Lately I have become aware of an enemy in my camp, so to speak.
I’d love to be able to point my finger, along with my focused outrage and frustration, at someone.
But, if I were to point any fingers at anyone at all— all of them would point at me.
I’m not sure why I work tirelessly to undermine myself or my confidence with myself, and others, in me.
Maybe it’s because I don’t believe I deserve it.
Maybe it’s because there are still old “tapes” running in the background of my thoughts— “You don’t deserve this.” “You are worthless.” “You don’t know what you are talking about.” “You are too emotional.” “Who do you think you’re fooling, anyway?”
Things I’ve heard others say to me, about me, over my life.
Things I’ve internalized, because certainly those people know me better than I know myself. Right?
I’ve put my confidence in how others see me, or how I think others see me— because I know I have blind spots. I can’t always see many things about me.
I have based so many things off of what it looks like other people’s reactions to me are.
I have plenty of things that are against me as I face the world, daily.
Overweight. Most people don’t even know I’ve lost a lot of weight. I still have a way to go before I’m satisfied with the outer me.
Physically I’m weak. I used to be strong. I used to be independent.
I used to value those things in myself, and even expected them from others.
God has allowed me to now be in a type of place filled with humility and self- disappointment. And— I’m sure that disappointment is universal.
I can’t do many things I used to be able to do.
So, the things I feel strongest in, I’m not confident in my ability to do them. I’m not confident I won’t just provoke further negative reactions to me.
Many years ago someone advised me that when I’m ministering to someone— praying for them, participating with praise and worship, speaking or teaching— don’t pay attention to people’s faces. Because you can’t tell what is happening inside their hearts. They can have a “look” on their faces or react/respond for an infinite amount of reasons. That can become a stumbling block for allowing God to just work through us.
As a violinist, that goes completely against my nature and teaching! I was taught to watch the conductor. Watch for the signals, the eye contact, the head nods, even verbal cues. While I wasn’t watching the crowds/audience per se, their reactions were always telling! Either they liked it, or they did not.
I just pay way more attention to those things, plus body language, than I probably should.
Because of words said to me, and reactions from people important to me over my life— I rarely trust when words don’t seem to match the rest of what I instinctively observe.
It gets confusing, trying to live up to expectations from signals and reactions others appear to have towards me.
Maybe that’s why I self-sabotage.
Who really expects I’ll ever amount to, or accomplish much of anything?
I mean— I’m too intense. I need to calm down. I’ve even been told someone wished I hadn’t been born… I’m just in the way. I talk too much. What I want to do, or how I feel is just stupid or embarrassing…
I guess I’ve just unconsciously believed all of that. Even though, consciously I know it’s mostly not true or accurate.
I feel like I need to measure up to the expectations of others— and those unconscious thoughts have, in my past, been the expectations of others.
So— I self-sabotage.
Maybe that’s why I strive so much to always encourage others. I’ll be their cheerleader, because I have confidence in them. All of us need encouragers. I have them in my life now, I purposely surround myself with people who build up and encourage.
This world has too many ways we are constantly torn down. As Christians I believe God wants us to be builders— not destroyers.
Scripture has taught me that I need to place my confidence in Christ.
God made me with a purpose— His purpose for me.
Those things that have been said, those negative reactions to me, those expectations from others— they don’t match His view of me.
And— who knows me better than God?