me to me: get out the way

Do you ever feel like you are your own worst enemy?

Well dude– that’s been my life lately.

*le sigh*

Sometimes I am just disgusted with how insecure I can be. Like shouldn’t I be over this by now? So often I feel as if I am riding on the highs and lows of each day, which is certainly a stressful way to live, and also it’s just all around not good for ya. Living like that tends to wear you down.

What’s even more frustrating about insecurities is when you can remember (!!!) that season where you were so rooted in your identity in God that your circumstances didn’t matter. Because you knew who you were, and more importantly you knew who God was.

So what happens?

How do we get to this place of self loathing and just basically getting in the way of ourselves?

how how how

I think this can be different for everyone, but here are the things I have noticed always make me spiral into that cycle of being frustrated with myself…

  1. Having unrealistic expectations or standards of myself
  2. Projecting my unrealistic expectations of myself as what others expect of me
  3. Thinking constantly on how I could’ve been better and repeating my perceived failures in my mind
  4. Believing lies about myself to be true, and then assuming that everyone else sees or thinks those things about me
  5. Assuming that I’m failing when I don’t receive affirmation, which pushes me to strive even more or clam up more with people

After I have gone through all of these numbers several times, eventually I just get so beaten down by my own mind that I can’t even be myself anymore. I just shut down. The expectations are too high. The pressure is astounding. The feeling of failure weighs too heavy. And throughout the entirety of this, there is almost always a lingering knowing that I need to stop striving and just rest at the feet of Jesus, which often adds shame into the mix.

What all of this tells me is that the deep insecurity under all of this is that I believe I am not enough.

I want to be loved.

I want to be accepted.

I want to be seen.

I want to be known.

and who doesn’t?

But what I need to realize is that if I live my life desiring to be constantly loved, accepted, seen, and known by the people around me then what happens when I end up in an environment or circumstance where that doesn’t happen?

If my identity rests in what people think of me…

If it depends on whether others think I am capable, mature enough, kind enough…

or whatever is that I think I need to be enough in, then what happens when they say I am not?

Or when they don’t say anything at all?

The ground beneath me starts to shake. My knees began to tremble. My heart starts racing, and before I can even comprehend what’s happening I am flat on my face like a rug was just ripped out from beneath me.

My foundation wasn’t built on the rock. I built it on the sands of people’s swiftly shifting opinions of me. Not only is that not fair to them, but it isn’t fair to me.

But how does this change? How do we flip our thought patterns upside down?

I don’t have all the answers, and the answers I do have I believe are revelations I only see and understand in part, so do with this what you will.

But what I have noticed is that when I choose to take the time each day to allow God to fill me up something changes within me. I no longer enter a room looking to be filled up, but instead am overflowing with so much joy that I am able to freely give encouragement to others. When I am not so focused on myself, my eyes are open to be able to see others where they are at, instead of being consumed, weighed down, and closed off because of the tight ropes of my insecurities.

Goodness gracioussss you guys BELIEVE ME when I say it feels like a breath of fresh air!

Each day I wake up and give my day to God. I tell him that He made it so He can do with it what He wants. I proclaim that He is my strength and that I cannot do anything without Him and most importantly, I just delight in Him. I enjoy the time where I just get to be with Him without any distractions. His presence is peace.

Every week I go help out at my church’s youth group, and this past week they taught the kids how you can worship through art. This practice is one of my favorite things about my church, because worship is so much more than singing songs.

While music was playing we were encouraged to wait before we started painting and then listen for God’s voice.

I started painting and what started pouring onto the paper was a picture that represented what I felt like in the inside. A storm was swirling around within me and waves were crashing down hard, over and over again. The sky was grey and most certainly gloomy, but yet there was some beauty intermingled with the overcast sky in the form of yellow and orange.

As I painted God was reminding me of how he can still any storm. Story after story in the Bible as well as from my own life started flashing though my mind. When I finished the background I just sat there thinking about what I should write on the painting.

After awhile I wrote this simple prayer:

After praying those words Wednesday night, today was different. I felt much more free inside which changed my attitude on the outside. The ways that God was able to use me in people’s lives multiplied tremendously. I am not even kidding. I went home today just amazed at all of the God moments that were able to happen just because I was free for God to be able to use me.

If any of this is relatable to you, I encourage you to write out how you feel to God. You can even use my prayer as your own.

Make God your foundation and with Him you can never be shaken.

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