I accidentally stumbled upon some blog posts yesterday talking about our human insecurities.
You know–all our perhaps hidden, obscure, painful parts of ourselves that we’ve sometimes pushed away. Tried to heal. Sometimes repressed. Pasted over with positive thinking. Explored endlessly.
We all may use different techniques in dealing with insecurities. The emotions of shame, guilt, anger, sadness, rue, grief, despair often accompany those places in us where we’re shaky and confused and maybe even blame or judge ourselves for being less than we want to be.
I think many of us recognize that we fall short in certain areas. We could do better. We know in our heart of hearts that our actions don’t line up with our deepest ideals. We want to be loving, kind, compassionate in certain situations–yet we react with less-than-stellar emotions or responses.
Don’t you think we all do this? It’s the crux of being human. Most of us want to operate with love and tenderness. Yet we–or should I say “I”–seemingly fail at this on a regular basis. Daily.
Sometimes my actions look sweet and loving on the outside, but inner voices snarl and condemn. Sometimes I long to eat healthy–and end up rummaging in the refrigerator looking for sweets to pacify a charged-up nervous system. The Holy seems to point to the stars, yet my response involves wriggling in mud. The head says one thing: the hands and feet do elsewise.
A blogger suggested to me yesterday: I hope you heal from your insecurities.
Hmmmm. That caused a pause.
Do I want to “heal” from my insecurities?
After a lifetime of spiritual seeking and finding, of looking and losing, of peering and discovering, of watching some insecurities fall away and others strengthen at times–this is what I want.
I want to accompany my insecurities from here to the deathbed. To allow them to exist until age 64 or 95, whenever the last breath happens. To meet them with awareness, compassion, and welcome. Maybe not to *like* them, maybe not to even be happy that they exist.
But to invite the insecurities to the table for tea in china cups. Here, my sweets, my wounded ones, my little cry-babies: want some lemon? You vulnerable despairing ones: a slice of ginger? Green tea or Egyptian Licorice?
There is a part of me that says: NO. No cry-babies at the table. Let’s heal ’em all. Make ’em disappear for good. You know that baby still upset about how the teacher yelled at her for stomping in a mud puddle in second grade? Get Over It. Heal. Be gone.
But that’s not really what I want. I want to hold that inner cry-baby for the rest of my life. To quit pushing her away because she’s so darn vulnerable. So weak. So broken.
If and when healing happens–how wonderful. If and when I’m directed to act in a manner that lines up with idealism–what grace.
But if it doesn’t happen–may loving embrace the insecurities. May kindness hug them. May that be the balm that soothes the baby’s cries.
As Leonard Cohen sings in Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I am writing this post because I want to remember this in times of insecurity and confusion. To remember the precious vulnerability and brokenness shining forth from the spirits of some of my dearest friends, and how this heart melts because the light shines through and permeates their cracks. I want to remember patience and kindness toward myself. Because when that happens–it’s so much easier to feel love toward the entire broken and beautiful world.