I’m going to be honest, when I first read Dr. Wilder’s recent blog saying that an important part of healing is feeling special- I struggled with his message. When I read that “feeling special flows from being a source of life to others and not from something we receive”, I objected internally because it sounded way too much like the performance based thinking that I’m working on annihilating!
This “being a source of life to others” sounded a lot like “doing” in order to get healed.
And I bet I’m not the only one who thought so.
Later I listened to the webinar where Dr. Wilder expanded upon these thoughts and I think I’m beginning to understand it a little better.
So, why am I writing about it if you can just go and read and listen to what he said?
I’m writing today about this topic specifically to the people that reacted just like I did. People that rejected the message as just another brick in the heavy weight of ‘performance before grace’ that we already carry. Perhaps hearing how my mind was changed will enlighten the other doubters out there.
My first reaction was that he must be speaking to people who are farther along in the “healing” process. That’s why it made sense to me on some level, but felt like it would be way too much to ask of someone who was still in the infancy of the healing process.
Then during the webinar, he actually said that this was important for EVERYONE to experience at any phase of their healing.
Being special is a NEED!
We, as humans, have an innate NEED to feel special.
This registers as true to me when I hear it. I love to feel special. The whole message of grace actually coming from the word that means “special” or “favorite” is one of my favorite (no pun intended) messages. The specialness I’ve received from Jesus, without having to work for it, has been the most freeing aspect of my faith. When I think about it I can’t help but smile and relax a little internally. And, I also can’t help but want to share that same “grace” with others.
In regular life- when I think about the question, “When do I feel special?” I notice that I feel the most special when I am sharing the gems of love and nuggets of insight that I’ve received—with others! It’s very life giving to me to realize that things I’ve said, written, or done is having an impact on others.
This lines up perfectly with what Dr. Wilder was saying about “evangelism” being key to helping us meet this need to feel special.
When I share with others about my own experiences, and I see their face light up in response, I can’t help but feel special and important. It feels amazing to realize that I had something to offer them, that they weren’t getting from someone else.
When I blog or write following a really nice quiet time with Jesus, it enhances my feeling “special” to share it. It’s like giving myself a 2nd serving of specialness. The telling or sharing increases the impact.
It’s not “earning”.
Now, I want to point out that this is different from trying to earn feeling special. When I’m trying to earn it, I’m constantly looking for it, and it always seems to be elusive.
This is more like a little girl seeking approval and then feeling like the responses she gets are hollow and forced. I’m sure I’m not the only woman on the planet to have realized that when I ask and plead for compliments it falls flat when I receive them.
Earning and doing to feel special is tiring and unsatisfying.
But—sharing my joy and being a light that enters a room—naturally increases my “specialness” inside. Having value to offer, being a source of life and joy and love, all build up my “core” in a way that grows my confidence and self-esteem.
It’s interesting to realize that what I share with others is actually already inside of me. But until I share it, I usually don’t realize that what I have is all that great.
Now, another really interesting thing that Dr. Wilder said was that before we are 9 months old we are designed to simply be delighted in for no reason whatsoever. But after that age, the brain begins to want to offer life instead of just receiving.
In fact, after 9 months of age, being loved for how needy we are begins to take its toll on us. Being the “needy one” is our job when we’re infants. But after 9 months, things change. What made us feel special to begin with no longer works. The tide changes, and we suddenly want to give. Giving begins to add to our specialness in more powerful ways than just existing.
We begin to give kisses to our mommy. We give hugs to the puppy. We give squished up flowers and drawings and whatever causes us joy and wonderment. We give because we’re sure it will give the same feeling to mom and dad.
The flow going out makes us feel special.
We aren’t “earning” our specialness…. We’re sharing it, multiplying it and growing it.
Deep inside, I think that our “pre-9-month old” self is still capable of reaping the benefit of Jesus being glad to be with us simply because. I know that even now I still enjoy the tender moments with Immanuel where He can gush over me and plant that specialness deep inside of me.
However, the rest of me, is way older than 9-months old and I would feel pretty silly allowing anyone else to go gaga over me that way in real life.
I’m pretty sure He knew what He was doing when He designed us to blossom and release our specialness in ways that create more blooms.
Dr. Jim Wilder will be hosting a webinar on specialness next Tuesday, May 10. More details and to register, click here.