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Posts Tagged ‘insecurities’

Love is a word that seems to be so easily dismissed in my brain. Love is one of those convoluted words that seem to carry so many different levels of meaning. I hear love being tossed out all the time. We use it to describe things we like. We use love at the end of conversations and family gatherings. We also use love as a description word that translates into deep meaning.

Love runs deep in me

I would describe myself as someone who loves deeply. I value the word love very much. I do not toss that word out flippantly. I want to be a person who loves deeply. I want to show love to others in a way that they never knew was possible. Honestly, I love loving.

However, there resides a dark place in me that can’t seem to grasp reciprocated love. I dismiss love so quickly that it just ricochets off my guarded heart. As I find great joy in loving others, I see myself as unlovable. Some reasons because that has been the message told to me, and some my own self perception from life. When someone tells me that they love me the words seem to echo without a place to land inside of me.

Dismissing love serves two purposes in my life.

The first comes from the core of knowing pain and wounds that run deep in me. I have experienced grief from loss of relationships I valued greatly. In my efforts to guard against pain, feeling loved has little room to take root. To allow love to take root in me would mean risking pain. Some where along this road of grief I traded in my heart, desperate to know love, for safety.

The second purpose is an extension of the first. Experiencing deep loss, and relational wounds, has rocked my self-perception. In the midst of that pain, I believe in the lie that says, “I am not enough” and “I am not worth loving.” My skewed self-perception and relational wounds have told me that I only worth conditional love at best. Those lies have dictated many courses in my journey.

In the past couple of years, I have learned that the only way to dispel a lie is with truth. Truth has a louder voice than the lie. Truth is sustaining where as lies require me to anchor them. There is only one who has claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life.

Truth tells me that I am loved. Truth states that we know love “because he first loved us.” Love laid down his whole life so that the vail of my own self-perception would be torn in two.

I am still in a place of wrestling through doubt that the word love applies to me. I still experience pain where that message seems true.

I have known glimpses of love. I say glimpses because I hold loosely to those moments. Fear still has its grip on me. Everyday I pray for perfect love to drive out all my fear. One day I will know in my heart, and not just my head, that I am worth love. Until then, “he is working on me.

How do you respond to love?

What risks come with love for you?

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Life has a way of shaking up what we think is secure. Like an earthquake, the ground shakes and aspects of our lives we thought were stable become insecure.

We can all pin point times, or seasons, in our lives that have shaken us into new fears and doubts. We all have scars that leave the stamp of feeling out of control, and wounded.

Insecurities give voice to the places in our lives that feel helpless, hopeless, and broken.

For me, insecurities tell the story of intimacy that has been broken, and where self-preservation resides. Insecurities are my red flags that let me know that there is distance between me and the Lord. My insecurities help me track the cravings of my soul.

Insecurities are telling of where the weight of wounding words has taken root in our hearts. It is when we start to listen to the voice of lies that our security is challenged. Places that were once smooth with security and confidence become jaded and jagged with doubt.

Skepticism and worse case scenarios become our preoccupation through the eyes of insecurity. 

Within all the muck and mire of insecurity, it is also a gift. We are all created for a relationship that is both perfect and untainted. We can taste this type of relationship through intimacy with God. My insecurities have always been a great litmus test as to where I have distanced myself from his security.

My insecurities give light to the smallest places where I have removed my eyes from his steadfast love and intimacy.

Insecurities prey on the unchangeable in me and make them seem replaceable. Most often my identity in Christ is challenge when I feel insecure. I begin to substitute what God has said about me and replaced them with lies. My insecurities are the labels of those lies.

I am learning to navigate through my insecurities as a road map that leads my heart back to his arms. Insecurities never feel good, but they are a gift. They rise up to let us know that a void has been created between us and God, and that intimacy is needed.

Our identity in Christ never changes, it can only be challenged.

What are your insecurities telling you?

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Ever have those days where you are just tired of feeling like the “other” in life? Sometimes I feel like I carry around the label of “other.”

Being the “other” is one of those things where you feel like you are so close yet so far away. The “other” could mean being the person passed over for the job, always the friend and never the interest, the cheerleader not the player, or the go-to but not the everyday. Being the “other” feels like never measuring up, or not being enough.

The “other” for me is kind of like always playing the supporting actress role. Some day’s invisibility is felt deeper than others. There is a sting to it.

One of my least favorite adjectives is being labeled as comfortable. I cringe whenever I hear anyone being described as comfortable, including myself. The word comfortable speaks to me as one being taken for granted and overlooked. Comfortable is assumed and depended on, but not necessarily considered. If I am being most honest, I fear this label.

Labels are real. We all have them. Every single one of us feels inadequate, unseen, insecure, and not enough in some area of life.

The root of labels comes from a place where we have either been told by someone else we don’t measure up, or we realize inadequacy in ourselves by way of comparison. Labels are the words we use to describe who we are NOT, and keep us paralyzed in our perceived weaknesses.

Labels shape the way we respond and the active role we play in our own lives, as well as the lives of others. Labels bear the scars of misperceptions and wounds. I hate that.

