I remember the days when I didn’t know how to be alone. Being alone meant being left to my thoughts and many of those thoughts included insecurities, anxieties, doubts- just plain defeat. At all costs I avoided facing the battlefield of repressed hurts I wouldn’t allow myself to feel and past experiences that shaped me in ways I should have never been shaped. These were bones I did not want to dig up because I didn’t know how far down the rabbit hole they would take me- or if I’d find my way back once I went down that road. There was just too much weight in the depths of my soul to unearth. So I repressed and repressed and repressed and before long I didn’t know how to face myself.
Little did I know that in not facing myself I was neglecting the wonderful experience of fully knowing myself– and once I got to know myself fully, I found a special love for the woman God created me to be. Now let’s back up because this didn’t happen overnight. No way. There was a wrecking that took place for months. Through literal dreams and personal revelations there was a season God took me through back to the root experiences in my life. These experiences subconsciously worked belief systems into my way of thinking about myself and the world around me- beliefs that fought against every beautiful truth about my identity. Thoughts that said I was incapable of being loved. Thoughts that said nothing I did was enough. Thoughts that said it was only so long before my hopes failed me.
So many of us have been a prisoner to ourselves. We have no peace about ourselves and because of that we can’t be alone and enjoy it. Instead of bringing peace, solitude, fulfillment and restoration, being alone equals isolation, anxiety, depression and every other insecurity sister to it. So we might have to do some digging. We might need someone else we trust to dig with us; but either way, at some point, it has to happen because our lives depend on it.
We have to challenge every lie that shaped the way we saw ourselves when we were hurt, neglected, rejected and abandoned. For each lie we must replace it with the truth.
I am lovable.
I was wonderfully created.
I have unique gifts to give to the world.
I might be a work in progress but I am enough.
Whatever your lie is, redefine it.
I began to discover more and more of who I was; and what better time to do this than in your twenties. What I liked and what I didn’t like. What I was good at and not so good at. What I was passionate about. What experiences brought me the most joy. The types of people to surround myself with. The environments and cultures I liked to be in- subtle beauties like cafe’s, art, and nature. As weird as it may sound it’s pretty much like courting yourself. If no one else treats you the way you ought to be treated, it should definitely be you.
Then I loved being alone when time allowed. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and fellowship is just as important. Yet I love how my mind imagines, discovers and creates when I’m journaling and adrift in my world. I love discovering the strength of my own inner voice and the things that matter most in my heart. I love the spiritual growth that takes place when it’s me and God- that part of my growth that only God and myself can face and journey through. There’s so much fulfillment that has come out of this vital part of my life- the part that says, I – alone- am whole and not lacking.
However, demons never go away. More importantly, how can we be in ministry and authentically help others face their demons when we’re not facing our own? It would be unrealistic of me to paint a perfect picture. Thoughts will always try to rise up and steal your joy or knock you off of the identity you know; but the good news is that once you’ve already faced those demons it’s a winning battle. But the first step is facing them. So many of us don’t have peace with our solitude because we don’t have peace with ourselves- with who we are. This can change, but you have to be willing to embark on the journey that is self-discovery; the good, the bad and the ugly. It may wreck you but it can also restore you. You must be brave enough to picture the other side and realize this wholeness does belong to you.
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