Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a little late night therapy

Do you ever wonder where this need to be liked comes from? I mean, who was it that taught us that we need to look to other people for our affirmation? Did someone program this in us when we were children? I know my mom didn't sit me down and say "you'll only know if you're really worth something if you have 20 friends and a husband by the time you're 30." She didn't, and I bet your mom didn't tell you that either.

Our parents encouraged us, loved us, taught us, and shooed us from the nest. Mine taught me to grow up and leave home and have my own life. They knew that's how it's supposed to be. That children should be independent, self-sufficient, and capable of contributing to the world. My mom and dad gave me all the tools I need to be an adult, to manage my life and change a tire. I am prepared.

So why is it that my self worth is wrapped up in what my boss thinks, what the teacher down the hall thinks, if I'm skinny, if I'm the craftiest, the prettiest, the smartest, the girl with the best blog and millions of comments? Why do I seek the approval of all these people? Who do I need to answer to?

Only one man.

And that isn't my husband. It's Jesus.

My savior who sees the real girl inside who hurts. The one who knows me better than anyone else and loves me for being that person. A friend who never turns His back and is there in the trouble. In the midst.

His is the only approval I need to seek. How freeing is that? I mean, don't you see how liberating that is? To not have to stress about those people in your life that really don't matter? Listen, I'm not telling you to be rude or unkind. I'm telling you that God isn't counting how many friends I have, or looking at the score from my SATs. He isn't checking to see how you liked my island that I worked on, or disappointed that I only got 9 comments so far (threw that in for a little humor!). He knows that I was faithful, frugal, careful and using my talents when I worked on that project. He knows that I am polite, friendly, eager, talented and honest. He also knows that I am gossipy, nosey, prideful and infertile, and hey, we're working on those things. Together.

I pray that I can live my life confident in who I am, and just let the rest slide away. Who am I to needlessly burden myself with things I can't change anyway? I want to be the kind of person who let's His love shine through my actions. I shouldn't be any less, and I can certainly be more.

Who do you want to be?


Sniz said...

Love this post. It's so honest and real and I bet we all feel exactly like that inside too. I know I do!

I pray daily to become the woman God wants me to be, whatever that is, and to use the time He's given me wisely. But it comforts me so much to think about that despite my flakiness (I am constantly forgetting things like appointments), and my willfullness (He knows this is my biggest flaw) He accepts me just the way I am. That's hard to believe, but I know it's true. Awesome.

Be well, Snizzers

Heather said...

*big sigh* This is so tough for me. I grew up with such a critical earthly father that I crave affirmation. I just need people to tell me they like me and I DON'T like that about myself. I struggle every day to remember that only Jesus matters. I don't have to be the best "everything" to please people. I'm hoping that one day it'll just click into place.

Hunny Bee May said...

I have had that epiphany as of late, though it takes work to get it to stick. I still get insecure. Like when I go to a neighborhood picnic and every other mom has a career and a job. I don't want those things right now and yet I somehow feel left out. Meanwhile, maybe some of them are wishing they could be home. Who knows?
Right now I don't know who I want to be. I take it one day at a time. Whatever needs done, whatever role I need to play, that's what I do. It works for now. And in all things try and walk by faith honoring God, whatever my task is. That's who I want to be, I guess.

Rebekah said...

great post. something we all need to remember- isn't it funny though, that we all feel insecure. Like hunny bee commented about going to a neighborhood picnic- she feels insecure- yet all the other mothers probably feel insecure as well.

Its almost silly, isnt' it. to feel insecure because you are different than the person next to you; yet that same person feels insecure because they are different from you

Alison said...

Sigh, I don't think I'll ever stop seeking approval and caring about what others think of me. No matter how often I remind myself that it just. doesn't. matter....it still does.
I am so hopelessly flawed, yet thankful that it doesn't matter in God's eyes. Your post was a beautiful reminder of this!

As much as I know all of this, I'm not entirely certain that I'll ever be able to live life without trying to measure up to wordly standards.
I do try and try again to remind myself that I'm only responsible for me and my family. To treat others nicely, provide help and encouragement to Craig and Caroline and to be a good steward with the resources God has blessed us with. If I'm doing these things, then I should feel content and at peace with my life the way it is. That's a rare occurance, but I do try to remind myself often.

Thanks for the therapy session!

Mommy said...

Recently our pastor shared a wonderful message about "what is your mission statement". I struggle with this very same thing and he asked us the same question..."Who/What do you want to be". I decided this was my mission statement:

To love others (and myself) as sincerely and completely as Christ loves me.

That includes all of the flaws and mistakes we all make. I struggle with this issue of wanting to be liked by those around me. It is tough for me. Thanks for reminding me that my self worth is not wrapped up in other people. It should be wrapped up in Jesus.

Debbie said...

I think one of the advantages of my age is that over time you worry less about these things. Don't get me wrong. There are times when I am insecure about things because I am by nature a people pleaser and want everyone to like me. But I can tell you that it does lessen the older you get and the more secure you are in WHO you are in Christ. We all want to be liked and accepted for who we are. But I can say that the only one who truly loves me the way I am, besides my husband, is the One that created me. For that reason, I am content. You are so far ahead of the game, Sissy. And this post so eloquently illustrates that. You are a masterpiece in progress my friend.

Lula! said...

Beautiful post...truly. Gonna print it out & put it in my prayer journal. I love, love, love when God uses other ladies to convict me in an area of my life that I'm struggling with. It's also comforting to know someone else feels similarly.

I don't wanna be all things to all people...but I do wanna be all Jesus, all the time. I fall miserably short. And that's OK. My most favorite verse in the world is the one on my blog--Psalm 139:1...the Lord KNOWS me. And still loves me. I'm so glad for this.

The Roost'er said...

HA! {laughing at myself, here}

I actually have stopped reading blogs before that get a little too comment-y. Is that like antipopularity-y-ish or something?

I once told my husband that "I read Pioneer Woman before she got big." Last week I commented (literally #3,XXX - something) to try to win a gift card to Scott Kelby.

Anywho. I'm laughing because I'm a big goofball. And I totally need to remember that He loves me. I also pray every day that He would give my kids amnesia. And that He would plant thoughts in their heads that I was always a good mama, instead of the reality of it. But I digress.

Love you, though. And your blog. And I promise that when you are a hugely famous blogger-girl, I will continue to come back to read your stories and see your craftiness. Even without freebies *wink*.


Jennifer P. said...

Christ gave us certain people in our life to make it a little easier--a little more blessed. And since I've lost a great deal of those people--grandparents, parents, and now my spouse---I realize that everything is still alright because HE is never going to leave me. And he'll always love me--even when I'm stupid or careless or eat too much ice cream.

And it's been a slow blogging week all around. Put your island project back up on top and I know it will get more comments! You really did do a fantastic job--and that's coming from a professional :)!

Kori said...

Awesome post. Love the honesty and and reality of it.