the daily activities, keeps everything going smoothly and greets customers with a smile. He or she may not earn the salary of the person in the corner office, but just try operating a business without a front office person. “Just” does not begin to describe the value of an efficient and welcoming receptionist.
So instead of thinking of ourselves as “just” anything, let’s look in the mirror and say, “Hey there, Wonderful! God has a good plan for you today, and you’re the only person in the world who can do it. You are enough. March forward with hope for an even better future.”
©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh
Image attributed to www. sxc.hu.
Love this! Thanks for the reminder.
Isn’t that the truth, Gail? We all need those reminders to keep ourselves on track and remember who we are.
Such a small word in our comments and thinking but it does make a world of difference. When my brother leaves a voicemail he always says, “It’s just me.” It drives me crazy. It sounds so sad and belittling, it’s not “just me” it’s my brother and I want him to value himself like I do.
Good point, Evie. One little word can make a world of difference.
Oh gee, the image of black plastic bags cascading down around my head. For sure that’s what Shame does – suffocates. That is (thankfully) not an illustration I’m soon to forget. Thanks for the good reminder!
Sometimes those visuals really help us remember. Thanks, Jerry!
I’ve had occasion to be aware of shaming since you’ve mentioned it here. Also, the Lord’s been dealing with me about my thinking. As long as I “think” I’m just ‘whatever’ then it becomes a self -fulfilling prophecy of sorts. So many times I’ve been reminded to watch what I say, but thoughts come before speaking. It’s good to be reminded of the little stuff like the word “just”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
So true, Anita. If we remove that “just” from our vocabulary, we feel more confident, act more confidently and therefore – we are more confident.