Thursday, August 09, 2012
The Insecurity Paradigm
It all started in the park when we were toddlers, the prettiest girl got to wear the crown while the other girls became her maiden.
The boys had no problems at all. They were all cops or soldiers and they managed to play together without thinking of who had the prettiest sun dress.
As we got older, the scenarios changed but the essence stayed the same, there could only be one belle and the rest placed second, third, fourth and so on.
Now, I'm not saying that boys don't compete, THEY DO, but most of the time they don't stand in the mirror wondering who was the "swaggiest" (had to!). They got into literal competitions like sports, science fairs (my favorite kind) or fist fighting at the back of the gym. They get to decide.
With girls, it isn't quite as simple. We primp, we starve and purse our lips in attempt to become more beautiful than we are. Because of the latest technology, we also filter and photoshop ourselves into social networking perfection.
I just wonder, however, if the likes we get on our photos or the amount of guys who tell us we're beautiful via social network actually leaves us prettier or does it make us more pressured to be beautiful in every single picture? Never mind the fact that we don't actually look that way all the time (if anyone has invented a life size instagram frame, let me know).
Personally and I could be faulted for this,I don't really spend that much time in front of the mirror and in no way am I condemning those charming girls who do because I actually admire them for wanting to look their best all the time, but that's not me.
I don't like to shop. I couldn't tell the difference between a blush and eye shadow and I really couldn't care less if I'm wearing the latest trends.
Which is safe to say, leaves a lot of room for that ugly head called insecurity to bounce up and down occasionally.
It could just be me, but with today's technology and today's style shops readily available, everyone has the chance to look like a supermodel in an instant and it makes me squirm.
For one thing with my height, I don't think I was ever born to be a walking stick. I was born to have depth (or at least that's what I tell myself) and no matter how much I starve myself, I will never be petite or chinita or *insert every single Filipino guy's type here*. I'd like to think that in the looks department, I was meant to be average.
And you know, I used to HATE IT. I've always carried this Hilary Duff moviesque philosophy that it's the inside and the wisdom you have inside that counts. That my average looks could be made up by studying hard and working really hard, also it guarantees an independent life just in case nobody looks beyond the average.
Kidding aside, I have always believed in the good of people and I have always believed that people are mature enough to look beyond the pretzel like poses on instagram or the fashionista photos on facebook.
However, it's not easy. In a visual world, the inside often gets lost in a whirlwind of photoshopped models, diet plans and people who are (pressuring?) you to drop the weight because there's no other way to live.
While I get the healthy part, I don't get why everyone thinks that being healthy meant looking like a Victoria's Secret Angel.
I also don't understand why girls pressure themselves to look like Elaine Alden when guys don't even think twice about looking like Landry Fields.
We double standard ourselves. And while it's a great think to want to be healthy for the sake of good health, I don't quite understand the point of starving, throwing up and taking dangerous pills just to be accepted.
Being rejected hurts, tell me about it and being told you are too fat to be dated by anyone crushes the spirit.
However, is this the reason why we are doing the things we are doing? To please others? if one didn't want you for who you are in the first place, why change the entirety of who you are for that person?
Constantly changing or wanting to change for another person is just setting yourself up for a life of hurt that just gets pushed away but never truly healed.
At the end of the day, insecurity roots from the fear of not being loved and not being enough.
We constantly seek for solutions on the outside: boyfriends, girl friends, shopping trips, the latest handbags, gadgets etc to fill the void. However, they never truly heal us, they are like the pretty band aids we used when we were younger, temporarily they cover up the hurt but if not taken care of, the wound seeps and stinks.
We all want to be assured that we are loved.
And you know, we are. ( John 3:16).
On most days, it is easy for me to believe that God loves me and that His love is more than enough. But when your heart is broken and aching, it's quite hard to believe a love that is so far away.
Well you should know, that God's love is not something that is just written in the pages of your Bible, it is the love that is meant to change your life. His love comes with benefits and most importantly, His love is the love that truly heals our brokenness. His love bandages, heals and His love restores us to the people that He has meant us to be.
Getting rid of insecurity first begins with accepting and believing the fact that God loves us beyond reason and that with this love comes the assurance that God has us where He wants us to be. Insecurity often roots also from the sense that what we have isn't enough. Whenever we think this way, it also means that we are not content with what God knows is best for us (taken from the book Unstuff, Di Marcos).
If we truly free ourselves from wanting what may not be for us, we are freed from the pressure of being someone we're not.
And also, by trusting and surrendering everything to God, we relinquish the control and control, though sometimes extremely tempting is actually very tiring, so once control is relinquished we feel secured in knowing that someone smarter than us is taking care of us and we don't have to carry the weight alone.
It's like falling asleep on a comfortable pillow, knowing that as we sleep, all our cares are taken care of and we don't have to worry, we are where we're supposed to be at this given moment.
And just in case you feel like you are not enough, know this, God, even before you were born, has already arranged everything in your life including relationships.
Often relationships become a source of worry because often the ones we choose to love don't love us and that leaves us wondering what's wrong with us. It may seem like a cliche but believe me when I say that God has already planned all the relationships in your life.
Some relationships are just meant to teach us a thing or two about ourselves, and not meant to be with us for a lifetime. It is a sad reality, but the sooner we accept it, the greater the chances of letting go of hurt and false expectations.
Also, you wouldn't want a relationship that God has not willed for you, because those relationships will always feel like a struggle whereas a relationship with God will always feel easy simply because it was meant for you.
Simply rest in knowing that God, your Father has planned good things for you and also, He knows how to get you to where He wants you to be in time and the good thing is, you don't have to be anyone else but who you are.
One day, someone will look at you, the real, unfiltered you and tell you, "You were the one I prayed for, no more, no less," and you will be glad that you did not transform into someone you were not created to be.
It may hurt now, but believe that you are closer to the one day that you are praying for. You are loved for being you. So celebrate that.
Also, once you fall in love with Jesus, you will fall comfortably in the truth that His love is enough to assure you that you are enough as you are.
And one day, God will send the right people who love you even if you are not a size 0 because no matter what you believe, God does not want you to be alone on an island. He wants your life to be filled with relationships ordained by Him.
As I end this, I part with these words: you are beautiful and with this video by Jonno Rushbrook:
So go ahead and sprinkle the world with your beauty.
Stop hiding behind the facade of wanting to be someone else and stop believing the lie that you have to be someone else in order to be loved, because to begin with if God wanted you to be that someone else, He would have easily done so.
So accept who you are and revel in that as Morrie Schwartz said.
PS: Anyone who tells you that you need to drop a few pounds, dress like a certain person or be chinita to be loved, drop that person immediately-- you don't have to change, as if i haven't said it enough but i'm saying it again: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL THE WAY YOU ARE.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.