Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Something Didn't Happen" (Pt. 2 on Insecurity)

The first fodder was about insecurities we all have that arise from situations and people that HAPPEN in our lives. The curious exchange of brokenness to brokenness often results in...well...more brokenness.

I promised a second story. A second angle. A second truth.

"I've always done well in school. But I've never known I was smart. I would bring home straight A's and the 'rents would say, 'Congratulations! See what hard work gets you?' That was how I thought of it. Whether I was smart or not didn't matter if I worked hard enough. I've always wanted the best. So I just worked for straight A's. Through high school. Through Morehouse. Through every honor society that exists. I struggled early at University of Chicago. Hard work wasn't equating to retention of knowledge. I was getting juicy A's but couldn't remember anything I had studied. Others in my cohort seemed more adept and agile with their reasoning and critical thought. They had read and remembered more. Had something happened, or was I NOT SMART ENOUGH? This is what I thought. I reflected through my education, everything, and it became clear: I've never thought of myself as smart anyway! In my mind I've never been the brightest bulb, just the hardest worker. So now that it had come time to display confidence in one's own thought (which a master's requires) I realized that I had NONE. What happened?

Nothing happened. No one told me to have such confidence. No one told me I was smart, not in any way I can remember. No one reinforced anything in me. They simply pushed me to work harder. It was no fault of their own (who knows to do this?), but I had lived my whole life with little confidence and great INSECURITY about my ability to think."

What happened? Nothing. And I have no one to blame. It simply came about that when it came time to tap into my confidence, I had no reservoir. It may do our society a bit of good to encourage and uplift one another every once in a while. Not to congratulate for something that has been done, but to acknowledge something that simply EXISTS.

How often do we thank God for something done? All the time.

How often do we come into prayer simply and ONLY to acknowledge God as being...GOD? Rarely. Regardless of our faith, we usually approach God only to thank it for the past, present, and ask for a better future. But I digress, for God is not insecure. This would make God ungodly.

Security is about BEING, not Circumstance. Security is not about what you have done but who you have become. WHAT YOU ARE deserves mentioning. I have been fretting about my thesis lately, because frankly, I don't think I'm smart enough to pull this off. Seriously. Blessed with great self-awareness does not always mean you'll be right about what you come up with. My advisor told me this plainly a few weeks ago: "For some reason you've decided you're not smart. That's not true. You're very bright and you're going to easily pull this off, if you can GET OVER YOURSELF first."

Get over yourself. My favorite phrase in life, and this woman conjured it up without knowing, so that I could get over myself.

It wasn't about something that happen, but something that didn't happen. A neglect, not to recognize what has happened, but to recognize what exists ontologically (as a matter of fact), though it has not happened yet.

Many of us are insecure not because something has happened, but because nothing happened. We need to take time in the busy HAPPENINGS of life to acknowledge what God has made plainly in us. We are fearful and wonderful. Unique and beautiful. Great without great things. Excellent without any proof. You are the proof of God's excellence. You are excellent because you ARE.

Many of us need to get over what hasn't happened, and find beauty in ourselves, even though no one told us. Find confidence in ourselves without lying to ourselves about who we are (ahem, plastic surgery, cheating on tests, shopping waaaay too much). Make peace with what we have no control over. You're smart. You're handsome. *In Pharrell's voice* "You're Bad Girl." Some things about you aren't perfect. Nothing is. Embrace it. Fix what you can. Love what God has made, lest you insult God's supreme intelligence.

Many of us need to start encouraging our friends more. We are all struggling, and in uncovering our own selves from this great HAPPENING called Life, we need to remind our closest loved ones that there are beautiful things inside of them too. I have great artists around me who need to know they are geniuses, not because of any of their work. Some woman around you needs to know she is beautiful, not because she is wearing something that inspires the comment. Moreover, some man needs to know that, sure, you've put on a few lbs, or let go of yourself in some other way, but you're STRONG enough to conquer it and YOU are here to see them through it.

If they want to go on with being insecure after that, that's THEIR problem. Some people just like to feel sorry for themselves, (and you should feel sorry for them). At least now they can't say NOTHING happened.


Blogger Grant said...

Thanks for this one sir...spoke to me!

December 29, 2009 3:58 PM  
Blogger Verdell said...

WOW! you went in on this sir! needed to hear (read) that!

January 4, 2010 5:28 PM  

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