Insecurity At Any Age

Insecurity at Any Age

At fourteen and fifteen, when you are most likely to feel insecure I didn’t. Sure I had days where I was not sure and felt small. I had my moments where you could not convince me that the world was not against me. But in general, I was pretty secure. Even at an ornery thirteen.

Today at thirty-eight when I feel I should be so sure, I’m finding myself feeling overly insecure. That’s a hard thing to type, to share, to publish. Even harder to accept.

But maybe you feel this way too?

Insecurity at Any Age

At fourteen and fifteen, when you are most likely to feel insecure I didn’t. Sure I had days where I was not sure and felt small. I had my moments where you could not convince me that the world was not against me. But in general, I was pretty secure. Even at an ornery thirteen.

Today at thirty-eight when I feel I should be so sure, I’m finding myself feeling overly insecure. That’s a hard thing to type, to share, to publish. Even harder to accept.

But maybe you feel this way too?

There can be insecurity at any age.

Last week I wanted something new to wear. The something turned out to be shoes. Gorgeous nude colored leather mules with a just-right-height. I wanted a little more confidence. To feel a little more sure. I wanted to walk a little taller. And well, if the shoe fits wear it. I debated whether I should order, mostly because they were pretty pricey. But I had made a little extra money on a job and convinced myself that I deserved them. With buyers remorse, I was hoping they didn’t fit. That I might hate them.

Between the two afternoons of ordering and overnight shipping, I heard a whisper, “Return the shoes.” It was that loud kind of whisper that you try to convince yourself is just yourself. Your inner chatter that never shuts up. But it was more than that.

The shoes came the next day as promised by Nordstrom. I unpacked them, just to confirm that they didn’t fit and that I didn’t like them, anyways. But … I loved them (and I don’t often love shoes).  They fit like a glove and felt like butter. They looked so pretty. I, even, found I could justify the price because the quality was so good and I knew I would wear them every day. We’d be a real pair. But I couldn’t quiet the whisper. So after trying them on with a few outfits, because maybe then I might not like them (nope- only loved them more), I packed them up and shipped them back to Nordstrom.

It turns out, it wasn’t the price I wanted to pay to feel better about myself. And the whisper is not something I want to quiet. As much as I want to be more sure of myself, I want, even more, to be sure of the whisper that knows the way; that is The Way.

I know, of course, that while the shoes would have made me feel good for short time there is no “thing” that can make a person feel secure, in the long run.

So I’m doing some soul work this week, because of a pair of shoes.

Why am I feeling so insecure?

Why did I used to feel secure?

These past five years I’ve had to deal with situations that are out of my control, but deeply affect me. It kind of opened up pandora’s box in my life. It’s as if a mirror is always before me, and A Light shining on places I didn’t even know were dark. My world shifted and so did my soul. It was my choice to turn from the mirror, to run from The Light, or to embrace them and to let them reveal what is in me.  The good. The bad. The truth and the lies that I chose to believe somewhere along the way.

It’s interesting because I look back and wonder how I made it through my teenage years, the ones that scarred some for a lifetime, pretty unscathed and feeling secure. In letting The Light shine in my past, I’m certain it was because I felt a strong sense of belonging. I had two places I called home, my actual home and my church. I belonged and I had people I felt I belonged to.

I just read this very interesting study on girls and self-esteem by the Dove and it found that:

• 67% of girls ages 13 – 17 turn to their mother as a resource when feeling badly about themselves compared to 91% of girls ages 8 – 12

• Only 27% of girls ages 13 – 17 will turn to their father for help when feeling badly about themselves compared to the 54% of girls ages 8-12. (At 16, girls become more likely to seek support from male peers than from their own dads)

While my relationships were far from perfect and rocky during my thirteen – seventeen I still knew I had a place and I had people that had my back.  At home.  At church.

What I’m finding now is that the need for a place, people, and belonging never goes away. We need it just as much at thirteen as we do at thirty-eight. Only now the mirror and the light and the whisper and The Way have revealed that no people or place can fill the deepest part of our belonging beating hearts.  When we feel unsure of our place (literally and theoretically) we feel insecure.

I feel insecure when I take a risk and put myself out there.

I feel insecure when I’m unsure if someone has my back.

I feel insecure when life is uncertain.

I feel insecure when I compare myself to others.

I feel insecure when I don’t feel noticed.

I feel insecure when I haven’t reached the said, and even un-said goals, I’ve made for myself.

I feel insecure when I believe that I should be doing more.

I feel secure when I believe I am not good enough.  Not good “enough” as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and in the work that I do.

If the shoe fits wear it. But this insecurity shoe doesn’t fit. It’s ill-fitting for me and for you. We were not meant to wear this pair.

So we return them.

We listen to the whisper that is The Way that tells us our belonging is found in being loved by a Heavenly Father who wants us, at every age, to turn to him when we are feeling badly about ourselves.

A Father  . . .

who encourages us to take risks

who has our back

who is certain about our future

who never compares us with another but is pleased with our uniqueness

who notices us in such detail that He keeps track of how many hairs we have on our head

who has plans and direction for our lives

who is more interested in what we He did for us than what we do for Him

who is enough

Listen to the whisper that is the Way and trade any lies you’ve picked up along the way from thirteen to thirty-eight to sixty-two and trade it for the truth.

I’m walking a little taller this week, without the just-right-height shoes.

I hope these words shine The Light in some dark places and help you to walk a little taller this week, too.

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Responses

  • Gia
    Commented on April 28th, 2016 at 1:15pm

    Hey, nice message. Thanks for sharing. I am doing the 30 day challenge of looking in the mirror (or video on my phone) and telling myself “I love you”. I think oprah started it. I started yesterday and was floored by the emotions that came up.

  • Trina
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 10:42am

    Thank you. What a great challenge. I can imagine that would bring up a lot of emotions. We are so hard on ourselves! xo .t

  • dawn
    Commented on April 28th, 2016 at 8:30pm

    do you know the tenth avenue north song ‘worn’ ? i felt that song was my life for about two years … and i would cling to the words ‘heaven come and flood my eyes’ … that light is the only thing that can keep you going … i am so glad to be passed that time … but everytime i hear that song i feel what i felt then and am amazed at how faithful our Heavenly Father is … love to you trina x

  • Trina
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 10:41am

    I don’t know that song… but I know how certain songs remind of you certain times … how you made it through and of God’s great faithfulness. It’s good to remember. Thanks for sharing… love to you! xo

  • Justine
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 9:23am

    Thank you for a message I needed to read.

  • Trina
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 10:39am

    Thanks for reading! xo . t

  • Aleah
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 1:25pm

    The openness, authenticity, and honesty in this post is so inspiring. Thanks for this post today <3

  • Trina
    Commented on April 29th, 2016 at 1:40pm

    Thank you, Aleah! xo .t

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    Commented on April 30th, 2016 at 2:02pm

    Thank you. It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and things. This is a lovely reminder of God’s care for us.

  • Trina
    Commented on May 2nd, 2016 at 10:10am

    Thank you! xo . t

  • Cynthia
    Commented on May 3rd, 2016 at 11:17am

    I just finished reading Carly Simon’s memoir, Boys in the Trees. It was very interesting and surprising that this accomplished singer-songwriter-superstar has suffered from anxiety and feeling less-than most of her life. I think you’d appreciate the read.

  • Trina
    Commented on May 3rd, 2016 at 3:44pm

    Thank you so much for the recommendation. xo . t

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