My first blog post was on November 26 of 2015. I have since posted 12 other articles. Writing on a public platform has brought back to my attention a few of my insecurities. You know those times when you think you have finally moved past a specific issue and then you enter a new situation and that old thing rears its ugly head yet again, be it fear, addiction, anger, lack of trust, or whatever other ailment that plagues you? Perhaps this is just an experience limited to my existence, but blogging has been that new environment that has dredged up some of the remains of past insecurities. While I knew that I still had some work to do on these, what I was not aware of was that blogging would reveal how much more work I have.
Insecurity of love
The first issue is that I am intimidated by all of you. Having a every single word open for scrutiny and each idea liable for criticism haunts me. A few aspects perpetuates this problem further. One being that I tend to think faster than I can type and, as such, have a tendency to get ahead of myself, which creates the perfect scenario for typos. Proof-reading doesn’t help much because I know where I am going and unconsciously will fill in the missing or misspelt words. The second aspect is that I tend to get an ideal picture of what will happen before it happens. In my mind, I like to think that my posts will be insightful and encouraging, that all people will appreciate the work that I have put out there. This simply is not the case. People approach topics from varying view points and preconceived notions which opens up my view-point for counter-points and push back. Normally, I deeply value discussion but in the blogging discussion isn’t really discussion. The third aspect that perpetuates this problem is that blogging is a face-less relationship. Even if I know you, your engagement with the content I create happens behind the screen of whatever magical contraption you are using. I can’t see your face as you read and process. There is a gap between my words and your response, if there is even a response. In the vacuum of communication, I always assume the worse. In her book, Rising Strong, Brené Brown says, “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness.” These assumptions I often jump to don’t just wreck havoc in the present but also create the setting in which I will live my life. They become the overall arc that I believe to be my story.
Even if people have criticisms or don’t love my work, how does that equate to my inherit unworthiness? I so quickly buy into the lie that my inherit worth is determined by the quantity and quality of my production or rather the mass’ opinion of my work. There is a fine line between doing something we love and doing something so we can be loved. Doing something to earn something is not love; it’s labor. Love values a person as is and yet I assume that if people don’t like what I have created that they must not love me because I am unworthy of their love. If this lie were true, then why do we love children? For their potential? If so, does that mean that I have assumed I am unable to rise above my current state, that I am without potential? What makes this deception so powerful is that I (we) exist within an invisible but tangible lattice of comparison where I judge my work against all in the social spheres I exist in. I immediately compare what I am able to do with those in my immediate sphere then work out, desperate for at least one sphere where I can be classified as above par. But the truth is that I am not what I produce and, while what I produce may be below average, I am still playing a role in God’s world. It doesn’t matter if I am only given one talent or ten, I am simply called to use who I am and as an extension what I have (Luke 19:12-27).
Insecurity of competence
Rolling right out of that is my insecurity of competency. I often feel like I am not good enough or capable enough to _________ (there were too many possibilities so I just went with leaving it blank). This fear can paralyze me. I would rather not even try than to try and fail. So, when criticism comes or praise is absent, the little boy shrinks back or the emotional boy lashes out: fight or flight. I genuinely love to dabble in a lot of areas but I also wonder if this fuels my insecurity of competency. In genuinely being interested in many areas, my false belief of incompetence tells me that I am not good enough in enough of these fields so I must continue jumping from one to another in pursuit of something to be competent in. If that doesn’t make sense to you, then good, cuz it didn’t make sense to me. But really, none of the things we struggle with ever really make logical sense.
Insecurity of vulnerability
So this last issue is that of vulnerability, which I have made good progress in implementing into my life. It is because of this pursuit that I have seen growth in nearly all areas of my life. However, when it came to blogging, I have found myself avoiding discussing personal issues and, much less, having them be the thesis of a post. This is slightly peculiar since I have invested in much energy over the last 18-ish months into being vulnerable in my other public outlets: preaching, teaching, discussion, work, etc. I never wanted this blog to simply be a bunch of facts and intellectual ruminations. I also wanted it to be a journey that I am on and might invite others on to. So why avoid it in blogging? I think it mostly circles back to the first issue. It is terrifying (at least to me) putting your work out there, but to put your soul out there in black and white for the internet mobs to evaluate and make judgements on without the opportunity to respond to them before they do so… yeah…I would rather pass. Instead, I would rather focus on producing good content…but what if no one likes it, shares it, comments on it, or even looks at it. This would then lead me to yet again question my competency. Vicious cycle this one is.
So, baring my soul I am. In the fight for my heart, I must not only change the way I think; I must also change the way I act. If I recognize a false-belief but never step off of the path of that false-belief, I will never be free. I must choose to do the opposite of that which I know is false in order to prove to myself the validity of the Truth I am being called to live in. Hiding is what humanity does. It what we have been doing since we first believed a different truth-claim in Genesis 3. The sin problem really is an insecurity problem. Insecurity is at the heart of the human condition.
Thus, a blog post about my issues.
You are welcome. Good day, sir.