But here's the thing, it's wearisome, this banner, and it takes a lot of energy to keep waving it. I've been asking God for a long time for help. To not just get a grip on my insecurity, but to eradicate it. I've read books, memorized scripture, asked everyone in the world for advice, but this anxiety over myself has seemingly been gilded into my being. Recently this article made it's way around Facebook. I was struck by the portion that read:
But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, "Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible." At first I didn't understand what you meant. "You're not fat," I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, "Yes I am, darling. I've always been fat; even as a child." In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:
1. You must be fat because mothers don't lie
2. Fat is ugly and horrible
3. When I grow up I'll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.
I have found myself considering these things. What are the implications of my words and perceptions of myself to others? What am I communicating under the surface to others? Is it helpful and beneficial?
Whomp whomp whomp.....it's not.
My insecurity, while genuine, is not beneficial to anyone around me, least of all myself. It creates awkwardness, dis-genuine compliments, exhaustive circular conversations, and most of all, it causes everyone else to reflect on their inferiorities as well. My lack of self control only perpetuates this cycle in others.
What gives me the right to do that?
Nothing. Despite working through my own residual issues, which only God knows the depth of and can really provide me an out with, I want to proactively work to help people. I wish for my life to be filled with freedom, beauty and rest, for myself and others. I hope for people to feel welcomed into my life not obligated to fix it, to be at home in my presence rather than being overly-cognizant of their phrasing for fear of causing a flair up.
***caveat: this is my personal thought and something I find helpful. I am by no means creating a rule or guide on how to work through personal insecurity, just blabbering on what has been helpful for me, thank you and please continue on***
For me, I think a step in the right direction is to remove the word "fat" and any synonyms therein from my vocabulary. Completely. As I've thought of this this week, I realize that no comment including that word has ever been with kind intention, to myself or others. In fact, it tends to perpetuate an inferiority and insecurity in myself that is deeply rooted. I'm a person who values words. To cognitively and purposely look to remove this one from my lexicon, even this week, has been helpful. It has caused me to place less value there and forcibly think elseways about myself. I have to generally think more and be proactive in my thoughts. Really, the weeding out of jargon such as that from my phrasing instills in me a need to look to the Father.
Knowing that I am not allowing myself to use that word, I subsequently am hyper-aware when it comes to mind, forcing me to consider where that thought is coming from. It's allowing me to look to the Father and ask for Him to prune, snip off the dead leads and round my rough edges. Freedom is here. Freedom from this constant fear of not being good, pretty, funny, interesting, quiet, loud.....enough.
I have spent some time in 2 Timothy the past few weeks, what I keep coming across is Paul conveying to Timothy that it matters implicitly matter in Whom we find our hope. That is my freedom. I can face all things because of Whom I have believed. He is the active one, taking a jaunty walk-about in my life, picking up the different aspects, considering them, and then contouring them to be more like Him. It is a painful process, with much grinding down, building up, cutting and pasting, but I find so much surety in it. I am grateful I am not responsible for how I turn-out ultimately, only for Whom I turn to.
Funny that it is the beginning of a new year and I find myself resolving to do something, a happy coincidence I suppose.