I was a liar because I was a people pleaser.
I was jealous because I never thought that I was good enough.
I was insecure because I based my self-worth on the wrong things.
I had abandonment issues because my father was never in my life, and every other man seemed to live each moment just to disappoint me.
I had low self-esteem because I never felt pretty enough, and I was sexually abused. I thought that was what I was for- everyone else’s pleasure.
I was afraid of God because I thought that His love was conditional like everyone else’s.
And my eyes tear up because I write these things NOW about where I was THEN, and I realize that I came a long way from the mistakes that I made and the damage I did to myself and others simply because I was damaged.
And I hid behind religion….and I hid behind perfectionism….and I hid behind ministry and brokenness and people’s accolades and degrees and every sense of accomplishment that I could in order NOT TO FACE WHAT WAS UGLY. What was UGLY was inside me. God forbid that I would admit to being broken, hurt, jealous, mean, angry, unforgiving or sexually promiscuous in a world where those things were “no no’s” in the church. God forbid that I would let those things keep me from being a leader in a place where no one wanted to hear about your hurt; they only wanted you to “fix” other people’s. How I had gotten confused about the concept that God was the person who I could tell everything about everything so that He could help me through anything was a mystery to me. Maybe I had it wrong. Maybe I did have to pretend to have it “all together” so that God would accept me….so that people would accept me….so that I could accept me.
Until the bottom fell out. You know- you hear people say, “She hit rock bottom”, but literally there was not bottom to hit. Mine fell out. I only had me left, and either I was going to face the ugly or be consumed by it. Two choices. One scared woman. I had never been forced to make that decision- face it or be defeated by it. There inside of me was a very still voice that let me know that it was OK to face it. It was OK to say all the those things that other people told me that I could not give a voice to- fear, insecurity, jealousy, hatred. For so long I had lived the lie that only “good” things should come from my mouth to God’s ears. It had to be pure. Whatever I said to Him had to be pure. It had to be because He only wanted to hear “good” things. For years I hid the “bad” things. I felt like an animal going to the bathroom then ashamedly covering the waste that had uncontrollably leaked from his body. I buried them. I hid them. I lied about them. I suppressed them. I denied them- hurts, disappointments, open wounds of defeat and shame. I did not want God to see what I knew He could already see, but who was I fooling? NO ONE.
I want to say this to you in the simplest and most loving way possible. It is impossible to CONQUER what you will not CONFRONT. It was not until I was brutally and totally honest with myself that I could be totally TRANSPARENT with God. Some days I cried because of the things that I discovered about myself. It hurt me to acknowledge some of the feelings and horrible habits that I had accumulated over years of hurt and deception. I had to withstand the sorrow of sitting in the realization of who I was. I was horrified and afraid at the work that would be necessary for me to do in order to move from the person I was to the person God called me to be. I began to go back in the chronicles of my mind wondering how long I had been this way and how many of my bad decisions were a result of the person I was. All I could do some days was ask for God’s help OUT of the ways that I had been thinking and living because I did not know WHO I WAS or HOW I HAD GOTTEN THERE. Years of living the life of a false self, a self that refused to sit still long enough to let the silence reveal things to me that I could never hear over the noise of “life”, made it extremely uncomfortable to face the REAL me. I would have run away had I not been smart enough to know that everywhere I went, there I would be.
So what am I saying? There is a better version of you that is longing to emerge. The world needs it. Your family needs it. Your friends and coworkers need it.
It will not emerge if you are not honest about who you are NOW. Your NEXT is determined by how you deal with your NOW. If you cannot be honest about who you are NOW, you will never be able to get to the NEXT level of the greater person you are called to be. It was not until I admitted the ugly parts of me and sought help- both spiritually and psychologically- that I saw how I could grow into a better version of myself. I had to be honest. I had to be patient. I had to be willing to LOOK inwardly then LEAP into the process of change not knowing fully what it would look like but knowing that it would be worth it. If I did not put the work in, it would not get done. I did not want to risk my destiny and a life of fulfillment because I was not willing to, as Iyanla Vanzant says, DO THE WORK.
Are you willing to do the work? Are you ready to be open and honest with yourself about yourself? This is one thing I know, we should be constantly working to be the best version of ourselves. We should be in constant evolution- evolving, growing, learning and loving OURSELVES. After all, you are the best and most valuable project that you will ever work on. You are worth every ounce of work that you invest in YOU, and the work starts with being honest enough to face everything- even the ugly things. Join me in the journey of self-discovery and growth. It is indeed a beautiful one.