READING BETWEEN THE LINES
In preparation for this post, I intently listened to all of you who courageously shared your stories with me.
O.k.....let's back up just a second. Look back a couple of lines until you come to the word, "Courageously". To someone who really struggles with feelings of inadequacy, the second sentence in this blog could send you reeling down a familiar path that could cause you to tune out everything else I write below. "Great!", you'll say, "I didn't share MY story. I am not as courageous as the others."
To some degree, most of us struggle with inner statements that declare, "I am not as ______ as everyone else." (You can fill in the blank). With each new filled in blank, we add another belief to our, "Reasons I Am Not Good Enough" list. Am I right? I sure have suffered from this life altering and often debilitating mental list that leaves me grappling for ACCEPTANCE! I think it's this lack of acceptance by others, be it actual or perceived, that is the root issue of not feeling "good enough". We have all been created with a deep innate need for love and acceptance. Somewhere in our lives, an event or series of events caused us to believe that we would always come up short; never quite good enough to have those needs met.
For most of us, these events involved some form of rejection. These soul shaping moments create a whole new list of rules and expectations that are: (1) Necessary to regain acceptance and (2) Necessary to help us avoid any future rejections. These new rules only serve to break us down and, set us up for future heartbreak. Has this been a part of your story? I know for that me, its been at the heart of my experience.
By no means do I proclaim to be an expert in these matters. I am just a common struggler, a broken vessel if you will, in the process of being put back together and made new. I don't have the answers. I can't fix anyone. Heck, I can't fix myself.
Here is what I do know: We must put an end to the negative self talk that keeps directing our paths towards self-fulfilling prophecies. We must embrace who we are and come to love and accept ourselves. We must rid ourselves of the comparison syndrome shedding all unhealthy expectations that we or others have placed on us. We must stop living and doing for others with the purpose of earning their love and acceptance.
For me, this process begins and ends with my understanding of the reality that I am created in the image and likeness of a perfect God that loves and accepts me unconditionally. Through my personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ, I am changing little by little as He lovingly collects and puts back together the shattered pieces of my life. He is healing me; making me new. I am learning to accept who I am, because of Whose I am. My worth is in Him. He is freeing me from my past and healing my wounded soul. The only thing I contribute to the process is the surrendering of my brokenness and placing my life in His hands. He is doing the work. He alone makes me "good enough."
I will conclude with this, you are accepted here no matter where you are or what you believe about yourself. This is the very reason I started this blog. I want this to be a safe online community that gives each of us the opportunity to shed all the masks, come out from hiding, and refuse to suffer in silence and isolation any longer. No doubt, we are a diverse group. No matter how diverse we may be we all have real struggles and are in need of real relationships. This is a place to encourage each other. My hope is to see this become an open conversation among the subscribing community and not a preachy monologue. This blog is not necessarily meant to be prescriptive, but rather a platform to provide a better understanding of the struggles we all face.
Why? Because THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! (And being real can be a struggle!) I'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and comments. If this is helpful to you, invite others to subscribe and join this community of strugglers.