We’ve all had at least one.
It’s small, barely noticeable until bumped and reopened.
Typically, we don’t even remember how it happened.
We don’t realize it’s there until a small grain of salt or anything acidic gets in, then it’s hard to think of anything else.
What am I talking about?
A paper cut.
I have a paper cut close to the tip of my right ring finger. Can’t see it? Let me zoom in…
You’re thinking, “Not a big deal.” Right?
Wrong! I’ve had incisions held together with staples that didn’t give me as much trouble as this tiny, surface scratch.
Not only is it annoying, but I forget it’s there until I pick up a lemon to squeeze in my water. Doing so will quickly remind me of this tiny nuisance and all but draw tears to my eyes with the sudden and intense stinging.
I started thinking…
this little paper cut is much like the things I don’t see as a big deal until they show up in the form of a personal insecurity or when one of my children say or do them, they quickly become the center of attention and something that must be dealt with immediately before turning into a much larger issue.
What do I mean?
We’ve all told lies that come back to bite us in the butt, or spent too much money on something we didn’t need, or had one drink too many, or eaten more dessert than we should have. Those are obvious snares that if not managed properly will grow bigger and deeper over time.
But what about those things that no one else can see. The internal nicks and scrapes? The habitual thoughts that we keep to ourselves.
What are you telling yourself on a daily basis, when you’re the only one listening?
What are your mental paper cuts?
Maybe it sounds like this…
I’m so fat.
I’m just average.
What makes me think I can help anyone else when I can’t even help myself?
I’m a mess.
I will never be able to do this.
When you make a mistake you may think to yourself or say under your breath…
I’m such a dumb ass.
Every time you make these kinds of statements to yourself, you are paper cutting your mind. You’re placing tiny, yet annoying, easily irritated, abrasions on your brain. They may remain unnoticed until getting rubbed by a situation or brought to the surface after the sting of a cunning remark or judgmental glance. It all starts with one statement that doesn’t even have to be said out loud. It could be only a thought.
Things that I don’t think are a big deal can become the most cumbersome mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Why? Because they could easily and quickly heal if not continually reopened. However, we must consciously protect our thought life, because as we all know, thoughts lead to words which lead to actions which inevitably lead to outcomes.
How? Stay away from the sour things that sting and burn. Refute the negativity with truth, immediately when it enters your mind. Allow yourself to heal completely before continuing on with your normal routine. Don’t allow thoughts, statements and actions to continually cut you. Guard your heart and your mind against the seemingly harmless things that happen without notice and before long have a power over you that distracts and frustrates you throughout your day.
Stay focused on your purpose and when the paper cuts come, recognize them for what they are, avoid salt and citrus until healed, and live your life on purpose.