What Does It Mean To Be Truly Free?

I avoid writing this post.
I tell myself that you will think I’m ridiculous.
I convince myself that you will make assumptions and judge me.
Every time this insecurity surfaces I shove it back down in attempts to choke out its message.

Why do I invalidate those things that make me feel small.
Why do I continually dismiss my feelings?
What if someone else feels the exact same way and by my admission knows they are not alone?
Social Media sites
So, here it is…
There are times when I allow social media to determine, not only my mood, but my self worth.

As I scrolled through my “feed” this morning, I found myself becoming more and more hurt by the fact that someone I was once closer to than I am now, had not invited me to attend one of the most important days in her life.

The more pictures I saw from the event, the more upset I became.
What is wrong with me?! I thought.
I wouldn’t have been able to attend anyway.
Why is this such a big deal?

It goes back to the fact that I’m a people pleaser. I want you to like me even if I don’t like you.
I want everyone to want me to be at everything, even if I can’t be there.
I want the opportunity to decline.

I realize how this sounds, believe me.
I would understand if you stopped reading now.

However, it’s very important that I bring this hideous character defect into the light.
It’s crucial (for my own development) that I’m brutally honest with myself. Not mean. Honest. They are two different things though at times people confuse one for the other.

Here is what I’m discovering…
This all points back to my need for approval.
I’m an affirmation junkie.
The more I get, the more I want.
I become absolutely drunk on the approval of others.

And then, when I’m alone, I’m terrified that I cannot live up to my own expectations. Fear will make decisions for me if I allow it to. I will be spiritually paralyzed if I don’t act quickly and thoroughly.

The problem with this is that I want my life to glorify God. I want my spirit to reflect that of the Creator. I want to make Him known to everyone who comes in contact with me. And I’ve been in recovery long enough to know that, as long as I’m keeping a secret, I can’t do that effectively. As long as I’m hiding from a reality that affects my life and the way I interact with others, I can’t be useful. Not the way I want to be anyway. Not the way that’s relatable to others in different seasons.

So, here I am. Standing before you. Admitting weakness. Acknowledging feelings that I know will change. Emotions that I will probably not even have tomorrow. I’m feeling exposed and “found out.” because I am willingly admitting that most of the time I feel completely inadequate all while exhibiting confidence.

I may be mortified tomorrow at having posted this. But for today, I say to the woman reading this, feeling like I’m telling your story, “I understand. You’re not alone. You don’t have to be afraid. You just have to be willing to recognize the affliction (whatever it may be) and take positive actions steps forward.

4 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Be Truly Free?

  1. Joy,
    I certainly have some of the same desires. I want people to like me; to respect me, to want to be around me, and mean something to them. My soul can live for days off an unexpected compliment.
    In the end I decided that those that mean the most to me I wanted them to know who I really was and not admire someone I was not. To be honest with those I love the most can be difficult. At the end of the day I don’t think there are but a few who really know me; the good the bad and the ugly. A couple of people decided they did not like who I really was. I am willing to let someone know me if they want to but I’ve found alot of people don’t want to know the ugly. They are satisfied with a surface relationship that in the end means not much.
    To be truly known and still loved is a blessing.
    I admire your honesty and find you much more real and of great worth due to it.

  2. I love THIS, Joy. ME TOO times a million. Have you read “Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee? “Letting go of your need for approval and seeing yourself through God’s eyes.” It’s a life-changer that I’ll be revisiting annually–at least! Thank you for writing so honestly. You are a gift and a treasure, not because you write, but because you. are. His. I love you!

    • Thank you for relating Katie!
      There are times when I wish I didn’t write so honestly, but hopefully it helps someone in one way or another 🙂
      I will definitely check out “Love Idol.”
      Thanks for the recommendation.

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