I’ve been working on this one for a while – I don’t know about you but I often times write dialogues, essay’s, my current events all while thinking. Driving around is especially good for this – I’m lost in thought and always writing. Sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder because often when I get back to a pen and paper or keyboard some of the best stuff is just lost. I didn’t retain it. And I stare blankly with nothing coming out of my fingers and I get frustrated with my creative process.
Well I had one of those moments but it wasn’t about writing – it was about living. I don’t remember what I was doing but it just hit me all at once: this whole appearance thing we worry about. The status, the first impression, the insecurities we hide and feed like famined children: It’s crockety bull shit. And it’s time to cut it out (at least for me).
I’ll be the first to admit I lead with my insecurities – and there are plenty. I take stock of first impressions and immediately cast off people if they threaten me in any way. (Since we’re being honest, here’s where I tell you that once I cast off one of my very best friends of today all because the boots she was wearing. I thought she was so stereo-typical, wearing the trendy things and with her perfect hair. Hear that? Rabid insecurity. She didn’t threaten me, she introduced herself to me and smiled. I felt like the twat that I was.)
I continue to be put into situations where I have to let my insecurities go. I just have to show up. Not everyone is going to like me or welcome me or care that I have ideas, talents, thoughts. Sometimes it’s not my turn.
I don’t know why this never dawned on me before – but my insecurities are usually about how “put together” someone else seems. It’s always more than me. Obviously. The lies I silently tell myself about how much less I’m worth compared to … XYZ … are so well practiced it became a second language.
Here’s the danger: it’s a disease to think so little of yourself (which really is more like thinking so much of yourself) that you keep the Guard standing at your heart busy with the onslaught of imminent attack at all times.
Before this realization, I’d be the first to admit I love authentic relationships. I’m a transparent kind of girl. Boy, do I love discussing the things of this world that are not where the best sales are or how much I weigh. Surface conversation is social suicide for me. I fumble through it, I’m awkward with it. It’s just not pleasant. But ask me about what I’m learning in regards to a relationship with my 9 year old daughter? and I will break in front of you with all the folds of my onion peeling as I pour out the desires of my heart to know her more.
I’ll leak all the information about how I’ve had this long-running thought haunt me that no matter what I try “it’s just too late for me” to be a positive influence on her. It’s too late to love her well, it’s too late to keep trying. That’s what haunts me. I want to eat your face off with my words about how to overcome this battle inside me about my only daughter. How much I want her to know I love her with every fiber. How I want her to see that when I can’t shut up – it’s me who doesn’t know where to start or stop and it’s her I want to embrace. I want her to see me for the real person I am, not the parent I keep shoving down her throat. I want her to see Jesus, I want her to love others in-spite of how I frequently fail at showing her how.
Here’s what I came to: right now I can mentally go through our closest friends, the couples we look up to, even the out of reach people we set on pedestals to be more like and not one of them is without a struggle. I tend to look at someone and draw conclusions about how easy life must be for them.
Instead, raging inside each of these hearts, these relationships, are actual people just getting through life, one day at a time. Whether it be a scary medical diagnosis, infidelity, death in the family, hidden shame that is so costly to let go of it’s ruining the potential of the healing now. Inside these people are families who have abandoned them, people who have abused them, women who have shunned them. There’s miscarriage, abortion, adoption’s that fell through. There are single people who crave to be loved, married ones who wish they could love someone else. There’s surprises that aren’t met with joy, there’s financial jungles of debt, choking numbers on a page and days and days ahead of them with no way to make the checkbook balance a positive number. There’s job loss, friendships that fail, people that disappoint. There’s the reflection in the mirror and the gag reflex over the toilet bowl. There’s rampant pornography and everyone draws their blinds so no one can see that we’re all just human, we’re all just getting through this without showing anyone that we’re not actually getting through it.
I stopped leading with my insecurities and I started leading with my heart. I’m trying any way. I have no idea what’s going on in your life but it’s something. It could be the best day ever! And how sweet that joy is because of where you’ve been. How peaceful success must taste after the years of toiling over “will this ever work?”. How incredibly beautiful you are to have made it this far, despite the burden of your struggles, you’re still standing.
Now when I see someone and the language of my insecurities starts to warm up for the first pitch: I try to remember that my only job here is to love them. To offer the joy I’ve found as a welcome mat at their feet, tired from this journey.
I’m far from perfect, far from all put together, far from faultless. I think I’m finally just letting that out with no strings attached.
Whoever you are, you’re doing this really hard thing called life. If you need one, I’ll be the first to be in your bleachers cheering you on.