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I have spent years condemning myself. Self-condemnation is a close cousin to guilt.

“I have felt less than worthy. I am not good enough.”

That is the internal dialogue that has plagued me for years.

Until this year. I have been on a journey of self-acceptance this year. It has been a struggle, but well worth it. My friend, Janice, has encouraged me to listen to Chip Ingram’s series on being True to myself. That has helped, but I knew I needed to address some issues in my life.

Self-condemnation has been riding on my shoulder for so long, my shoulder should be drooping.

When I analyzed my life to identify which character weaknesses fed this feeling of self-condemnation, I realized that my environment was not conducive to self-acceptance.

Many days I would wake up to clutter in my house.

This would put my mind into a state of confusion and self-condemnation.

The clutter became such a distraction. I could not focus on writing.

“Aww,” you may think. “Well, that is a problem. You are creative and creatives, by nature, are cluttered.”

The excuse that I was a “creative” became a crutch.

When I watched the movie, The Stepford Wives, I laughed when I saw Bette Midler’s cluttered living room, but while I was laughing, I was also stifling a panic attack. Living in filth like that would shut me down entirely. I would be so confused and frustrated with the clutter and filth.

Then the Holy Spirit got involved. I got the revelation that God wanted me to enjoy cleaning my home.

How on earth could I enjoy something that I seemed to be failing at?

I thought about other aspects of my life in which I have self-discipline.

When I was fourteen years old I decided I was too heavy. I analyzed my strengths and weaknesses regarding my athletic skill. I was not particularly coordinated and did not excel at team sports, but I had long legs and I could run. My brothers had both been track stars. If my brothers could do it, I could too. Within a year I was running and winning races one after another.

Daily exercise became a habit.

I am fifty-seven years old now and I have continued that habit of daily exercise. This healthy habit has enabled me to keep my weight in check and my energy level consistent.

As I reflected on this self-discipline, I realized I could apply the same technique to keep my house clean. Daily, I just needed to make sure I picked up the clutter. Sometimes I would add a deep cleaning task to my daily routine, but most days I would just spend a bit of time picking up the clutter and my house looked spectacular.

I walked away from self-condemnation and embraced excellence

As I did this, I realized I was experiencing something new, a feeling of joy and pride in cleaning my house. Thereby fulfilling the desire that God placed into my thoughts.

What obstacles do you have that are blocking you on your journey of self-acceptance?

Do you struggle with self-condemnation?

What strategy have you used to overcome this mindset?

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