I'm giving up self-doubt and shame for Lent. I am enough. I am capable.
Several days ago I posted this status to Facebook. The status reflects the focus of my fast during Lent this year. Before the Lenten season begins I must reflect and process what that status and this season really means to me.
I have been in a bit of a transition. Many things have been going well in my life that have been difficult for me to see. Yet when I pause for a second and I look at where I am today as opposed to where I was a year ago, I have to give thanks. This pause also helps me put into perspective any hardships I'm facing today, because I am confident that I can overcome anything with God's help.
With that said, I see an incredible opportunity before me. I feel like I'm at a crossroads. I can keep operating at this pace, achieving and operating with relative success, or I can invest in myself deeply and excel and reach heights that are beyond the scope of my imagination. Where I am is safe. Where I can be requires me to leave behind some things that prevent me from being whole.
Two things (well actually three) stand in the way of me developing into the woman I must be in order to continue on the path God has set before me. Self-doubt, shame and fear must be removed from my life. They are holding me back from achieving the life I am meant to live. I am hopeful that this Lenten season I am able to focus my energy on replacing these thoughts and behaviors with something more positive and productive.
First things first...I have to embrace my power and brilliance (not my intellect but rather my Light). In order to do this, I must accept myself "as is" and honor the fact that who I am (today) is exceptional and special and valuable. I have to say "thank you" to compliments and believe them when I hear them. I have to stop doubting myself and my ability to conquer any task before me. I have proven time and time again that I am a conqueror and that I am able. Self-doubt is the loose string in my garment of life, that if pulled, can unravel all that I have worked hard to obtain. Once I clip that string, I will be able to weave a tighter, more beautiful and vibrant life for myself that is reflective of the God that resides within me. Right now, my constant battle with my insecurities prevents me from living the life of abundance and joy God wants for me because I am acting like I know better than God. I'm trying to overtalk God with my messages of self-doubt, when God is telling me all along that I am able. Time to get out of my own way.
Next, I have to stop worrying. I am so afraid of everything. Afraid I will fail. Afraid I will be alone. Afraid of what people think of me. Afraid I am not good enough. Afraid I won't have children (give birth). Afraid I can't make it on my own. All of these crazy thoughts enter my mind. They are irrational. Some of the things I fear are evidently untrue. I can make it. I am lovable. God shows me love all the time. But I trick myself into believing that other people's opinions of me are more important than God's love for me and my love for myself. WTH? God is always beside me, so I'm never alone. God has also been very generous with me and has placed incredible friends and family in my life who love and accept me wholly. Everyone cannot say that. God has always provided for me all that I've ever needed. So, why I do I doubt the Creator on these things? What is this about? I have the next 40 days to really dig in and think about it. It's time to extract this fear from my life. "God is too good for us to have fear."
Finally, shame is definitely in my way. I struggle so deeply with seeing myself in a positive light. I often have confidence in parts of my life, but I feel totally "less than" in other parts of my life. I harbour so much shame for things that I've experienced or the faults that I possess, many of which are unknown or unseen by most of the folks who know me. I walk around with these invisible scars that are so prominent to me. I feel like a fraud most days because I can't see what others see in me. That's why I constantly make disparaging remarks about myself and why I can't take a compliment. I think, "If they knew this, then they couldn't think that about me." But I'm no less wonderful because of my wounds. They don't define me. But so often I feel broken and damaged inside. But no one is perfect and there are lessons I am to learn from all of these experiences. In some cases, these moments in my life that bring me shame have also inspired my work with girls and women. They have unveiled to me my passions and my path. In other cases, it's hard to see the lesson that I am to learn from these scars. But they're there nonetheless. I would much rather be rid of these scars than carry them for the rest of my life. But they're here, constantly reminding me of the shame I carry from the significant and harsh experiences in my life. I have no idea how to overcome or shift my perspective. But again, I am hoping the Lenten season provides me the space, time and support needed to move through the process of releasing the self-doubt, fear and shame from my life.
It's getting crowded in here. As long as I spend any energy on the foolishness I will not be able to attract all that I want for my life and all that God wants for me. So, for Lent, I will be giving up self-doubt, fear and shame. I am capable. I am guarded by God. And I am lovable. Ase'
What needs to change in my life if I am to live in the fullness of God?