I was attending a funeral with some clergy friends. During the “congregational singing” (where everyone at the service sang together) we stood and one of my friends and I shared a hymnal (the book with all the songs).

The song began, and I began singing. But after a few seconds I awkwardly realized that between the two of us, I was the only one. He was standing there silently. I nudged the book at him, suggesting that he sing along too, and he adamantly shook his head.

This made no sense to me. I’d heard him sing before in other circumstances, so why would he refuse to sing then? After the service, he told me that in third grade, in front of the entire class, the teacher had every kid sing part of a song. When it was his turn she told him he should never again sing out loud and he had a horrible voice. He shared that after that, he never again sang out loud in a “formal” setting.

So often in life, we limit ourselves and our potential because of the narratives we have playing in our minds. The agreements we have with ourselves believing what we can and cannot do.

These agreements were and are shaped by the thoughts and opinions of others we’ve heard throughout our lives. And sadly, many times these thoughts and opinions are just not good.

Think for just a moment . . .

What are some of the first memories you have about yourself from your childhood?

What did you “agree” to believe about yourself?

Believe it or not, these beliefs have shaped our thoughts around – – –

What we can and cannot be

What we can and cannot do

What we can and cannot have.

What could happen in your life if you’d become aware of these agreements and then challenge them?

What if you challenge the limitations that were put on you by others?

Limitations of not being smart enough, a good enough athlete, not the right “physical appearance,” too skinny, tall, short, fat, socially awkward, not a good listener, too messy, stubborn, so many other things!

If you become aware of these limitations and learn how to challenge them, you will learn to be free!

In the next few weeks, we will explore how to break free from these limitations and agreements while creating new ones. We will create agreements that allow ourselves to live authentically into being the people we are created by God to be!

The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile, but only for those kinds of seeds, it is prepared for.

Let us prepare for words of positivity, affirmation, and love! And let’s start today!

Don’t let the harmful words of others define you!

Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”