They. A word that most of us are familiar with but don’t really understand the importance of. I was thinking about this a lot yesterday and how we’re even sometimes unaware of how much power we give it. As some of you know, I’ve been fasting the past couple of days and my focus has been on healing from the past. I decided, as a test, that I was going to track my thoughts for part of the day to see what they consisted of. Really I just wanted to see how many times “they” would pop up. So I went about my day doing random things, and I found that “they” came up way more than I thought. What do they…why do they…when did they…? and as I continued to check myself on it, I realized that something needed to change. My mind can’t be that wrapped around other people’s actions and intentions, or my intentions toward them. Maybe they don’t even care at all.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to skip and sing wherever she went, but somewhere along the way she was told to be silent. Drowned out by people and their intentions. We have to be so careful as people who we put our trust in, but we also need to watch our own motives and keep them in check. Sometimes there are those who have the best of intentions, but the outcome isn’t in their favor. Maybe you were trying to help a friend solve a problem that you know is stressing them out, but they never asked for your help and they make sure to let you know that. Then there are those who have bad intentions but cover it up with good. Basically, like con artists. These are people who make you think they care about you, but they’re gone once they get what they want. Even people who do small things in the hopes that others will look at them and react. I am saddened to admit that sometimes I’m the latter. I honestly didn’t even know I had this problem until a couple of days ago. Most of the time, my intentions are on point. But every once in awhile, I find myself wondering: What if I were to carry out this task for me? What would people say about me? What if I posted this thing on Facebook just so the right people will see? Hey, I’m just being honest. So now that I see this issue for what it is, ugly and unacceptable, I know I have to get rid of it.

The best way that I know how to get through something the right way is with the word of God. There’s a verse in Proverbs that says, “People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.” It means that while we’re putting money in the homeless man’s cup, God is more interest in our thoughts while we’re doing it. See the truth is, we may as imperfect people be able to truly see the intentions of someone right in front of us, the only one we can control is ourselves. Also be sure to be careful that other people’s bad intentions don’t rub off on you. My intentions didn’t just veer off for no reason, it’s partially because of who I associated myself with and the experiences I had with them. If you’re someone who feels like people take advantage of you, you may feel compelled to be someone who’s not so nice to compensate for it. I would encourage you, however, to not cause a ripple effect. Once you start it, it’s hard to stop it. Continue being the person you’re meant to be, and let God dealing with the rest.

I’m so ready to change the way I do certain things, and I’m excited about what else I might learn in this fast. It’s really about putting the little things that you learn together to make you feel more whole inside. If you haven’t done a fast or don’t believe in fasting, I would strongly urge you to reconsider. It’s such an amazing experience, and while it’s big sacrifice to make, it’s worth it in the end. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on any other progress I make, in hopes that it’ll sparks something new inside of you.