Growing up, I always struggled with who I was. Part of it was having a Narcissist as a mother, but that’s not what I am talking about here. I’m talking about that deep gnawing in you that tells you how you’re not good enough. As children, our parents help shape us, but as we grow into teenagers and try to figure out who we are, we go through stages of awkwardness and insecurity and frustration. We see somebody in school that we think is pretty cool, and we try to be like that person. We change who we are over and over until we get to the place where we are confident enough to be ourself. Sometimes that confidence comes quickly, sometimes it can take years or even decades to achieve.
Honestly, I was in my 30s before I began to figure out who I was. That was due to escaping from the grip of the narcissistic mother, but still, even though my confidence was delayed, I still finally reached it. It’s not something that comes overnight. It took time and being honest about how I saw myself and how others saw me. Now, I can look back and see the process I went through and how long it took.
What I’m concerned about now is how one’s confidence seems to bring out such insecurity in others. Just because somebody has reached a level of confidence, does not mean they are done learning and growing. It only means they have reached a level of comfort in knowing who they are. I think this is what many teenagers struggled with then and continue to struggle with today. Some young people find their confidence early and it brings out the insecurities in others. Even adults struggle with the confidence they see in others. Why can’t we be excited for each other? Why is confidence so threatening to people?
Matthew 22:39 …”love your neighbor as yourself”
If we understand who we are in Christ, as Christians, we need to be confident in that. God demands that we love one another as we love ourself. If we don’t love ourself, how can we love others? We need to love ourself and if you struggle with that, figure out why. I need to love myself. You need to love yourself.
I know it may be easier to say than to do, but like everything else in this life, begin with baby steps. Wake up every day and find something about yourself that you like. Maybe you like how your eyes look. It’s okay to feel pretty or handsome. Maybe you handed the homeless man on the corner some money to help him out. When we live a Christ-like life, it’s easier to love yourself. Don’t look at loving yourself and confidence as arrogance. It’s two different things. It’s a matter of the heart.
Make today a new day. Learn to love yourself and others in a whole new way.