Tangled in Guilt

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A few weeks ago I wrote about Insecurity. As I was writing I realized that of all the “side effects” of the life I lived as a result of living a life blinded by her, the one that I struggled with the most after I had overcome Insecurity was Guilt. I know many, if not most, believers struggle with it. Guilt is just downright ugly. Why? He settles in after one becomes saved but he also shadows the heart of those who are even exposed to The Word, making you feel as if you do not deserve the love and grace being offered so freely.

I personally think that of all the battles God has set before me through this is the toughest, I won’t lie. It is the toughest for a a whole lot of reasons. The feeling Guilt gives is more than just being chained or trapped- it is both and more. It is being caught up with, identifying with and even personalizing him. You do it on so many different levels, for so many different reasons and, if you are like me, you meditate upon him as well. All these form a twisted web around your mind, heart and soul that can literally choke Joy and Peace out of you. For the longest time I didn’t know what to do about Guilt, in fact I actually thought that maybe I had to live with him, I figured he would help me stay on the “straight and narrow”. How terribly wrong I was, Guilt has no part to play in keeping me “in line”, in fact he is a burden from the enemy meant to weigh me down and delay progress.

Guilt operates by putting you in an emotional and spiritual vacuum of sorts. In this vacuum you cannot hear anything above your Guilt nor can you feel much else besides guilt. When you wrong someone and you feel guilty about it being around them makes you VERY uncomfortable and you will avoid being in their presence, forget talking to them. Every time you think of the person you can’t help but remember what you did to them, and so you try to avoid thinking about them as well. Eventually anything and everything to do with the person just intensifies that feeling of guilt until that is all you can associate with them. It is especially worse when you love the person.

When you love someone, when you care about someone wronging them, disappointing them HURTS. It doesn’t just hurt them but it hurts you too. Actually I am now convinced that Guilt is a very selfish trait. Guilt is mainly centered in how we feel about what we did and less about the one we wronged. It’s based on how we think about ourselves and disregards how the offended party may feel, especially if they have forgiven us. It’s based almost entirely in how we view a certain action, if anything it is a reflection of our ability to forgive and how we see ourselves. Holding on to Guilt is us just saying not only aren’t we worthy but it’s a mockery of the next person’s act of love and understanding by choosing to forgive us.

My dance with Guilt began long before I had decided to give my life to Christ, it actually began when I started drifting away from all that I had been raised to know was good and right. The further I drifted the worse I got entangled. I felt guilty about the lies I was telling, the double life I was living. The more I turned my back on the Truth, the more I convinced myself that I wasn’t “saveable” and the more I tried to convince myself this the guiltier I felt for letting myself believe this and disappointing those that saw the me that I thought could be saved.

To feel guilty about “spiritual” things seemed to make sense as I continued to make decisions that were obviously questionable. Just as Insecurity had managed to move from my physical to my spiritual. Guilt decided to move, swiftly, from my spiritual to my mental. It’s one thing to feel guilty about being wrong in the eyes of “the church” but to feel guilty about being below the “worlds” moral standards is a whole different kind low. When you just know that you are a terrible person, when you don’t need to be told and you just know. Guilt likes to take you to that point where you become your own greatest judge.

For me Guilt usually stems from the idea that I am/was a good person and as such I shouldn’t have done what I did because good people, good girls, good CHRISTIAN girls do not do that. It is tough when you become like the people you used to judge and look down upon. Simply put the source of Guilt is Self-Righteousness, where you feel that on your own you should be Perfect, Spotless, Flawless- forgetting that it is Christ who cleanses and perfects you in his blood.



