My therapist said something to me yesterday that literally blew my mind. Seriously. It's so simple, and yet, it was something I never, ever thought about before. Let me back up first . . .
One of the things that OCD sufferers do all the time, is confuse feelings with facts. We think that if we feel something, then it must be true. If I feel like a loser, I must be a loser. If I feel like I'm contaminated, then I must be contaminated. When I sought ERP therapy years ago, my psychologist spent a lot of time trying to get me to understand that just because I felt something, it didn't mean that it was a factual truth.
I struggle a lot with what other people think of me. Much of my OCD is actually fueled by what I fear are others' perceptions about me. At the core of it, I fear that they will find me unloveable. Yesterday, my therapist told me, "Just because someone else feels or thinks something about you, it doesn't make it a factual truth." Wait, what??? So even if someone else thinks I'm a loser, that doesn't actually make me a loser? Even if someone else thinks I'm a "bad" Christian, that doesn't mean it is truth? If my feelings are often not based on facts, why do I assume that other people's feelings are any more reliable than my own? This might seem so obvious to you, but to me, it is profound. I'm not so foolish as to think that I still won't ever worry about what others think, but I can tell you this, I'm going to start looking at it differently. There's only one Person whose thoughts about me are always based on factual truth. And hey, I have a sneaking suspicion He loves me. And you. ; )