OPINION

Green: Ignore the Deceiver, who is often there but always wrong

RENAE GREEN

There is something wrong with me. I'm not sure what it is, but I think I may need counseling. Or an MRI.

Renae Green column

Last week, I walked into my 3:05, Tuesday/Thursday classroom at 3:02 pm. Just enough time to greet my students, log into my computer, and start class on schedule. Imagine my surprise when I found the room completely empty. It’s a great class, and most of my students are always present unless they’ve been quarantined for the C-word which shall not be spoken but loosely rhymes with balogna. I hate it so much I’ve decided to ban its name from my vocabulary. But, I digress.

My first thought was, “What did I do?”

My second thought was, “I thought they liked me. Why are they all skipping class?”

My third, fourth, and fifth thoughts followed the same pattern as I scanned my brain for what I might have said or done to offend an entire classroom full of really awesome people.

Approximately 24 thought sequences later, it dawned on me that I might be in the wrong classroom. Sure enough, I checked the room number and realized I was in my 8:00 am MWF room, which is next door to my T/Th 3:05 class. I rushed to the correct room to find my amazing, nearly-perfect students sitting quietly, waiting for their (now late) teacher to show up.

My question is this: Why was my first thought one of total and complete rejection? Why did it take me so long to come to the logical conclusion that I’d made a mistake?

It could be because I rarely make mistakes, so I’m not used to dealing with that possibility. Except, I mess up all the time, so I’m actually quite good at recognizing it.

Is my self-esteem so low that I immediately assume the worst? I don’t think so. I’m not under any delusions that I’m perfect, or even close, but I actually like myself just fine.

I’ve pondered this question for several days now, and I think I have an answer. It may not be the right answer, but here’s my best shot: I assumed the worst because there’s a liar that lives inside my head. He’s a real jerk. He constantly tells me awful things, like I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough, not talented enough. He tells me nobody likes me. He whispers that I’m a nerd. (OK, he may be right about that one.) But his job, his goal is to make me believe these awful lies.

I’m usually pretty good at recognizing him. I just tell him to shut up and slither back under whatever slime-covered rock he came from. But sometimes, he catches me off guard, and I listen. For just a minute, I listen, and I believe him.

I hate that guy. He’s been around my whole life. I’m pretty sure he’s visited everybody reading this at some point or other. He may have some small, temporary victories now and then. But as soon as we call him what he is – a liar – he runs away because he’s also a coward.

Do me a favor, will you? If he shows up in your thoughts this week, tell him to shut up. No matter what he says to you, don’t listen. He’s known as The Great Deceiver, but trust me, he’ll have his come-uppance. In the meantime, just take my word for it. You are amazing. You are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there’s no one like you. You are a masterpiece.

And if your masterpiece status lands you a little on the nerdy side, like it does me, that’s OK. It only adds to your uniqueness and increases your value.

“And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 12:9

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com