Affirmation: A Double-Edged Sword

As females, we all love to be affirmed. Whether it be a parent telling you how proud of you they are, a friend complimenting your hair, or a significant other admiring your beauty; we all love hearing words of affirmation. I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for and actually score very high on the 5 Love Languages assessment in the words of affirmation component. (I highly recommend this book by Gary Chapman to everyone so go get your hands on this ASAP).

Affirmation in itself is harmless and in fact, is quite endearing. However, as with most things in life, seeking affirmation in the wrong places can be very dangerous. I know how happy my heart feels when somebody tells me those three little words [i.love.you] or take that a step further, when that same person explains why they love ME. Okay so now I will take the flip side of that, I become insulted (whether directly or indirectly) when I hear a loved one speak negatively about me. I am immediately left feeling crushed, betrayed, and deeply hurt inside that same heart which, at one moment, was bursting out of my chest with happiness. Letting our feelings control us is a dangerous cycle to become absorbed in.

Seeking the approval of others is a deceptive trap that all of us fall into. The world is a source for immediate results, quick fixes to feeling good; yet can be so fleeting in nature. I think it is safe to say that women, as a whole, are driven to gain the approval of others. I catch myself on a daily basis aiming to please others, look good for others, and seeking affirmation from anyone who is willing to give it to me. Sounds exhausting, right? Right. Not only is this an addicting pattern to get wrapped up in, but more importantly, those opinions of others don’t really matter eternally. So then why do it you ask? Because human beings, especially women, crave attention from any source we can get it from. Therefore we almost have to force ourselves to live only for the God who chose us, created us, and loves us unconditionally.

I know that not everyone I come across on this earth will want to be my friend. I also know that on a daily basis I am unable to make everyone happy, constantly feel beautiful, or hear words of affirmation every second of the day. What I do know and what I want you to know is that other people’s opinions and input about us cannot determine our sense of worth. Our sense of self-worth and identity lie in such a greater, more reliable, and everlasting place. This place is in a God that nothing on this earth can compete with. Knowing this, and doing my due diligence to love others the way I am loved helps me sleep with such peace.

One (of countless) life lessons that my parents have taught me is that my identity lies in Christ. My identity was never dependent on my athletic career, academic performance, or a job. Although they encouraged me to work hard in everything I am doing and to maintain respectful relationships with everyone I come into contact with, they never once made me feel as though my self-image was a result of those things. This keeps me humble and really keeps things into perspective for me. So, thank you mom and dad if you are reading.

So I am switching gears and lightening the mood really quickly. For those of you who know me pretty well, I have a chronic sweet tooth; in fact it may be one of the most severe cases. It is impossible for me to turn down anything in front of me that has sugar in it. The worst (or best) are scotcharoos, puppy chow, brownies, and ice cream. In fact, if I could eat a piece of cake for dinner every night, I’d probably do it. So why am I sharing this “problem” that so many of you may resonate with? Because I have decided after a weekend full of consuming delicious treats at the tailgate, it is time to try and knock this problem. My goal for the week is to only eat 3 desserts allllll week. I am already dreading it and doubting my ability to resist chocolate, however I feel as though since I am sharing it with you all, it may hold me more accountable. I will keep you posted J

I am so excited about this new blogging experience and I truly hope at least a few people take away something beneficial from these postings. I am looking forward to growing in the process and learning more about myself.

Have a blessed Monday and week everyone and I will see you back here on Thursday morning! As Matt Redman says in 10,000 Reasons, “the sun comes up it’s a new day dawning, it’s time to sing your song again.”

Thanks Mr. Redman, I couldn’t have said it better.

Let your light shine!

-Abby Dawn

Just a few special people in my life who I am blessed to receive affirmation from…

So blessed to have this man in my life. He has such a genuine soul, servant heart, and engaging personality! Oh, and dashing good looks.
Some of the most influential women in my life!

It has been so much fun growing over the years with this girl & I couldn’t be more proud of her.
One amazing husband, father, pastor, and counselor (plus so much more).

I appreciate their fun-loving spirits & honesty.