Guilt likes to come from all angles, and he loves to magnify Insecurity. That’s how he wraps himself about you and entangles you. Each seed of guilt loves to grow and wrap around your heart, your mind, and reaches over to connect with another seed until you cannot tell one seed from another. You will not be sure where what starts and where it ends so you don’t know what exactly you feel guilty about- what you did or what you didn’t do or say. Should you be guilty about who you are or who you aren’t? What about those you hurt intentionally or unintentionally? Should I feel guilty about what I have o what I lack? Short questions yet the answer is so complex up until today I cannot answer them, I suppose it is a little bit of everything to be honest. Whatever it is the answers rope around you, weaving themselves around you as skillfully as a spider spins her web until you cannot tell where it begins and where it ends. Eventually what you feel guilty about is what you feel insecure about. Or does what you feel insecure about become what you feel guilty for? On some days I cannot day, on other days I cannot but one thing is clear- they love to stay connected and when they connect they solidify and consolidate the tangles of Guilt while highlighting Insecurity.

Where Insecurity is mostly a battle of the past, Guilt is an ongoing battle.  Everyday is different, some days I feel Guilt less and others at feel him more. No two days are the same because different things trigger different strings. Whatever it is though I am learning to face the trigger, and the triggered string. I have come to learn that if I want to hide from, or smother them they will continue to have a hold on me. The most powerful revelation for me was the one I mentioned earlier- the fact that me feeling guilty is selfish especially when the offended person has forgiven me. So I usually ask myself why I cannot forgive myself and why I cannot accept God’s, or anyone else’s, forgiveness.

The best gift you can give someone you have wronged and who has decided to forgive you is to accept their forgiveness and forgive yourself. Guilt will just destroy your relationship with that person and make things awkward because you get into the habit of bringing up whatever you feel guilty about. Sometimes your guilt becomes your obsession to the point that that’s all you can talk about. For 2 years I allowed myself to be stuck in a place because of Guilt, he kept me in one place and that’s all I can talk about and on the worst days sometimes it comes up again and again. I allowed Guilt to consume me to a point that it became all I could think about, but I have learnt that if all the offended parties have forgiven me I have no right to throw a pity party especially not one in the name of Guilt. Even they hadn’t I should not play the victim but I should take responsibility for my actions and face the consequences.

Just as Insecurity had her verses and playlist Guilt has his own as well (they are almost the same though lol). This playlist keeps me grounded especially on days when Guilt is trying to rip me from the anchor of my faith. These song remind me that it’s not for me to focus on Guilt but on Christ- He gave His life to free me from the Entanglement of Guilt, who am I to hold on to them? Instead I face the chains, the pain, the guilt in His name because that is where my freedom comes from. Guilt should not, and cannot, be allowed to keep me bound when freedom has called my name so clearly. The beauty of Christ is he doesn’t tell me to fix myself and come. No, he tells me to come and then he will fix me. What that means is if I turn it out to be “un-fixable” it’s on him and that leaves me with nothing to feel guilty about. Which simply can’t be cause we all know that “nothing I impossible with God”.:)😍

So I am teaching the voice of God to be louder than the voice of Guilt because with one makes me worthy, loves me, and frees me while the other burdens me, condemns me and entangles me.
My verses and song list: 

John 8:36- So if the son sets you free you will be free indeed.

2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the old things have passed away, behold all things become new.

MercyME- GREATER (reminder)

MercyME- FLAWLESS (reminder)

MercyME- DEAR YOUNGER ME (note to self)

For King and Country- PRICELESS (identity)

Matthew West- HELLO, MY NAME IS (decleration)

Hillsong Young and Free- GRACIOUS TEMPEST (not all storms are bad;))

Elevation Worship- O’ COME TO THE ALTER (where you.belong)

Big Daddy Weave- REDEEMED (its not about what you have done.but about who he is)

Lauren  Daigle- HOW CAN IT BE (amazing grace)

Matthew West- MENDED

Credits:

ART: Fadzai❤, Chisha❤, Aisha❤

Her Name Was Insecurity

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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:

THE 10 SONGS THAT LIGHT UP MY DARK DAYS (esp when Insecurity tries to vist)

