Do you ever struggle with insecurity? I have, for many, many years. Even in starting this blog I struggled with the thought that strangers or my friends could judge or compare it to other, more seasoned and successful blogs. Time to confront this. I have declared an all out war on the insecurity in my life. I am fed up. Sick and tired of being robbed of my dignity by lies.
I've been reading Beth Moore's new book "So Long Insecurity" and doing a study through her blog. I've been surprised at times at how intense this experience has been for me. I guess I didn't think a whole lot could happen with just me and a book. I totally did not factor in the Holy Spirit.
Beth Moore describes insecurity as "more than a complex emotion. It is a lie about our God-sanctioned condition." I've realized through my reading that I tend to bundle insecurity up with any negative emotion. So I'm angry plus insecure. Worried plus insecure. Disappointed plus insecure. Kind of like a bad buy one get one free deal.
I've reached the part of the book that offers some practical suggestions. She talks about the power to choose to act secure consistently which will lead to feeling more secure. You may recognize this under the phrase "Acting As If." I will choose to act as if I am secure (even if inside I feel as secure as jello during an earthquake) which will eventually lead to feeling secure as I am consistent.
So where is God in all of this? Is this really just faking it? God is the only one who can give me the strength to act secure when I do not feel so. He is also the only one to show me, a woman who has been chronically insecure, what actions a secure woman would take. And this is not faking it any more than practicing a dance over and over again before a performance is faking it. This is training. Training my mind to recognize my emotions with clarity. Training my heart to seperate negative emotions from lies. Training my mouth to cling to and speak truth in crisis. And most importantly to me, training myself to run to my Saviour's arms with all of this, every time.
So how does this work in real life? I'm still working that out. This freedom is new to me. Last week I had a situation that triggered insecurity. I stopped as I recognized the fear of a loss of approval, shame and rejection that are all tell-tale signs of my insecurity (often followed by obsessive stewing, defensiveness and blame.) I prayed and asked the Lord to guard my heart and mind. I then reminded myself of the simple truth that I am fully clothed. I am not naked or exposed on this situation, my God has me fully covered. I rinsed in this truth and repeated as necessary. Rinse and repeat. Totally necessary for my ADHD stuck thoughts.
As I was reading today some great truths were given for this rinse and repeat. They were so powerful to me that I want to share them with you.
You can hurt my feelings, but you cannot have my security. I won't let you. It's mine to keep. You cannot have it.
You can criticize me and even be right about what I did wrong, but you do not get to damage my security. It's mine to keep. You cannot have it.
You might have embarrassed me, but I refuse to let it fall on me so heavily that it smothers my security. It's mine to keep. You cannot have it.
You might be so intimidating and threatening that I feel I have to hand a lot of things to you, but I refuse to hand over my security. Who you are doesn't get to dwarf who I am. My security is mine to keep. You cannot have it.
You may have broken my heart and shaken me up, but you cannot have my security. I will not give it up to you or anyone else. I am a woman of God, clothed in strength and dignity, and no one gets to take those things from me.
"So Long Insecurity" pp 244, 257
How awesome would it be if I remembered this each time I felt insecure? How empowering. By the way, when I saw my friend soon after and heard what was going on in her life, I was so relieved. All of the thoughts that my insecurity was whispering were absolutely exposed for the lies they were. Additionally, I was able to rejoice that I hadn't spent time being upset with her or feeling less than over lies. I didn't feel stupid for judging her or the situation wrongly. I was shame free.
Fly free and secure my friends,