Phew so much has happened the last few days. As a result of the last few months being extremely hard, I feel like I am constantly learning and growing. It is a slow long process but even in the struggle, I still see God working.
In my last post, I talked about Scary Close and how we all have this self, then around that is our shame that could be caused by anything in our life; not feeling good enough, being bullied as a child, etc. And we cover our shame with our false self. This false self is something that we use in a social situation that makes us feel a little bit better about ourselves. It is what we hide behind to feel like we fit in, or whatever. For some people its humor, others its telling stories, it could be perfectionism, etc. It is different for each person. I was really struggling reading that because I wasn’t sure what my false self was.
I started going to counseling (I can’t believe I’m putting that on here). I have been struggling so so much. I think counseling is so good though. It is healthy to talk about your life and process through things with an outsider. Anyway, I had an appointment last week and it was cancelled and I was pretty upset. I was looking forward to talking things out with my counselor. I am an external processor and talking things out is beneficial to me. Recently, I’ve stopped doing that with the people around me for fear of a lot of things. I just don’t like to be a burden to people so I keep it all in.
Anyway, It ended up being a God-thing that I didn’t have counseling. After I found out I wasn’t going to have it, I felt like God was like “Katrina, it is okay, I’ve got something else planned for you today”.
I have had trouble sleeping lately. I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS tired. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything. So when it gets to be about 10 at night I am dead. I get crabby and all I want to do is sleep. My husband and I had crawled into bed and were starting to fall asleep. We then decided to get up, change, and go for a walk at 10 at night. We haven’t gotten a lot of intentional time together lately with our work schedules and that has been really hard. I am a quality time person and when I don’t get that I feel disconnected.
So we went for a walk and Jacob has read Scary Close before. So I began explaining the three circles to him and said I wasn’t sure what my “false self” was. He helped me talk through it for an hour and a half. Gosh, God is so good and I so thankful He gave us the opportunity to talk it out together. God knew that was what I needed with my husband.
My false self is perfectionism. I feel like I have to be “perfect” all the time. It isn’t as much looks as it is in how I act. I am a people pleaser and I don’t like anyone being mad at me or frustrated. I want people to be happy all around. I also don’t want people to get a bad view of me for any reason. Its not because I’m a nut, I’ve just never felt enough so I do everything I can to try and be that, enough.
My shame was created at a young age. Growing up, I got left out of friend groups. I remember being bullied a lot in pre-school through junior high. High school was rough but it wasn’t as bad. I remember being the last person picked for any sporting activity, I was the last one invited to parties (when I was younger). I was always being left out. I so badly wanted to belong. And then theres my extended family (for naming purposes I won’t say who). I was NEVER enough for them, I am still not. I was constantly in a state of trying to be the best because I never was.
So now, I never feel like I am good enough. I am constantly trying to be enough, or be perfect (in my own eyes) and I never measure up. and because I don’t think I’m good enough for myself, I assume everyone else thinks I’m not good enough either and that is what I see. I see people that expect more of me, which is completely false most of the time. But because that has been my entire life, it is hard to look outside of that.
So now, I know what my false self is: feeling like I have to be perfect and constantly creating low self esteem. I hide behind being “perfect” in my own eyes. And I know what my shame is, being left out and never feeling like I was enough.
How do I work through this now, at 22 years old?
How do I see myself as the imperfect, Loved child of the King that I am?
Jacob helped me to see that it is okay that I’m not perfect. I need to be able to look at myself and be okay with making mistakes. Because the reality is, Jesus doesn’t care. He loves me no matter what I do; mess and all.
I honestly feel like I shouldn’t be loved, my self-esteem is so low. I don’t know how to let others love me because I really don’t see how they could; because I don’t see the good in myself. So now I am trying to figure out how to let others love me. When they give a compliment, I take it and remember it instead of ignoring it or making up an excuse and only remembering the negative.
How do we work through our imperfections or our “false selves” and become stronger people that can look into the mirror and see what Jesus see’s?
Donald Miller has three things in Scary Close that he learned about relationships. They helped him to recognize and be better. (page 39)
3 Things about Relationships
1. To be intimate, I’d have to jump
a. In order to experience a meaningful life, I have to face the fear of jumping in, Just do it.
2. Swimming a little is swimming enough
a. Somewhere I became convinced that no amount of work is enough.
b. This creates a problem: those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments secretly believe nobody will love us unless we are perfect
c. I am enough. Even if I get up and work out for 10 minutes it is enough.
3. There are more lifeguards than sharks
a. Other people aren’t out to get us.
b. Am I willing to be hurt occasionally and turn the other cheek in order to have a long-term, healthy relationship?
1. The risk of trusting is worth the intimacy
2. risk yourself on love – it means diving into the unknown, where there are very real dangers, but mostly rewards.
A lie that satan tells me is “If I’m not impressive I won’t be loved”. This is so so false. And I think so many of us live with this fear and aren’t fully ourselves. We don’t let people really get to know us because of whatever our fear is. Gosh guys, there are so many people in the world that do love you. I just don’t think we give them the time of day or are willing to be real with them. The times that I have let down my guard and been real (like the other night with my husband) are the times that I am rewarded richly by God because of those relationships.
Lets be real with one another! I think that is one thing we as Christians suck at sometimes, being real with each other. Jesus loves us through the mess and we in turn can do that for each other. The reality is, we aren’t perfect and thank goodness! I think Jesus brings out our flaws on purpose so we are forced to grapple with real intimacy with each other. We aren’t made to cover up all of our flaws. We were made to be real, to be forgiven, and to be loved by Jesus but also by one another.
Don’t buy into the lie that “I only matter if…” YOU MATTER. YOU ARE LOVED.
That is what I have learned this past week. I am going to try and learn how to live as a flawed person and let that be enough for myself. Because it is enough for the people around me, and it is more than enough for Jesus. He didn’t die for the “perfect” me that I try to be, He died for the flawed, messy, and struggling person that I AM.
My prayer for you is that today, you would know you are enough. You don’t have to hide behind your false self to cover your shame. Let it out. Let Jesus reign in your life and let those around you hold you and lift you up.