I have, yet again, written a few times, but on viewing my thoughts etched on paper, I deemed them unworthy of your attention... Please forgive my silence...
today, I want to share something that lives deep within me and has plagued me all my life.
As a child, I was intensely shy. I would hide behind my mother's leg and dare not say boo. In fact, chances were I'd cry before I spoke to someone paying me a lot of attention. I was that nervous; that fearful. I remember adults talking to me - even in just saying a polite hello - and my heart would beat a hundred miles an hour, my cheeks would burn bright red, and I would stumble over my words when I did try to speak.
As a teen, I was no better. My first serious boyfriend wanted me to meet his parents, and that near scared me to death. I was 16 or 17 at the time. And I cried, begging him not to make me meet them... Again, I was that nervous; that fearful...
Insecurity has plagued me well into adulthood. I am 46 years old now, and still I struggle with it. I am not as bad as I once was, I have come out of my shell a lot, and many wouldn't be aware of the struggle I've had with confidence, or the struggle I still have occasionally. Most think me confident. But I've had to fake it many times.
In fact, it was when I pleaded with God to help me with this part of my character ~ even though He had shared His heart with me over the years in order to help me be ok with me ~ that He placed upon my heart, "Fake confidence and it will grow on you..." So I did... and it has... and it still is.
Another time, He had me face the intimidation that I always suffer on going somewhere on my own, by attending cafes by myself, where I was to write whatever I wanted - and that on six separate occasions. This would be no big deal for most, but for me - someone who longed to sit in a cafe and write but was too damn frightened to do so - it was a major issue. But it did help... But more on that particular season of my life another time.
Again, during a time of intimidation, while at church, where I prayed, "God, here I am at the front door, please help me make it to a pew without anyone talking to me..." and He impressed upon my heart that if, and when, someone should talk to me, I should make it about them, and think of them as my best friend in the making, as one day they might be. That also helped.
But as I've gotten older, and circumstances and conditions have brought me back to a place where I've allowed myself to become insecure again - to the point of being happy to lock myself away from the world - I've found I'm reverting back to childhood ways. The nerves are returning. The fear is returning. I'm feeling imprisoned, yet again... with the world being my prison cell.
Last week, I met someone for the first time. I'd met them online before but this was my first face to face meeting... I noted, during this time, that my old insecurities were haunting me. Fear sat on one shoulder, Anxiety on the other, and, between the two, dread threatened to suffocate me.
After this friend and I went our separate ways, I placed my actions and reactions before God, and asked that He would explain why I still suffer with shyness after all these years... And then it hit me: I am no longer shy. That left me years ago. Rather, I am ashamed...
I am ashamed of my looks, my personality, what I do and do not own, the clothes I wear because finances don't allow anything else, my weight... and more... And I realised the more ashamed I am, the more I hide, and the more I hide, the more these things I am ashamed of become prominent in my world. It's as though they grow and are taking over me... and I feed them...
As I write this, tears blur my vision, my throat is tight with emotion, and I ache in every inch of my soul. I don't want to live this way.
Earlier this week, after realising the shame I held and why, I wept so hard that chances are I lost weight during it, lol, ;) and I could hardly see while driving. Yes, I was driving... and, as this was taking place, I contemplated driving into a brick wall, not wanting to be me anymore. It was the thought of my family being left behind to pick up all the pieces that stopped me from doing so. And I begged God to alter my personality; to change me; to improve me; to make me someone else...
And now - jumping ahead a couple of days - I am aware that I fail in this world because I compare myself to the physical beauty most of us worship these days. I am ashamed of my looks because they don't pass the 'beauty' test. And I fail because I don't have the qualifications needed for work these days - therefore I feel dumb, so I live down to that feeling. And I fail for so many reasons in a world that rejects anything less than ideal... But worse than this... I know the odds are that you feel you do, too. :(
So I write this, letting you know that you're not alone. Letting you know that there are people who see your true worth, for who you are, as you are, no matter what you look like, no matter what you do or do not own. I hate the thought of you being trapped in your insecurities. I hate the thought of you not feeling worthy of love. I hate the thought of you feeling alone. And God hates it, too.
God will work on my heart to improve me. I give Him the freedom to do so... And He's more than willing to help you, as well; to free you, as well. Stay with me during this journey. If I don't write many letters, email me. Keep me accountable. Ask me what God's doing in my life and heart right now, and I will write you another letter to let you know.
If you don't want me knowing your true identity, yet, because of insecurity, get a new email address, and write from that, and simply sign your letter, "Friend..." My preferred emailing address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, if you ever want to share thought, write to me... You're not alone. So you don't have to live or suffer that way...
I'll speak to you soon, I hope...
All my love - all my heart,