Whenever I find myself in a relationship, I am BOUND to be asked that. I’ve heard it a million times, but I always give them the “Oh no he didn’t” look.
Wanna know what’s the best way to discover how insecure you are?
Approach someone you think is really really awesome; enter into a relationship with them, and here comes the spanner in the works: commence being yourself and being totally honest with yourself and that person from that day onwards and expect the same from them, no questions asked.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find that to be a really tall order…
I mean, from day one?
Maybe after a month at best… But day one?
Around people that don’t particularly know me, people that I admire for some reason or the other, people from work, or even people from church, you can be guaranteed that I’ll put on either the “Cool-and-aloof-don’t-get-too-close Lindi”, the “All-smiles-everyday Lindi”, the “Always-trying-to-sound-deep-and-philosophical Lindi”, or the “Halleluyah-praise-Jesus-happy-clappy Lindi”, but never the real Lindi who gets nervous and needs someone to reassure her over and over again that she’s okay and it’ll all be okay in the end…
The Lindi who is immensely emotional and takes the things people say to heart when she really shouldn’t…
The Lindi who’s really trying really hard to make her friends, her family, her colleagues, people from church, people on Facebook, and even beggars on the street happy – but is slowly discovering that seeking approval is a lot like chasing the wind; you only wind up empty-handed.
Or the Lindi that makes mistakes over and over and over again… And sometimes has nothing epic to say to God except, “I’m sorry… but I’m sure You already saw that coming”.
I won’t admit to being that Lindi if it means admitting that I’m insecure…
And I won’t admit to being insecure if it means admitting that I’m vulnerable.
And I won’t admit to being vulnerable if it means that I have a need for acceptance.
And I won’t admit to needing acceptance if it means admitting that I need someone to love away all the pain, all the fears, all the negativity of my past, all the anxiety I have about my future, all the thoughts of me not being good enough or smart enough or righteous enough or captivatingly attractive enough.
I have touched on this topic fairly often since I started this blog; from the pursuit of the “Perfect Girl” to “The top Five Secrets to Weight Loss”, “Putting on My Sunday Best” and “Being Absolutely Godgeous and Absolutely Loving It”. So, it’s either I just have a lot to say about the importance of having a high self-esteem because I have some sort of personal score to settle with my awkward teenage phase when I had very little of it, or it could be that everything that pertains to achieving any sort of success or any level of peace and joy in your life boils down to your identity, what you believe about yourself and how you project that self-awareness into your words and actions. From the looks of it, that is the make or break factor for all that you endeavor to achieve with your time here on planet earth.
Since we’re really zeroing in on the issue of insecurity, I would like to define the term briefly:
A person who is insecure is someone who lacks confidence in their own value, and one or more of their capabilities, lacks trust in themselves or others, or has fears that a present positive state is temporary, and will let them down and cause them loss or distress by “going wrong” in the future. Insecurity may contribute to the development of shyness, paranoia and social withdrawal, or alternatively it may encourage compensatory behaviors such as arrogance, aggression, or bullying, in some cases.
It is often rooted in a person’s childhood years. Like offense and bitterness, it grows in a layered fashion, often becoming an immobilizing force that sets a limiting factor in the person’s life.
An insecure person is a vulnerable person, easily shaped by the views, opinions, and ideas of others because they’re uncertain about their own values and they’re unwilling to question the ideas of other people or to stand up for themselves.
This is not to be confused with humility, which involves recognizing one’s shortcomings, but still maintaining a healthy dose of self-confidence.
Insecurity is not an objective evaluation of one’s ability but rather an emotional interpretation that can very easily be a major exaggeration of the truth.
I think most Christians have been there, where the more we put ourselves down, the holier we believe we become. “Less of me Lord… Let me decrease” we say. “Let us be lowly servants, long suffering, we need to carry this cross and be a living sacrifice…” There’s almost an unspoken rule that we can’t openly value ourselves for fear of coming across as prideful, but to what end?
Utter self-defeat and the acceptance of abuse?
We also live in the sort of times where every area of our lives has an element of competition. I can’t just look alright; I have to have this season’s “It Look”.
I can’t just be living a comfortable lifestyle; I have to be a multi-billion dollar tycoon by thirty.
I can’t just get married to someone I love; they have to be “The One” that just missed being Jesus Christ the Messiah Himself merely because instead of robes, he’ll be in a Carducci Tuxedo on my wedding day.
If you can’t keep up, well forget it, you’re a failure. You’re not worth mentioning.
I’ve also found myself falling into the sort of mindset where if a good thing happens, I look for the catch. I can’t be so happy, something’s wrong. He can’t be so good to me, he’s probably hiding something. He’s going to leave. He’s cheating. Something’s bound to go wrong because it has in the past and it should in the future. I anticipate it and I look forward to saying “Aha! I saw it coming – I knew this would never work! Good thing I didn’t give my all into it.”
I was reading up on this earlier and this is what I discovered:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Our faith in God is what justifies us. Not our lover, not our family, not our career, not our pastor, not what we do for the church, not our attempts to “do good” and nothing we have achieved. This gives us inner peace, because we don’t have to toil night and day for it. Access to Him has already been granted.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
God honors us by calling us His friends and including us in His plans. He chose us knowing exactly what we have and don’t have. What we can and cannot do. Often times we forget who we are and what God has done for us. It is important that we see ourselves the way God sees us in order to avoid feeling insecure about our failure to measure up.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
You can expect good things. You can anticipate the best. You can accept great blessings. You can plan for things to turn around for your benefit. You can do that confidently. There’s no catch.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Do you know that full well?
This has been your official reminder. :)