  1. for KING & COUNTRY- SHOULDERS (eye opener)
  2. Lauren Daigle- HOW CAN IT BE (declaration)
  3. Lauren Daigle- O’LORD (declaration)
  4. Big Daddy Weave- REDEEMED (identity)
  5. Zach Williams- CHAIN BREAKER (remember him)
  6. Casting Crowns- JUST BE HELD (special instructions to you❤)
  7. MercyME- DEAR YOUNGER ME (no guilt or shame)
  8. Natalie Grant- CLEAN (great reminder)
  9. Steffany Gretzinger- STEADY HEART (trust him)
  10. for King and Country- PRICELESS (my personal favourite right now)

Dancing Appearances

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As he stood before the shelf trying to decide which one he liked the most he couldn’t help but be draw to her. There she was shining, glowing, positioned to protect all those around her.  “This is her!” he thought to himself. So he stretched forth and reached for her. Never had he seen such delicate beauty, such wholeness and perfection in his life. She was there, complete in herself. But just as he was about to grab her something shocking happened- she danced out of his reach, stood at a distance, smiled and pointed for him to pick any other…..just not her.

“Why?” he asked. She turned around and showed him what he saw to be tiny blemish on he perfection. “Oh don’t worry yourself gorgeous,” he said, “I knew you would have a mark, a crack somewhere. It’s OK I still choose you.” So again he reached for her. This time she did not move, but she waited, braced herself and prepared herself as he got closer and closer. This time she let him touch her but it wasn’t long before he cut himself on one of her hard, sharp edges. Being a man he only winced but she couldn’t help but notice that his once tight grasp had loosened. She did not mention it though, in fact she relished the freedom the now loose grip was affording her, so she let her wild spirit show itself just a little.

“Fascinating.” he thought, “Show me how much more of you lurks behind that pretty smile.” She simply laughed and shook her head. “It can’t be that bad,” he coaxed, “If what lies beneath is a fraction as attractive as what I see now it surely cannot be that bad. See how I cut my hand on some of your hard, sharp edges? I did not return you did I?” Her smile slowly began to fade but before he noticed she broke into song and dance. Filling his ears with sweet melodies and compelling him to watch her as she moves. Soon his request to ‘see beneath her beautiful’ was forgotten as he was mesmerized by and lost in her.

As she was singing and dancing though her thoughts were far from what she was doing. She was thinking of her reality- she knew that behind her brightening smile and protective strength lay a dark, brooding melancholy and a bottomless weakness. Time and experience had taught her to hide them so well that on the best of days, even she forgot what lay at the very core of her being. The always told her that, “You cannot pour out that which you do not have.” but she knew better. She knew that at her emptiest she always managed to pour out the most, she had learnt that at her weakest she would be required to give nothing but strength. She was that beautiful wild flame that everyone loved to draw warmth from but very few, if any, were made of material strong enough to bear to draw closer and the heat that consumed her very core. As much as she loved to put everyone and everything around her back together she was not blind to her own orbit slowly falling apart. She never shied from giving what was asked of her and never hesitated to do without what she knew she needed to better the life another. All this lack, this weakness, the dark secrets, the insecurities and pain were well hidden from the world behind a wall of love, of giving, of being out together and of protection.

Here she was, dancing in his sight, enjoying the admiration radiating from his eyes. Yet she could not shake the feeling that if she opened up her brokenness, her weakness would be more than he can bare. A part of her wanted to take the chance and see if perhaps he could swim through the waves of destruction to get to her, to save her. But she knew that even though opening the floodgates took but a moment, once they were open there was no holding anything back and it would be sink or swim within a moment for him. If he sank along with all the others that had asked her, time and time again, to open up she was not sure if she still had the strength to once again gather up pieces, pull herself together and return to the shelf. For every time she opened the floodgates she lost a little more of herself for not every piece of her is always found, or returned to her.

So she closed her eyes, sang and dance until she, too, was lost in the music until the words she uttered became the only reality she knew, until every rhythmic beat was all she could feel. She had decided to dance her troubles away, to sing her sorrows into silence and for the time being…. To continue to feel as if she truly were what she appeared to be- Strength. Power. Whole. Untainted