How Do You View Yourself?
I'm going to be honest with you... this post isn't for everyone.
It's taken me a while to realize that not everyone sees themselves through the lens of deep insecurity. It's taken me a while to realize that I see myself through the lens of deep insecurity. I am not insecure about my hair line, my weight, my cheeks, or how tall I am. I'm not insecure about my laugh, or the fact that my grades weren't the best in high school. I like the way I dress and I like the way I do my hair. These aren't the kinds of insecurities I deal with.
To me, I'm.... just Taylor. I'm me. I see me at my worst, and sometimes that's all I see. I see my bad attitudes, and hear the thoughts I think about others. I hear the words that come out of my mouth in moments of anger and frustration. I see my messy room and the way I don't choose myself. I never choose myself. I see the way I treat my family sometimes, and the texts I don't reply to just because "I don't feel like it". I see the people who have walked away from me, and instead of thinking "Oh maybe there's something wrong with them..." I choose to believe there is something wrong with me because I couldn't convince them to stay.
Why do I feel like I have to convince someone to stay?
I am the biggest advocate for self-care and yet, I feel as though I have to prove myself. If I'm being too melancholy, I'll force myself out of that bubble and be over-exuberant, because I think that's what people want from me. And just the opposite, if I'm being too full of life, I tell myself to dial it down because no one wants to be around someone who is that happy all the time.
"It's exhausting, not refreshing."
It has taken me almost 24 years to realize that this isn't how I'm supposed to view myself. Big shocker there, huh? If I'm being honest, I can't tell you the exact moment something happened to me, and made me into this person. This girl who views herself the way she does. This young woman who doesn't believe she's good enough. But I know that it's not right. And I know that it's not how I want to view myself.
I've been on this journey lately of really focusing on myself. No, not in the typical sense of trying to pamper away a problem that's really on the inside. No amount of face masks and manicures is going to heal a heart issue. But I have been diving deep, or trying to anyway, into the core of who I am as a person. I have had to be real honest with the thoughts that I think about myself, and let me tell you -- they are not pretty.
- People could take you or leave you -- especially the people you want to stick around most.
- You are a bother. Stop being a bother.
- You're too much. Be less.
- What are you even doing? Blogging? Creating an album? Photography? Why?
- Aren't you worried what people will think about you? You're not qualified.
And my least favorite, but most persistent.
- God is going to abandon you when you need Him most, because you didn't trust Him enough.
Yeah, that last one is brutally honest, and uncomfortable. I know. But if other people won't talk about it, I want to be the one who will. Because I know for a fact, that I am not the only one who deals with these thoughts.
The amazing thing about God is: these thoughts do not scare Him off.
I've had to bring them to Him, day in and day out, and then bring myself to His word to show myself the truth. Let's face it: we are our own worst enemies. We allow our thoughts (incorrect, tainted, futile) to nullify the thoughts that God thinks towards us. Lately I have found myself praying this verse:
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord."(Isaiah 55)
I have been praying for the wisdom of God; that I would be able to see myself, my life, my situations through HIS eyes. So often, we see things through a filter. I posted an excerpt of Shauna Niequist's, "Present Over Perfect" (the excerpt alone will change your life, go read!) and she said this:
Here's the thing about filters -- they color everything. Nothing is neutral; nothing escapes them. The shame glasses I wear almost all the time mean that every story looks like shame to me. Every punchline, every plot twist -- they're all the same; you're not good enough. What I'm discovering, though, is when I take off the glasses, the stories I've been hearing all my life are completely different than I thought -- especially stories from the Bible.
"They color everything. Nothing is neutral. Nothing escapes them." That means that whenever I look at something, I am viewing it through the lens of "You're not good enough. You will never be good enough." Every interaction, every friendship, every time something goes not the way I planned. What a horrible way to live.
One thing I will say about myself is this: when I know something is "wrong" with me, so to speak, or when I become self-aware about something, I will do anything to fix it. I want to be the best. I want to be the greatest. I want to be emotionally healthy. I want to see myself better. I want to do whatever it takes to become that person that I know I was created to be.
So here I am, on this journey of simply viewing myself properly. What a simple concept, but what a difficult task. I am actively listening to my thoughts to see if even the smallest thought of insecurity tries to slip through, and when it does, I'm ready to combat it with the Word of God. You see, maybe these thoughts I think about myself are completely justified, but God's Word is the greater authority. His word has the final say. So I'll continue attacking until I see myself the way He sees me.
Maybe this isn't a battle for you, but it is a battle for a lot more people than you even realize...
If you're on the same journey as I am, or maybe you view yourself pretty well, but you have moments of insecurity here and there, I invite you to join me on really diving into the Word of God. Challenge your thoughts. Challenge the way you see yourself. Challenge those mindsets with what God says about you.
He has never failed me, sometimes I just need reminding.