This is a post that has been rolling around inside my head for awhile now. It is something I am still processing and struggling with so this post might not fit into a sweet little package. Please consider it part of a conversation I'd like to begin having with you. It will probably be long and rambling but it is time for me to start sharing these thoughts.
I am insecure. I struggle to think highly of myself and tend to worry that other people think negative thoughts about me. My insecurities are something I've usually kept to myself because I am embarrassed. It wasn't until recently that I began to realize that these negative thoughts are actually affecting my life and my relationships.
Disclaimer: if you are a boy this post will probably not resonate with you, I think this is usually a problem that women face... reading this might give you a (scary) insight into the female brain, confuse you or just bore you to death so read on at your own risk!
I think that my insecurities have been the root of the main struggle in my marriage. Joel and I are more in love now than we were when we got married 7 years ago. He is an amazing husband, father, partner and friend. I never doubt his commitment to our marriage or fear that he would be unfaithful. What I do doubt is that he thinks highly of me even though everything he does points directly to the fact that he loves me. I am always telling Joel how great he is which is why it is so confusing for him when I end up crying. We don't really have fights but every so often I end up a sobbing mess because of my insecurities. I am only now beginning to realize why. Here is a purely hypothetical scenario...actually it's real but it's embarrassing for me to share...One day Joel and I went to a wedding. I bought a fancy new dress which I rarely do but we were going to a wedding and none of my dresses fit post-baby. I spent lots of time getting ready, briefed the babysitter, put on perfume and left the house excited to have Joel compliment me. As more and more time passed I got sadder and sadder because Joel hadn't said anything. I had been complimenting him since we left home because he smelled so good and had on a fancy new suit. Instead of complimenting me directly when I finally asked him what he thought, Joel commented on how hot "we" looked. I was crushed. Here is where the lies inside my head started. To me he didn't think I looked nice and the only way he could side step my question was to comment on how "we" aka "he" looked. When in reality he was having a great time being out with me, he thought I looked nice, we both looked fancy and he had no idea that I had been waiting for him to say something. My poor husband.
Let me state clearly that it is ok for me to want compliments from Joel and that I do think spouses should do that for each other. I also think that it was ok for me to be sad because I didn't receive a compliment. The problem is that I wasn't just sad. I was devastated. I was devastated like you would be if your husband said he didn't love you anymore. I am beginning to see this pattern in our relationship. One minor thing will happen, I will make a mistake or do something stupid and instead of it having an minor affect on me I become completely deflated, devastated, heartbroken, I feel like a burden and worry about whether or not Joel still loves me. The problem is that my own opinion of myself has been completely dependent upon what Joel and other people think/say about me.
I feel shallow even talking about this because beauty isn't what matters in life, the "beauty" portrayed in media is fake and unrealistic and we all turn wrinkly and gray over time. While I think it is every woman's desire to be beautiful, especially in her husband's eyes, what I really want is to feel beautiful like the way God sees me. I want to love and value myself the way God loves me because that love doesn't change with time. That is the kind of love that my identity should be built upon.
The word that I keep dwelling on is LOVELY. I am on a journey to rewrite the story inside my head. I am on a journey to love myself. To remove the lie that I am a burden. To know that I am valuable. I am going to stop seeking love and value from others. God made me and loves me just as I am. I am lovely and so are you.
Join me on this journey to rewrite the story inside your head. Rewrite the thoughts you have when you look in the mirror, or compare yourselves to others, to stop doubting yourself or keeping loved ones at arms length in order to hide your struggles. Let's seek to replace these thoughts, fears and insecurities with truth. If you need help loving yourself ask me, a friend, or better yet ponder the things that God thinks about you. No matter who you are, what you look like, what you have done, or how messed up your life is God loves you just as you are.
*This post is NOT written in the hopes that after reading this people will leave nice comments about how wonderful I am. In fact, please don't as I am learning how to love myself without other people needing to tell me that I am lovable! If you struggle with similar issues yourself, like the post, have comments or questions feel free to share them. It is always nice to know that I'm not alone and I have found that voicing my insecurities has taken away the shame that comes from trying to conceal my flaws.