I have felt so many things coming against me lately… trying to discourage me and shrink me and stuff me back down into myself. All of this just after I have been discovering who I really am… a radiant lover of life who does not have to be afraid of what people think of her, ever.
It really is so obvious what is happening, isn’t it? I have been making big steps forward in the area of confidence, and something out there is trying to swat me back down into my ‘proper place’ again.
In the past few weeks I have been realizing how much power I’ve given the Fear Of Failure in my life. I have realized that I’ve been actively choosing not to take steps towards my dreams simply because I might falter or fall flat on my face. I’ve been in bondage to Perfectionism… refusing to do ANYTHING unless I was 100% sure that I was going to do it flawlessly and that no one could disagree with me or find fault with me in any way.
If you’ve lived that way, you know that you can acquire all the admiration and praise you’ll ever want to hear…
But it will never satisfy.
I’ve been SO afraid of plain ol‘ humiliation or people realizing that I really am nothing more than a goofy messer-upper who never quite grew into her arms that I have ceased living! I have retired into the depths of my home and forgotten the almost sensual pleasure of throwing caution to the wind and RISKING my shiny exterior to the bruises and scuffs and bumps that come with a life lived raw and out in the open under the stars- a life thrown into the light and, therefore, subject to the blinking scrutiny of every other person around.
I am not afraid of your scrutiny! I am not afraid of your judgement! I never will be again. If something about me upsets you, well, that’s an itch you’re going to have to scratch. I simply can’t live in the shadow of people’s feelings about me anymore. It’s cold there. I need to warm my bones in the sun of honesty and openness again.
I KNOW that I am a total goof ball who doesn’t know her left from right most of the time. I KNOW that I give too much of myself sometimes and then not nearly enough at other times. I KNOW that you don’t like my hair. Or my clothes. I KNOW that I am about as graceful as a wombat in quicksand.
Your pointing it out doesn’t hurt me. It’s true! I’m a flop. I’m bound to roll down a hill somewhere soon and get grass stuck in my hair and lose a shoe. It’s inevitable that I will say something completely dumb and then promptly turn bright red and begin spitting out sentence fragments at your face. And it’s simply not a question of IF but WHEN I will next ask you where we’ve met before… even though we were college roomates. (TRUE STORY.)
I am not perfect, praise the LORD.
I will forever continue to live candidly, in hopes that someone out there can relate with complete and utter imperfection. I can’t hide myself or cower or bend before other people’s opinions any longer. I’m just not that flexible, these days.
I like who I am, and I like who God made me. I wish more of us could say that in all confidence and not feel any shame or fear of backlash about it. I think the church has told people over the centuries that they should hate themselves and their bodies, but I really don’t think that’s God’s heart for His people. I think He likes it when we realize the treasure of our own selves.
I once lived for the esteem and affirmation of people I looked up to very much. They were GREAT people, but their sway over me nearly snuffed the real me out. It was a scary place to be, because I suddenly had no center when everything went topsy–turvy. I was trying to be a replica, to fit into a mold they held out to me, and it did harm to me that I am only now untangling.
My compass was off. Now, His voice is the only one I will trust when it comes to my identity. No one else can tell me who I should be, what my life should look like, what my body should look like, or how I should spend my precious days and hours here on this earth. Only He has access to those things.
GOD made me who I am, so to mute any part of me out of the fear of man is a slap to His face that I am no longer okay administering.
By learning to love ME, I am ultimately learning to love HIM. There’s just no room for anyone else in that equation.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Ps.139:13-15