Dealing with Insecurity
I’m insecure. I've written a series of blog posts and I’ve noticed a theme: Each one in using disclaimers, or some sort of random insecure ramble about a flaw I'm embarrassed about.
There was something about being open with your mess but there is something else about nervously writing it because you rather say it to deflect people's judgement. Lately I have been doing the latter. You may have noticed it especially when discussing the fact that I now have problems with anxiety, it wasn't from a place of calm acceptance but me essentially freaking out.
Usually I don't mind sharing my mess but there is a time and a place. Now what that time and place is depends on how God wants to use it, but lately it’s less about that and more out of a reaction out of preemptive embarrassment. If I say it first, then people will know that I know I’m horribly flawed, and somehow that will eliminate some of the hurt of their then subsequent rejection.
I usually like to ask myself: where am I at with this? Would sharing hinder my healing in it? And what is the goal of sharing the information? Sometimes it's a methodical process of reflection and sometimes that happens in a 10 - second quick process before I blurt out something. By now I have looked at my story enough to know what I can share and the times that's appropriate. I have a comfort and semi-honed instinct, that makes me able to share without thinking and most of the time not regret it.
But like everything, there can be a flip side: sharing that's not from a Godly place inside of me- the place of insecurity and fear.
My ultimate fears are primarily rooted in a fear of rejection from the people around me. Especially after I talk, message, text, look at, or generally stand in the near vicinity of them.
It's not even that I feel like I don't have good qualities or am repulsive. It's a feeling that i'm always just a bit too flawed. Like a perfectly clean house...except for the kitchen which is a disaster. I constantly feel that I’m barely good “enough” but always dropping one of the balls, making that little mistake, a typo that I didn’t see, or just not quite being polished and perfect. Never excelling. Never the best choice. But “okay” enough to be included sometimes.
I am pretty fine sharing mistakes and issues from my past because I have grown from them, I see them clearly, actively work on forgiveness and healing, and know I'm in a better place now. Those are easy to share.
But sharing my flaws, my little mistakes I make all the time. Like how attention to detail is one of my biggest flaws. It hinders every project I attempt. Recently I've started trying to accept this fact after a lifetime of trying to pretend otherwise.
I could continue on about all the things wrong with me. But that's not the point.
In some ways I'm in a better, stronger, more confident place in my life than I have ever been. I have a tribe around me who loves me, no matter how many times I showed up in stained or wrinkled clothes, forget...everything, or generally come to them a hot mess and force them to listen. They love me in my completely messy package. I still hold my breathe after I stick my foot in my mouth or invite them over to my cluttered home. But somehow, I haven't chased them away yet.
It's kind of amazing.
At the same phase of life I have this new anxiety problem and when it's bad it really gets in the way of me seeing myself and the situation at hand clearly. That's terrifying.
I like knowing my flaws because they are opportunities to grow. If I know I'm bad at something I can have some semblance of control over it and work on it. Out of that acceptance, I can share the hard stuff. Anxiety messes a lot of that up.
Anxiety makes me feel jumbled. No acceptance because I know what I'm feeling is wrong but I can't see where the issue is. Anxiety makes me feel emotionally confused, because it feels like the world is caving in but all my senses are telling me- nope you are really okay, it's just business as usual...but yet, I'm pretty sure the world is caving in.
So that’s fun. It’s made me less in touch with my emotions...or less comfortable with them.
Most people’s response to someone being insecure or anxious is gratitude. Appreciate what you got, and it will put the insecurities into perspective, right?
For me, gratitude has never been the fix. I know what I have and my insecurities are not rooted in ungreatfulness or wanting more… it’s fear of not being loved. Sometimes it’s a fear of not keeping up with the Jones’ but for today, it’s not. Gratitude is the right attitude and can do so much for people. For me personally in this type of hole, my go-to perspective changer is love.
Showing love to be specific. Figuring out how to love someone… anyone, everyone… is how I cope. And doing it from a place where I don’t care if that person loves me back. It’s the way I fight… anger, anxiety, unworthyness… if I can just show love, I feel like I’m suddenly rooted in something powerful that eclipses all that.
Love is what connects me to God most. That’s the foundation of my healing, my bouncing back, and my not going completely crazy. I’ve started having a mantra of sorts: “How can I show God’s love in this situation? Right where I am at?” and it never fails to put me back on track. You can always find a way to love. Living in the hospital? Be nice to the nurse. Play secret Santa for fellow patients. Be a grateful patient (medical staff don’t get those much). Stuck at home? Be encouraging and loving on social media. Take care of a neighbor by picking up garbage on their lawn. Write love notes to anyone in your address book and send them out by mail.
Oh and mad at someone? Kill them with kindness.
We really have no excuse yet sometimes I need a daily reminder. I probably should get it tattoo’ed somewhere.
It’s therapeutic to talk about insecurities, or even inspiring, but sometimes I just do it wrong. Instead I am whining, defensive, and generally a cry baby. I end up vauge-posting on Facebook or just throwing a fit like a toddler.
I may be imperfect. I may not be able to see typos even if my life depended on it and I definitely can’t keep my house clean. But I have to remember I have people who love me. And even if that falls through, I can love other people. And that’s what it all needs to be about...
I just wish it was that easy to remember.