Before I even got there I was feeling intimidated. I was meeting with a friend who has an amazing social media presence and since I can barely figure out how to post and I feel thoroughly self-conscious and inadequate when I do, I figured she might be able to help a girl out.
It started off casual, just going through my questions about social media. Gradually, my inadequacies in the social media realm took a subtle and then violent turn as I spewed, laid bare and splattered a plethora of insecurities, fears, and worries I had about writing and posting and day-to-day living. It was like someone pulled the plug on all that had been stewing inside me and now it was flowing freely; gushing actually.
My friend listened patiently, but after awhile I noticed that her eyes were growing wider and wider and her brows were raised in a combination of shock and information overload. Finally, she put her hand up and said, “I think you need to stop for a minute”.
What happened next was a type of miracle. In a way that no one has ever dared to do, she gently yet forcefully scared me straight! It went on for at least an hour. I lost track of time because I was stunned but also acutely internalizing every word.
With unconditional love, sincerity and I’m not gonna lie, a bit of terrifying passion, she said something like this:
“Heather. Where are you? Who are you? You have overcome Leukemia and the family disease of addiction. You have survived betrayal of friends and started a new career and ended a 20 yr. ministry with no small bit of emotional extraction. You have written a book (which by the way is about how we are all broken, yet together can live in hope and transformation) and are currently writing a second one.
“Yet everything coming out of your mouth, at full-speed, suggests that you have allowed insecurity, codependency, doubt, comparison, and your Ego to do a number on your thinking. You are getting in your own way. Being self-conscious of how you sound and look and are perceived on social media has immobilized you and stalled your message.
“There are people out there who need to hear that they are not alone in their struggles and you are withholding hope as a result of your fears. It’s clear what you really need is a few days alone to get to the bottom of this; reorient your mind and ponder what/Who is driving your life.” (In other words: Stop. Get help, Stat!)
Well. Needless to say, I heard her loud and clear. It was obvious to both of us that I had been listening to some lies and had turned them in to truths to live by.
The rest of the day my mind felt sore form the beat down–in a good way, like after you have maxed out your muscles in an intense workout. I knew her words were true. I had been waiting for someone to bust me on my crazy thinking. I was exposed.
I got home and went to my couch, not to cry or pout, but to “consider” all we had covered. I remembered a book I bought at Christmas but hadn’t made any effort to read, surprisingly. It’s called “Winning the War in Your Mind” by Craig Groeschel. I read and read until I got to the chapter on “Old Lies. New Truth.” For once, I actually did the suggested exercises that I would normally breeze over.
I wrote out the lies I have been believing and after much effort and praying and reading, I addressed the truth. My plan today was to talk through the first lie with you. But now that I am 570 words into this confession, I think I will unpack each of them a blog at a time. My brain is already hurting and I bet yours is too. So, I will just list the lies and we can meet back here and walk through each one and the solution. The Truth. The Remedy.
And maybe, just maybe, you might be able to learn from me and prevent your own beautiful beat down.
So, mark your calendars to filet the following lies: (in no particular order)
- I’ll be happy/serene when…
- I am not enough (my list was: not pretty, disciplined, kind, focused, thin, cool, wise, eloquent, fun, confident, godly, smart, interesting, pure, successful, “techy” enough.
- Multi-tasking (read: living in two or more places/realities at once) is the productive and responsible way to live
- What other people think of me is crucial (good or bad)
- Other people’s success is a threat to mine (especially in areas that I wish to be successful)
- If I am not “as good as” someone else I am inadequate
- I am the only one who believes such things about myself
So there you have it in a nutshell. Clearly, there is work, prayer, and surrender that needs to be done. Feel free to join me in doing so, or at least tune in to watch the series. 😉