The Kingdom Of God Is Within You

At some points in my life, I have thought that I was no good.  My flaws were so clear to me and I seemed beyond redemption.  At times like this, it was hard for me to snap myself out of it.  I could not see the good in myself.  When I was seeing myself so negatively, one thought conditioner that helped me was

The kingdom of God is within you.
—Luke 17:21

Meditating on these seven words was really life-changing for me.  I would repeat to myself, over and over “The kingdom of God is within me.”  This helped me to become aware of the love that God had planted inside me.  It made me aware that God was with me, even at the very core of my being.    It allowed me to begin to find good in myself.

Now, I am not in the middle of that crisis of self-doubt and self-loathing.  I see myself more clearly as a person who has both good and not-so-good behaviors.  I feel worthy of God’s love and embrace the grace that God has showered upon me.  Still, once in a while, I have a bad day.  Life might look overwhelming or I might think I don’t have the strength to manage a task or I find myself acting in a way I don’t like.  At these times, I slip back into seeing myself negatively and my self-talk is harmful.  Because I have meditated on this scripture a lot in the past, it often rescues me shortly after I enter this negative way of thinking.

When I catch myself in a negative frame of mind, telling myself that I am no good, telling myself that I am incapable of something, telling myself that I am weak, I tell myself to STOP.  I close my eyes.  I take a few deep breaths.  I repeat this thought conditioner to myself – The kingdom of God is within me.  The kingdom of God is within me.  As I say these words, I use my imagination to look inside myself.  I actually look for the kingdom of God within me.  I picture myself finding God’s love, God’s peace, God’s strength inside me.  If I can’t find it, I imagine myself breathing in these gifts of God with each breath and see the gifts staying inside me.  I breathe in and God’s love is inside me.  I breathe in and feel divine peace flooding me.  I breathe in and feel myself enlivened by the the spirit of God.

This exercise can very quickly change my attitude from negative to positive.  I no longer am seeing myself as worthless or inept, because I know that God is with me.  God loves me and fills me with self-acceptance.  It is a gift freely given.  I only need to accept it to make it a reality.

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