There is no freedom in comparison. The truth is that we are all wired uniquely. Everyone has gifts and talents that make them specifically great and valuable. Everyone has something incredible to offer. I believe God has wired us with passion and dreams for specific things He has for us – things only we are meant to do. Labels kill that value.

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what YOU have to offer.”

I want to encourage you to take a hard look at your perceived labels and wrestle through them. They will only keep you chained to fear. Choose courage to see yourself differently and add value to others. YOU have incredible things to offer.

What labels do you struggle with?

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As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow weaker.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process. The deception of the trust process is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. We become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues. They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang up with trust?

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So far we have tackled two out of the five stages of grief. Within the first two stages of the grieving process, denial and bargaining, there is little need to find an outlet. Both denial and bargaining do not require a lot of emotion, therefore these two stages might be easier to overlook in your process of grief. Now we are moving into stages that require and demand all your emotional attention.

The third stage in the grieving process is anger. It is hard to outrun your thoughts and emotions of anger. Not only are you aware you have entered into this stage, but a good bet is that everyone else around is aware as well. Anger is an emotional response as a result of a wrongdoing. Anger is that emotion that burns up within the deep parts of you. The one thing you can count on with anger is that it will find a way to release itself.

There are two responses in dealing with anger.

The first response is turning inward and using anger against yourself. One classic phrase of inward anger is, How could I have been so stupid?” When someone has hurt us, we can blame ourselves instead of the one who caused the hurt. Another way inward anger masks itself is by taking on too much responsibility for the wound. This response is most often chosen when the wounder does not take ownership of the wounds they inflicted.

I experienced inward anger many times after my father left. I often spent hours thinking through what I could have done differently to make him stay. I went through a gamut of thoughts: if I had been smarter, spent more time with him, talked with him more, etc. then he would not have chosen to leave. My father was not around to work through the conflict with me, nor was he claiming any of the blame for his choices. We often think that there has to be some explanation for what happened. If the wounder is not willing to take that ownership, we may take it on for them. The fact remains that my father chose to leave. This was not my fault.

Inward anger can be experienced silently and subtly. Inward anger can manifest itself in our beliefs about ourselves. Inward anger can lead to low self-esteem, dismissal of encouragement and compliments, always taking on too much responsibility for conflict, always thinking you are the problem in every scenario, harming yourself, and believing you are not or will never be enough.

Outward anger is hard to find a right outlet for. Outward anger can be hard to shake and is the hardest emotion to sit in. More often then not, the wrong people experience the wrath of our anger. Outward anger can be described as an unleashed beast. I am sure you have experienced being on the receiving end of anger so you know what I mean.

This is a hard stage to experience. I want to encourage you to watch how you respond in your grief. Ask yourself the questions:

  • How often do I blame myself?
  • How much responsibility do I take on in conflict?
  • What do I do when I get angry?

For those of you reading this who are saying, “but I don’t struggle with anger,” tomorrow we will look at what pure grief and sadness look like.

How do you struggle with inward or outward anger?

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I am a classic “Tom Boy.” My whole life I have gone against the grain. I played sports after school every day with my guy friends. I loved building forts in the backyard and racing big wheels. I skate boarded, roller bladed, and rocked some G.I. Joes.

My whole life I have experienced other people trying to mold and shape me into the girl they think I should be. I have never fit into the “girly-girl” box.

I am me. I love getting dirty. I am a tough, independent, self-sufficient, sports watching, athletic, loose jeans and T-shirt wearing jokester.

I am learning more and more that our lives as believers are lived out counter-culturally. The more we follow after Jesus, the more our lives start to rub against the grain of this world.

In the book of 1 John, John talks about a truth that has shed new light on this idea of being counter-cultural for me. John states that, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” He also states that, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Our world claims that we should go through life giving off the perception that we “have it all together.” The world claims that we are people who are “fine” and that we have “all of our ducks in a row.” Our culture teaches us that we have everything under control.

The truth is that we are broken people with messy hearts and lives. We are people who need a savior. The truth is that we are more out of control then we realize, and far beyond fine.

So what am I claiming?

It is tempting for this independent person to claim that I have me under control. That claim leaves no room for God. When I claim to have it all together I am deceiving myself. Frankly, when anyone claims that they have it all together, deception becomes truth.

I am taking hold of my claim that I have a messy heart. I am claiming that I am far from having a little together, let alone all. I claim that I am a sinner and need of a savior who has me under control. My ducks are scattered and have never heard of a row. I claim to have fears that run deep and insecurities that are, at times, paralyzing.

My life started out going against the grain and will finish just the same. To follow after Jesus is to claim a life lived counter-culturally.

What are you claiming?

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We all have things that get right to core of our hearts. We have these specific things that challenge our hearts and draw us to and from God.

Everything about God requires faith and belief. Everything about knowing  God requires dependence and surrender. These are hard for our hearts to wrestle with.

God is about the all not about the some.

Everyone has their own individual weak spots. We each have our own unique challenges of faith and belief.

What does your heart wrestle with the most when it comes to believing in God?

How does this things manifest itself in your life now?

 

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