For years I secretly struggled with Insecurity. If I saw myself through the eyes of Goldilocks then I would always be Mama Bear, or Papa Bear, never Baby Bear- always too much or too little but never-ever just right. In my younger years, I tried to talk to people about it but it seemed futile because it felt as if no one understood, or cared. So eventually I stopped speaking out, and sharing how I felt, I just internalized everything.
Every flaw and lack I have/had (real or imagined) I was hyper-aware of it. Secretly I obsessed over Insecurity and everything she pointed out to be “wrong” with me. But I had a ‘public face’that told a completely different story. When high school started I hid Insecurity behind an “I don’t care attitude” and then, and then well I met a boy lol… Then my “I don’t care attitude” had to adapt to my new social status. I turned into “vanity”. So I went from seeming not to care about how I look, or what people thought about it to being consumed by it. I had to prove that I deserved his attention. I slowly started to change myself to “better suit his taste” (or more honestly, what I thought his taste was) even though he had never said he thought I was lacking in any way. I used his attention as a salve to soothe the hurt and turmoil Insecurity was causing within me. For about 2-3 years this strategy seemed to be working, I almost forgot about Insecurity. But Insecurity can never stay ‘hid’ for too long, she demands attention and does not take lightly being ignored and buried under superficial distractions. So Insecurity began to claw her way out from beneath everything I had attempted to bury her with. She came back with a vengeance and this time, no one and nothing could hide her or tame her. In my younger years, I had made sure that I not had much (mainly by social isolation and avoiding being noticed as much as possible), if anything, to lose because of “my flaws and lacks” but this time I felt as if I had a lot to loose (my ‘new’ friends, social status and, yes my boyfriend). Insecurity was back and she brought with her back-up in the form of Loneliness; and together they eventually bred the ultimate monster: Self-Hate.
My final year of high school and the proceeding year were tough years. I allowed Insecurity to morphe me into something else. All the ‘secret flaws’ I thought I had hidden so well came pouring out over those two years. Everything I thought I didn’t deserve I started to dismantle and destroy- with my own hands. Every time I destroyed or lost, one thing Self-Hate grew a little me in me, until it was all I could feel. But feeling that the world, and sometimes family too, neither had the time nor the patience to deal my personal issues I carefully wrapped up this ugly trait in a cast shell, out of sight. During that stage of my life what everyone thought was bothering me was not the real issue. The family assumed it was school related, and my friends thought it was my failed/failing relationship. While both of these were things I was struggling with the real problem was more central and deep rooted than this- my education and my relationship were the two things that I had allowed to define me and having them go downhill meant that I was getting lost, fast. I had chosen these to define me because I sort of felt they made me worth something. What I know today is no one and nothing can make me worth anything more than I am without them. The problem was neither my relationship status, nor my educational achievements. My problem was I didn’t value myself and I was trying to use these two things to fill a void they were never meant to. None of the two could ever love me the way I have to love myself….before I can truly love someone else, or anything else, in a way that is pure and healthy- a way that truly allows me to give and build, rather than to receive and (in my case) destroy the very.things that I care about.
What unsettled me the most was the full knowledge that both were headed down the gutter because of some stupid, questionable decisions I had made. So I began to see myself as someone, something, completely useless. I mean, who destroys everything, including the two most important things to you? What cut me deepest, more than anything was the amount of pain and confusion I caused some people during this time. Even today I struggle with the guilt of having once been that person, that girl, that was capable of such. Truth be told I can handle and get over disappointing myself, getting hurt by someone or whatever- provided it is directed at me. I will hurt, release, forgive and heal over time. But flip the script and let me make a mistake, a decision that will negatively impact someone….. I fall apart. Maybe it was/is because I think one of my better qualities is my ability to put those I care about before myself. It is a good quality but if wielded without wisdom, like I did at that age. It can destroy you. They say you cannot pour out of an empty cup and so often it is what I tried to do. What I have learnt though is that you could pour from an empty cup but all the sedimentation, that dirt, that nasty sludge at the bottom is what comes out because that is all that the cup will have inside.
Sometimes it just seems easier to hide Insecurity and Pain, pretend as if they are not there, but I now know that this is the best way nurture them. If self-love and high self-esteem were flowers that bloom best in the spotlight, then Insecurity and Pain would be photophobic weeds, weeds that grow best in the dark. If you bury them and do not confront them, fight them, conquer them then their roots will dig deeper. The deeper the roots, the greater the void and the greater the turmoil. I know more often than not people are either the cause of your insecurities, or they do not understand them. It is OK, they are human, you are human and mistakes have been, are being and will be made because it is in our imperfect nature. Remember they too have their own battles that they are fighting. I would just suggest you take it to the one who’s only battle in life is to love you and make sure that you are OK- take it all to Christ and leave it at the foot of the cross. I promise it is the best place to talk about and dump these. I speak from experience here.
