Lately Nick and I have been discussing insecurity. It seems to have power over every person, regardless of that person’s awareness. For me, it all exists in the mirror. My face without makeup might be one of my least favorite sights. My body seems to always hold extra fat around my thighs. I don’t like that what I eat looks so good and tastes so good and then it ends up sitting on my tummy the next day.
It is a struggle to wake up and like who I see in the mirror. If we are honest, this is a struggle for every person. Even if you don’t care what you look like, or you like what you see, there’s something about yourself you don’t care for. We’re never fully happy with who we are.
This can be really extreme and lead to depression. I’ve seen it lead to self-harm, to suicide even. It has become somewhat of an epidemic, self-hatred. It is dark and frightening, what we are capable of thinking about a human being. I have had my own struggles with this through the years, wanting to die, not liking anything about myself.
Through college, wounds were healed. I learned about grace. What is most interesting to me about this, is how important it seems to be that we have a certain dislike for pieces of our personalities. What I mean by this is simple. Without an understanding of what is wrong, what we do that is unacceptable, we would not improve.
I don’t typically think of this as a good thing. But it is a part of being humble, isn’t it? When someone points out, in which ever way, that you are being rude, or plain mean, we can respond in a few ways.
The first way is anger. We become defensive, trying to deny this part of us. What is the root of this defensiveness? Isn’t it that we know we can be rude but we don’t like to admit it? We know it is wrong but we don’t like that someone else is pointing it out. We deflect to our accuser or we fold in, rejecting any feedback.
Another way we respond is to accept what this person is saying, but take it too far. We take it to the point of defining ourselves with what is said. “I am selfish, I am rude. This is all I am.” We let this feedback define us.
Or, we are humble when someone approaches us with a suggestion about our attitude or our words we chose. (these are usually my weaknesses, unfortunately)
I tend to be overly honest to a fault. Mostly because of how I say things. You know, like your mom always said “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”? Yeah. That’s my life.
There are times when I react in all of these ways. Most often, I really don’t like myself and my mistakes eat me up.
This genuinely isn’t so that people will comment and say “but you are so beautiful!” or whatever, because I know some of you are thinking that could be why. Sincerely, I speak this way and write this way because it is the honest to goodness truth. I’m sick of telling lies. Most of what we know about or tell each other isn’t the truth.
“Life is all good right now”
“I’m not scared”
“I’m not struggling”
“It doesn’t matter”
We all do this. It’s easier because we are uncomfortable when we start to really tell the truth. We also don’t want to make the recipient uncomfortable, so we choose wisely, or we don’t tell anyone at all.
It’s a societal norm to look into someone’s eyes and tell them a lie. I do it every single day when someone asks me “are you excited to move?”
But it’s funny. Maybe the reason we’ve all gotten into this habit of lying to these questions is because we’re tired of hearing the mind-numbing responses when we ARE honest.
“Oh, don’t worry, it’ll be fun!” “It’ll be so good for you guys” “Just trust the Lord” “You’re young, it’s the perfect time to do this”
Thank you for your unwanted optimism, sir.
Ma’am, you don’t need to fix how I feel.
I suppose these responses are to be expected when I’m briskly honest, going against this societal norm. It also shows who is really interested in hearing what I think or feel about it rather than just trying to be polite by asking.
So I have a choice. I either just say how I feel every single time with painful honesty and suck it up when the cheesy response comes, or I force politeness and excuse myself from the thought that I’ve just lied to every person within earshot.
I think I’d rather do the former.
Cheers to hearing all those responses tenfold & never giving them again.