Secure Insecurities.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection.
With a lot of major life changes happening and coming up in the next few months, I’ve been deliberately and desperately searching within myself and in Christ to figure out who I am, and who I want to be – and where (and if) those two align.

Which led me to this series of questions. Several bloggers that I follow (Audrey Roloff, Brooke Kupcho) have been passing these questions along throughout their posts. What better way to learn about myself than to ask some difficult questions.

Extra emphasis on the word difficult in the previous sentence.
This surprised me. I didn’t expect to have difficulty answering questions about myself. I mean, they’re about me. I thought I was somewhere completely different than the road these questions took me down. Each time I would start to come to an answer, I would come up with something different, or not be at a place of confidence with my answer. Some questions I struggled to find an answer, while others I struggled to find just one! I realized that I had some pretty secure insecurities while wading through my thoughts. I ended up having a lot of dialogue not only with myself, but with God as well…

Because these questions were not easy for me to answer. However, in hindsight, the difficulty turned out to be a huge blessing. I think that their difficulty is a large reason as to why they’re so important for me to answer. My response to each question required thought and searching within myself. I also became aware of how often these aspects of myself change. Some change daily, some weekly, monthly, yearly. This challenged reminded my soul that I am not stagnant, nor am I designed to be. It also allowed me to see how uniquely I have been created.

For this reason, I’m going to share these questions as well as my answers to them in hopes that you may be encouraged to do the same.

What is your favorite characteristic about yourself?
This one I had a difficult time with thinking of something, period. Each time I would finally see myself reaching a decision, I would rethink it. OR I felt like I was being conceited or vain to point out a favorite characteristic of myself. But then it hit me, it is not proud to love yourself, or to have favorite things! Our Creator did not design us to put ourselves down – we are called to love ourselves and others!
And so, I think I’ve reached a verdict. Physically, I love my lips and my eyes! I know that sounds like a silly answer, but I do. A large portion of this is because of a freckle that I have sitting on my top lip on the right side. It’s so unique to me and I love that. As for my eyes, they change color sometimes and that fascinates me. As far as non-physical traits, lately I have been falling in love with my newfound ability to be transparent, but also maintaining a sense of personal worth. I strive daily to be as open and transparent as possible, but I approach it in a way that I am not allowing myself to be walked over or heart broken by something that doesn’t break the heart of my Lord. This second one, this non-physical favorite, is very much a work in progress still, by the way.

What are you insecure about?
Oh boy. Unlike the first question, for this question, I had multiple things flood my mind. I realized, I was insecure about the first question – insecure about taking about things I like about myself. But that aside: An insecurity I’ve had, and still do at times, is the top of my arms and my thighs. Also, the shape of my face. I have always had big arms. They aren’t flabby, they have muscle – but I have always been self conscious about them. I used to purposely wear clothing that would cover them mostly, or completely. As for my thighs, I’ve generally had a similar approach. Searching for shorts used to be the worst and most defeating experience for me. I would become anxious knowing that summer was coming and that meant shorts and bathing suits. I would see beautiful pictures of myself and still stare and scrutinize my arms and legs. I would compare myself to friends, teammates, strangers. Even though I was in great shape, I ignored that aspect and focused on the physical appearance. I also have never been a big fan of the structure of my face. I typically avoid pictures straight on because I used to think my face was fat, and my eyes are two different shapes, so it sometimes looks like I have a lazy eye. I realized just how much I still do that whenever I looked at some pictures of myself taken this week and immediately said “No! I hate these! Look how big my face and arms look!”

Another feature that I’m insecure about is this weird thing I do. Whenever I smile big, I scrunch my nose. Something strange, is that other people frequently comment on how much they love when I scrunch my nose! They see a cute quirk; I see something that looks silly and is a frequent picture ruiner. The funny thing about this, is that two favorite things about myself are my lips and eyes, but an insecurity is my smile and what it creates as well as my eye shape.

The cool thing about this question, that I didn’t even recognize was going to be cool until now, is what I learned by answering it. I approached these insecurities with a fresh perspective. My legs, they carry me throughout life. They have endured through years of soccer and dance, long runs and hikes. They help propel my body through the water as a lifeguard. They have been through physical therapy, and they caught me when I learned how to jump again in my last week of vestibular rehab last semester. And my arms, I’m using them to type this blog post. They have moved furniture, picked up the sweetest children while babysitting, they allow me to embrace a hug, they have been a key factor in pulling people to safety in the pool or lake. They too, have experience physical therapy due to sports. And as for my scrunchy smile, it portrays when I am experience absolute JOY! I realized that the three things I have frequently been the most insecure about are three of the most important things about myself! When God created me, He knew how important those three things would be in shaping who I am! Searching within myself, with Christ allowed me to become secure in myself about these insecurities.

What are you currently struggling with?
As of late, I have been struggle to simply let things be. I like to have answers to most everything. I like to have a plan, a schedule, a list – something. I want to know what’s going to happen, and I want to be prepared. And this semester especially, I have learned that life frequently doesn’t conform to that desire. Something else, as mentioned in the previous post, is my stubbornness. And finally, I have been struggling to find a balance within myself between being selfless and careless. I have always had a heart for people, especially those I’m close to. I would break my own back to help someone even if I knew it would ultimately leave me hurting.

What are you going to do about this?
I have learned that sometimes, It’s okay to just let life happen. I have deliberately been trying to embrace this idea. If you want to learn about my stubbornness and what I’ve been learning, check out my previous post. And finally, I have been having lots of conversations with God about my desire to be selfless and helpful without being careless with my heart. I truly believe that there is a balance to be found there, whether I’ve found it or not. This one is a work in progress, but I am so excited about the beautiful journey God is leading me through as I learn.

What do you want to share with the female readers?
This question was originally geared just for female readers. I want to do away with that. This is for all readers of this post. Something I would like to share is STOP COMPARING, unless it is comparing yourself to Christ in order to become more like Him. This seems cliche and overdone, but it’s not. If it was, it wouldn’t be such an issue. Also, speak love and encouragement. Not just to others, but to yourself. And most importantly, do not journey through these questions or life without Christ.
Allow Him to guide you through this life.
Allow Him to be your first love.
Allow Him to take you on the greatest adventures of all time.
Allow Him to console you when you cry.
Allow Him to be joyful when you are joyful.
Allow Him to fill you when you are empty.
And make Him the one you find your identity in.

Love, Jess

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