(minus the preface- because I got a little wordy).
In the 7+ years since I last 'worked' a regular job I have found that my security is still often found in affirmation (or the lack-there-of). Each and every time I find myself doing something 'new', I look around like a lost child for somebody to 'help' me. Someone to tell me I'm "doing great". Someone to rate me. Someone to constructively criticize me. Someone to pat me on the back, or kick me in the rear. I suppose in all actuality, I wasn't just looking for affirmation- I simply looking for something to help me know "how I was doing".
As a mom, it's hit or miss (mostly miss) as to whether or not I'm going to get that needed "good job! you're great! I like what you're doing.". I've learned to look for it in different ways. Maybe it's when my 7 year old hits a maturity-growth spurt and I see her flourishing as she interacts with her friends at school instead of pouting or whining. It may be when my 5 year old bounces around the house like the tender-loving-goof-ball that she is singing "I love you, Mommy! I love you!" And at times, it's when my 3 year old is quietly playing with blocks instead of deconstructing our living room with markers and paint.
And I am so quick to shoot myself down, so quickly I find something that I lack, something that makes me less-than-decent, I find all of the wrong that I've done, and I see all the ways that I fail.
I see piles of laundry that beat me down with their odorous stench, reminding me of just how terribly Ido manage my time and my resources.
I see cluttered floors that trip me up and take me further down a few notches, telling me that I should be able to keep a clean house like a 'normal' stay at home mom does.
I see a blog with empty and unfinished post and a book yet to be written half way through, helping me to realize that being a writer isn't where I'm going to find myself anytime soon.
I see chubby thighs and flabby arms that harshly encourage me to forgo my sloth and hit the gym (and stop eating so many Cheez-Its forGoodnessSAKE!).
But if YOU were to tell me all of these things about yourself, I'd knock you off your pity party and remind you of how unfair you were being to yourself. HECK! If YOU were to tell me all of these things about MYSELF, I'd defend my cluttered floors and chunky butt with ALL of the reasons why I shan't be made to feel less-than-what-I-am.
Isn't in interesting?! How insecurity plays tricks and manipulates our thought!? Isn't it interesting that, in everything a person can accomplish- it's rare to find a true sense of security in so many of us human beings!
I've never looked at a Lion and thought
"Awww. She'd be able to kill that little baby deer if she'd just stop feeling so badly about herself."
Lord, NO! A Lioness knows that if she's hungry, she's gotta hunt, and once she sets her eyes on her meal, she's gonna be eatin'. And I'm willing to bet that she doesn't feel a bit of insecurity about her ability to feed her lion mate or train her babies to be great lions and lioness'.
Perhaps that's the problem? Perhaps I was never trained to be a great mother. Or a great wife. Or a great writer. Perhaps I don't know what I'm suppose to be doing, or how I'm suppose to be doing it. Perhaps my insecurity comes from something as small as "not knowing".
That's where the enemy grabs up some trampling ground. The bible says that Satan is the "author of confusion". It's true. He wrote a novel pinpointing all of my insecurities, all of my short-comings, all of my "I don't know what I'm doing's", and he reads it to me daily.
My failure isn't anything that he says it is. My failure is simply allowing that 'novel' to be read to me by the author of LIES.
Here's what I know:
God directs my path.
He will make a way for me.
He is the official author of Truth, and Love, and Security.
I forget this often. I am who I am because HE made me who I should be. If I fail- it's a blessing to learn from my mistakes- not an option to beat myself up. If I prosper- it's a blessing from HIM and not an opportunity to boast in my ability; but that doesn't give me the right to tear myself down, either.
The Lord used a situation that I was in recently to reveal just how terribly insecure I really am. I had been starving for an affirming word to the point of tears, and had gotten myself into a pit of emotional malfunction. God kept whispering "Hey- why are you hoping to find your security in that?" and I kept ignoring His question.
Finally, He roared in my heart
"DO NOT FIND AFFIRMATION IN THOSE THINGS!!! FIND. IT. IN. ME."
I heard Him loud and clear. And found myself asking questions and hearing answers. I discovered a few very important life-points that I hope to remember.
If I'm doing anything, I have to be certain that I require no affirmations afterward. Furthermore- I should expectnothing in return. Whether it be cooking my family a meal, or building somebody a house.... If I do anything it needs to be out of a genuine heart to "do" and not to "get".
If ever (whenEVER) I find myself in a pit- I have GOT to remember to check the reality of why it is that I'm in that pit. Did I mess up or am I just being insecure?
Take the 'playback' and 'predict' off of my options menu.
DO NOT play back situations that you were in and pick yourself apart.
Stop predicting what someone is going to say and/or do as a way to convince yourself that you shouldn't approach and/or move forward with something you know you should do. Example: If you need to apologize, don't assume it's going to be a waste of your time because you "know" the other person is going to rip-you-a-new-one. Just apologize.
It seems as if many of us are insecure. I know that among the friends and family that I have, at least those who are willing to admit it, that this is a true statement. It's not just women, either ya'll. Men, too. Maybe even more so.
So I'm not alone in my insecurity. But I don't want to stay in it, either.
8 months ago