I know sometimes some mantras, sometimes even Bible verses may seem futile if you constantly repeat them. For a while, I did not see the difference they made but then I realized that it was because I was still refusing to face the problem head on. It was important for me to be aware of Insecurity, understand and acknowledge the fact that that I had a problem with her (pretending she does not exsist helps no one, it just draws out the journey to freedom) only then could I tell myself she was a lie, from the pit of hell and how irrational I was being by listening whatever she had to say, because I knew EXACTLY what I was fighting (sometimes we fight signs of the real problem, it is important to dig deep and find the cause, like for me I intitally thought I was fighting depression but I was actually depressed because of Insecurity and until I conquered her Depression was always hanging over me like a dark cloud but once I had coquered her, the Depression packed and booked out). Truth be told I had a lot to work out.during this time but I realized that what worked best for me is I had to face everything one by one- as I overcame one it encouraged me to try another, then the next until one by one each was shed. For every negative, I could come up with I tried to come up with a solution for it and at least two positives that I thought I had that would help me get the results I wanted. If I had a bad day and I wanted to cry, I would then pick myself up and try again.
I never would have made it without the Word of God though. I learnt, and am still learning to see myself through it. They say His Word is a mirror in which you see the true you. Honestly speaking, for a while I felt like it was the firing squad, I felt as if every good thing I read my mind would constantly tell me “That’s not you.” or “You are too far gone from that.” It felt as if just how deep my depravity went was being highlighted. For a season I felt as if I had a whole new set of things to be insecure about- deep, spiritual things not my seemingly shallow physical and emotional ones I was trying to conquer. I was an Israelite in the desert who was longing to return to Egypt but I knew that knowing what I now knew about God, about Christ, I could not get back. I did not wake up fully into it, I must admit, it was a struggle.
For almost a year I held on to portions, just portions (not the whole thing just a few words, that I was not even sure where exactly in the Bible you could find them) of two Bible verses and one chapter that I repeated over, and over and over and over again. I think they were also my prayer because I wanted them, no NEEDED them to become a reality to me. I had already lost everything and I needed something, anything, to hold on to for sanity and life’s sake. When I say these few scriptures saved my life I mean it literally- I am here, writing this, still breathing because of them. I will not pretend that I am there, or that every insecurity is dead and gone. No I am still struggling but the difference between then and now is how I see them, this may very well be the thorn in my side that may never go away that God will allow to stay in his shadow and forever humbled because it reminds me how much worse it could be without Him. Insecurity may singe me and hurt a little but she will no longer run my life, she no longer has a right to put a price tag on my self-worth and her sidekick Self-hate is long dead and gone. Yes, Self-hate left her children Guilt and Shame but they too are packing their bags to book out because every day I embrace a little more of Who I Am Called To Be and discover more and more Who I Am, in Christ Jesus gives them less and less room to occupy. Calling them out; calling out sin or anything you struggle with, out into the light like this gives them less power because they are Children of Darkness and they cannot stand in the Light. For when Light appears Darkness must vacate, it has no choice.
Looking back I realize that indeed “..in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) because had Insecurity and all the mess I made not happened I do not think I would have ever found a reason to harken the call of God, I never would have found myself on my knees. That which was meant to destroy me built me gave me life. I know that had the Enemy known that his attempt to break me would send me running into the arms of the Father he would have made sure that I was very comfortable and content but he pushed me onto my knees and I now refuse to stand up. Every season brings its own issues and problems but I ow know that every burden is easier to bear when you are kneeling- it increases stamina.
MY 2 ‘VERSES’ AND 1 CHAPTER:
- 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13– “…and God if faithful; He will not let you be tried beyond what you can bear….”
- NUMBERS 23:19– “God is not a man, that he should lie….”
- 2 SAMUEL 22: 2- END ( favorites: 2-3, 7, 15, 18, 21, 26-29, 31, 33, 35, 40, 47, 49-50)
THE 10 SONGS THAT LIGHT UP MY DARK DAYS (esp when Insecurity tries to vist)
- for KING & COUNTRY- SHOULDERS (eye opener)
- Lauren Daigle- HOW CAN IT BE (declaration)
- Lauren Daigle- O’LORD (declaration)
- Big Daddy Weave- REDEEMED (identity)
- Zach Williams- CHAIN BREAKER (remember him)
- Casting Crowns- JUST BE HELD (special instructions to you❤)
- MercyME- DEAR YOUNGER ME (no guilt or shame)
- Natalie Grant- CLEAN (great reminder)
- Steffany Gretzinger- STEADY HEART (trust him)
- for King and Country- PRICELESS (my personal favourite right now)