"Do I like myself?"
It's almost like this question is too awkward to ask or look at. It's uncomfortable to sit with and if I'm being honest I had never really taken the time to ask myself this simple question until last year.
Maybe, it seemed too obvious.. so I neglected the question. Like of course I like myself, why wouldn't I? But the truth is, I had always tip toed around this question.. too afraid to look it in the eyes.
Back in November, I had a really profound conversation at a coffee shop with a woman that was in her mid 30s. She spoke to me so clearly. It was almost as if she knew what was going on in my life and I had known her for years. For a minute it kind of startled me. I felt so seen by a stranger. It left me processing that interaction the entire evening. How radical was it that a stranger spoke truth into me? One of the things she had said to me was, "I feel like you know your identity in the Lord, but there is something that is holding you back and making you clench your fists." She went on to talk about releasing my fists and opening my arms. She referred back to my energy and reminded me I had the power to take off with that energy. She spoke with me some more, shared her wisdom, prayed with me and left. I haven't seen her since and I'm not sure if I'll ever see her again, but I'm so glad she turned around and did not hesitate to start talking to me. I think about how uncomfortable that is, which makes it that much more special to have conversations with a stranger in passing.
I knew from that conversation my clenched fists were not serving me. Maybe, they were "protecting" me, but it was false security. It was a box stuffed away in a corner just inching to get out.
For years of my life I've been involved in the church, actually my entire life now that I think about it. In that time I've gone around telling my friends and community they're seen, they're loved, and they're cared for and vise versa. I feel like if you grow up in any church community it's something you've heard and spoken, but have you actually believed it?
I think about the number of times I was so difficult on myself, just little by little tearing down the interior and no one really knew, not even myself. Most of me was just in denial, or maybe just on auto-pilot going through the motions, but not getting a real chance to know myself.
I can't be summed down to one single identity, characteristic or personality trait. I can be challenging, kind, curious, constantly thinking with a dry sense of humor. I come with insecurities, pain, disappointment, failures and all of that jazz. Did I ever like her or did I just not take the time to get to really know her?
It's like you can be so rooted in knowing you're loved, but can you like yourself?
There have been so many opportunities for me to sit with myself and get to know the girl without the masks and I think she's strong, silly and a fighter. She's not full of confidence every hour of everyday and she's not one for facades. She wants to get to know her joys and she's worthy of love, a deep love.
& this also applies to you.
Let's learn to be gentle and just laugh at ourselves again. What do you say?
Let's go and learn to like ourselves in freedom.