Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Security of Insecurity

I can definitely say I took internet culture's (namely, the fandom/fangirl world's) cues in this, but in myself, personally, I've seen an over-glorification of insecurities. Awkwardness, faults, things we're not good at or afraid of.

There's an overall flavor of "this is who I am, deal with it, we're making insecurity cool so we can feel accepted in them."

While accepting people the way they are and loving them isn't wrong at all, there's a false sense of security that comes in embracing insecurities and things we're afraid of.

I might be alone in this. *shrug*

But I know I've become secure in my insecurities. They are the things that I have let define me. They are the things that I let dictate how I live. They are the things I have used as a shield, an excuse, a safe place. An excuse so I don't have to face those problems, those issues, those things I should grow in. An excuse for going my merry way and doing what I want.

In some ways, I've let my insecurities take the place of character traits.

The way I'm terrified of interacting with people my own age. Honestly, nothing more scary than a roomful of other teenagers I'm expected to interact and fit in with.

The way I get self conscious about the way I look, different than lots of the people around me.

The way talking to boys makes me really nervous, by and large. I avoid that one at all costs. Or try to.

The way I feel really socially awkward and don't like to get out and meet new people and do things in groups and be adventurous.

The way I don't like certain unknowns, or the pressures of peer groups, or being in different societal groups.

The way I, bizarrely, paradoxically so, am afraid of being different.

These are things I have let define me, in some ways. They are things I have accepted as fact.

And you know what?
That comes back to bite you.

Because as much as you can find security in embracing your weaknesses, at the time you hate them. Again, maybe this is all just me.

But I can get insanely jealous of my friends who hang out with others their own age. And have fun doing things in groups; social events and other things. Have normal guy friends, or even boyfriends. Do things that are totally unique and beautiful and have confidence in themselves - not by being stuck up, but unapologetically being who God has made them to be.

And sometimes I can take that jealousy and hurt and turmoil of emotions and keep them inside. Leave them to simmer and grapple with them privately.

But sometimes, those friends are too close for me to do that.

And what are my insecurities that I burrow in and hate doing then?

They're coming out, at my friends, and instead of hurting only myself, I'm hurting a dear friend because I'm insecure and jealous of what they do. 

It's entirely unfair that I am mad at them for having more confidence than I do.

It's also entirely unfair that I am maintaining my insecurities instead of daring to grow out of them. Daring to see past my issues. Daring to get over myself and change the things I don't like about myself.
Daring to grow up and mature and be a better person instead of envying those who don't struggle in the ways I do.

I've gotten some glimpses of the ways my insecurities could hurt other people.

And my walls I hide in aren't worth doing damage to my friends. It isn't worth breeding jealousy and envy and discontentment in myself.

So, with the Lord's help, I'm going to try and do a very scary thing.

Actually find some confidence and stop using my fears and weaknesses as excuses.
Stop lying to myself. Stop exaggerating my bad qualities and dismissing my good ones.
Show grace and love to myself the way I show them to other people. Love myself as a child of God the way I know I want to show that love to everyone else.
Resist the lies of the enemy and lift my eyes to Heaven when I feel downtrodden.
Be selfless. Stop selfishly wallowing in the ugly familiarity of insecurities I've exalted. Stop giving the enemy footholds, leaving myself wide open for discouragement, discontentment, jealousy, depression, paralyzing bitterness. Selfishness is idolatry too.

My Heavenly Father is right there ready and able to help me mature and grow. He's right there to do it in me - I can't do it myself. I need His help, I need His steady hand, His steadfast love.

"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14-15

I want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

I want to look beyond myself.

I want to love others unconditionally.

I want to die to self.

I want to be secure in the Rock of my Salvation, not my insecurities.

I'm confident He hears that prayer.

And I'm encouraged that one day, I'll be better. And even now, I'm learning.


Hannah Joy said...

Well can I just say I LOVE YOUR POSTSSSSSS!!!!!!! It always makes my day to see one up. :-)


How do you manage to say the right things at the right times? Okay, I know, it's so God... it's incredible how He works through people like that.

At camp this year, being a counselor was really tough, because you get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in yourself and in others. I had a cabin full of fifteen year old girls. Great girls, tough problems, tough lives. What age is more insecure than that age? And yet the thing I kept coming back to through it all was, It is bigger than us. God is bigger than us (duh). His plan is bigger than us.

Whether we like it or not, we are not the hero of the story; Jesus is. And I for one don't particularly like that thought most of the time. It's lame is that? I wanna be the herooooooo waaaaaa (and really, when you think about it, we sound just like that; two year olds crying about ice cream). In a sense, we say to ourselves, "Why isn't it all about me???" (whether or not we use those words)

But when we let go of that notion, when we truly let go of ourselves, we find some funny things. First of all, we find the undying, unfathomable, and unchangeable grace and love of God. It sweeps over us and encompasses us and protects us. And it is mind boggling, because why on earth would He have such love for lowly us?
Second, we find that we have the capability to love others. When we are so self centered (and yet so insecure in ourselves...which is just another form of selfishness) we can't see beyond our own desires or our own shortcomings. But when we let go of that, we can see others with the love that God fills us with.
And that's number three. When we empty ourselves of, well, ourselves, we are filled up with God-stuff. We are filled with His love which is perfect and casts out fear. As we are sanctified, we become more and more like Him and less and less like us (which isn't dumb, it's awesome, trust me).

And, last point (sorry this was long), as Paul said, we can glory all the more in our weaknesses, for Christ is strong where we are weak (paraphrase, obviously).

Jess said...

This thought keeps popping up in random places, including this post: Identity in Christ.

It's something I wrestle with. Being human, I naturally view everything and everyone in my life as they pertain to me. I even view God that way. When I think of him, I think, "what has he been doing in my life? why did he give me this experience? what is he trying to teach me? what am I supposed to be learning?"

A little introspection is healthy, but a lot of introspection is deadly.

So what I've been pondering is how to shift my focus from ME (and how everyone and every thing and God all pertain to me) to GOD (and how everyone and every thing and I all pertain to God). i.e. Identity in Christ.

This blows both pride issues and insecurities to pieces. If I look at myself and identify myself in and through Christ, how can I be insecure? And how can I be proud? If I am Christ's righteousness, if I approach the throne of Grace with confidence, how can I be insecure? And if it is CHRIST'S righteousness, and the throne of GRACE, how can I be proud?

Relating to others gets interesting in this way. Because it is really, REALLY difficult to see other people not as how they relate to me, how they make me feel, what reaction they get from me, but rather as how they relate to God, how God sees them, where they are in pertinence to him. And yet if we can manage it (or rather if God's grace manages it through us) we are suddenly so FREE to serve these people! Imagine not getting frustrated because someone can't see that you're right when you talk, or feeling inferior to them, or being jealous of them. Switch that out for an eternal mindset through which you view these people as SOULS.

And as for God... I think if we could see him as he really is all of our doubts and insecurities and problems would melt away, lost in his glory. (Also we would be dead because no man can see his face and live. XD) But to really seek him for himself instead of seeking him for what he can do for us... That's kind of revolutionary. (Despite the fact that it's not a new notion at all; just different from the norm.)

Anyway. I'm just thinking here. Obviously I haven't reached any level of achievement here (I actually realize that it's impossible for ME to ACHIEVE anything in this area). But yeah. XD Thoughts from my brain.