That insecure self will follow you
As I was reflecting on the importance of digging deep into one's self and getting to know your own strengths, weaknesses, fears, and hopes, I read Hannah Brencher's post this morning (“Make Me Come Undone”). It spoke so perfectly to this topic, I simply had to share.
Hannah is one of the most talented and passionate young voices in today's online world, and she speaks in this post about a recent move from one part of the country to another. But for her, it was far more than a change of geographic location. It became a metaphor for life and her desire to get away from her insecure self, only to find that “other self” had followed her and found her.
But we can take away that “other person's” power over us
I hope you'll read Hannah's whole post, but here's the part that jumped out for me today:
I've wanted to pretend that with enough miles and enough distance and enough distractions, I'd never have to face the girl inside of me who is weaker than I'd prefer she'd be. I thought I had fully abandoned that girl in the process of book-writing. I thought I'd said goodbye and meant it. But it’s like she showed up at my door, after a few months of being gone, and she knocked until I came to let her in.
And it’s like she stood before me, in the doorway of my new home, looking like a hungry traveler and waiting for me to pay attention long enough to hear her say, “One-way tickets don't always work. You can't just send me away. You have to learn to live with me and you have to learn to understand me. And if you could just understand me then you could very easily undo me. And that’s the only way to let me go for good— make me come undone. Undo me and unravel me and get to the root of me. Face me fully and I'll lose all my power. Face me fully and I'll turn and not look back for you.”
If I'm honest there are parts of myself I don't like at all. I make poor eating choices, so I dislike my body and hate to look in mirrors, look at pictures of myself, or wear anything the least bit skimpy. I hate the bitchy me who comes out of hiding when I get really tired or really stressed. And to those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing those moments, just be thankful. I have a thing about making phone calls — I'd rather communicate almost any other way than by picking up the phone (I don't mind getting calls, I just don't like making them—go figure). These things are insignificant and not what I want you to focus on. My only point is I have these “other selves” I don't like and you do too. So what do we do about it?
Experts such as social researchers and authors Martha Beck and Brené Brown would agree with Hannah's conclusion: we don't deal with these insecurities with denial or judgment but with recognition and love. Yes, love for those flawed, imperfect parts of ourselves. That love and acknowledgement is what takes away their power over us.
I know this and believe this, but I'm a far cry from accomplishing it. What strategies or mindsets have helped you acknowledge and love those less than perfect parts of yourself you'd just as soon leave behind?