What are your heart echoes?
By that I mean, what are the things that have been spoken to you or about you that echo around in your heart and mind. A lot of times they are negative comments that ricochet around in our hearts and memories that dent our identity over and over, continuously shaping us into something we were never meant to be.
They enter our hearts through heartless or careless words. The heartless words came with ill intent. Careless words come from people who mean to be helpful toward pruning your character but instead they cut us deeply with their words and their way of speaking “truth.”
For instance, instead of someone saying “Let’s identify your best learning style” they may have labeled you as “unteachable.”
Where someone should have said, “You have a such a creative mind!” they spoke words like, “Get your head out of the clouds – daydreamer!”
We are also shaped by smaller, yet often repeated phrases like, “What were you thinking?” and biting sarcasm when mistakes are made like, “Way to go genius!”
Sometimes we receive identity shaping messages as we are learning to express and balance our emotions. Someone who became irritated and impatient may shaped us with the words, “Suck it up, don’t be such a cry baby!”
A few days ago my three youngest boys were quietly watching a TV show together in the living room but soon I began hearing thumps, booms and laughter that told me their show had ended. As show rolled to credits they decided to pulled every pillow off every couch and chair in our living room and perform Olympic style dives into the pool of pillows using the ottoman as their dive platform. I walked into the living room just in time to see my the oldest of my three little guys preforming a front-flip into the shallow end of their cushion pool. He somehow executed his front-flip safely but I was not impressed. Concerned for their safety and upset with their choice of entertainment, I blurted out the words, “Wow! You boys invent ways of getting into trouble!”
As I audited my words and interactions that day, I began to realize that I was using the negative phrase “You invent ways of getting in trouble” over and over with them. I became aware that the phrase has the potential of becoming one of their heart echoes. Now, when I see them “inventing trouble” for themselves, I look for ways to encourage their creative spirit and provide them a space and resources where they can have fun and be creative. Instead of cursing their creativity as “inventing trouble” I correct them with encouragement and and redirect them to things more safe and at times even more productive.
Sadly, just as physical heart problems can be passed on from one generation to another, the same is true of negative heart echoes. Why? Because hurt people often hurt people (even / and especially people they love).
Take a moment to reflect on these questions:
What heart echoes are clanging around inside of you that keep you from hearing a greater truth about who really are meant to be?
What heart echoes are you speaking into others? Remember: you have the opportunity to injure or encourage. If your words are going to echo in the hearts of others for a long time, make sure they are a positive refrain.
As you audit your own heart echoes, ask yourself…
Are these echoes, statements that were made with ill-will? If so, you have the opportunity to replace those statements with God’s word and the truth about who you are in His eyes.
If you find that your heart echoes came from careless words, reform and rephrase them. Instead of receiving a cut, find the complement. “You’re a day-dreamer” is a dead end statement, “You’re a visionary” means you have ideas that can change the world!
Take the challenge to truly and honestly audit your echoes. It could change your life and the lives of those around you.
Looking for more practical ideas toward improving your marriage, family and other relationships, We can help! Click here.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
~ Ephesians 4:29 ~