No bad parts?

The body is a unit made up of many parts. The bible uses this truth to explain how followers of Christ should function together using the truth that the human body is made up of many parts as a given. I’ve never really considered the parts that make up my psyche, my personality, and my character until now.

Why do I think the way I do? What shapes my reactions and responses? What parts have worked together to either protect me or help me cope with difficult situations or trauma?

I’m now reading No Bad Parts by Richard C. Schwartz and finding it very interesting. Once again I am finding a number of the principles presented aligning nicely with many of the teachings of Jesus. It’s pretty funny how these authors work to clearly distance themselves from religion but then end up saying some of the same things Jesus said, just in different ways.

We’re working on the self-critical part of me right now. It’s the part of me that focuses on my missteps and mistakes and magnifies them to the point of self-denigration. For example, Sunday morning a member of our church family shared some things. I gave her a handheld, wireless mic. Not knowing how to use a mic, she held it at her waist which made her difficult for some to hear. In my mind that became, “Scott, you idiot, you should have put it on a mic stand!” Everything else in the service went very well but I left unhappy with myself because of one little thing. I am very frustrated with myself.

According to Schwartz, unless I am misunderstanding, this behavior developed in part of me that was working to develop a coping skill. That makes no sense to me. I can’t understand how my expectation of perfection from myself, while I extend grace to everyone else, came from a good thing. Why won’t I extend grace to myself?

I’ve been a good boy, writing myself little affirmation notes. It feels ridiculous…

Dear Scott,

You did a good job communicating today. People seemed engaged and your points were clear. Things went well! You even ended on time.

– from me

Sheesh, this exercise feels so stupid. I mean, those things are true and positive but I feel silly writing them.

In a letter to the church of Philippi, Paul counsels them to focus their thoughts on the things that are true, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy, instead of what psychologists calls

“ANTs.” (*Automatic Negative Thoughts)

Philippians 4:8

I know this is a training exercise helping me reprogram my mind and I know Paul tells us to do it. I just wonder when it will stop feeling ridiculous and contrived. No one said stomping out ANTs would be easy.

So … that’s where I am in my mental health journey. I know we all have ANTs. I need to go from an ANT infestation to managed, balanced ANT control.

🐜 🐜 🐜 🐜 STOMP!!!

About Scott Linscott

Living life to the fullest, walking in the dust of my Rabbi, creating art through photography and written word, speaking words of hope wherever and whenever the opportunity arises.
This entry was posted in anxiety, burnout, counseling, depression, discouragement, imposter syndrome, mental health, ministry, pastor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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