I have struggled with self consciousness for as long as I can remember. Research says the majority of women can relate, but I still feel the need to say it. It’s gotten better with intentional time, prayer, and effort, but it lingers. It was especially bad in the waning teenage years.
When I was still two years short of leaving my teens, I sat across from a mentor. He had asked me a question about accepting people’s love (or something like that), but my anxiety drowned him out. He repeated my name, and pushed a tape dispenser towards me on the desk between us.
“What is this?” he asked. I told him.
“How can this tape dispenser stop being a tape dispenser?”
I glared at him. I didn’t know the answer. A miracle? Sheer willpower? A redefined purpose? Creativity? Earnestness? My mind went on until he spoke:
“It can’t. A tape dispenser cannot stop being a tape dispenser. It’s a tape dispenser.”
I found his answer disappointingly dull. We had been talking about my self consciousness and this was not helping. He didn’t care. He continued.
“Callie, you cannot stop being Callie. You can grow, shift, change, but you cannot stop being yourself. You cannot hide forever. You are afraid that we will see you and not like you. But we already love you. We just want your permission to love all of Callie.”
I’m reminded of his words today because I feel insufficient. I want to write, to bless, to encourage, and to share pieces of my heart to heal others. But what the blazes do I know? Do I know how many blogs exist? How many books have been written? Who is to say I have anything worthy to take up pressed trees or ink, electronic or otherwise? How should I bend and twist to achieve readership? What platform should I champion? Which niche is marketable?
When I focus on these things, the passion dies. I don’t want to write to be famous. I don’t want to want to write to be famous. I want to write to bless. I want to be read by aching hearts who will be bettered by fumbling words. I want to be a tape dispenser, using all of my energies to stay put where I am most useful, be stretched thin until breaking that I may put a piece of this harsh world back together. I want to be myself.
This “want” is better named “accept.” Jesus has made you and I only ourselves, and only ourselves we can be. We are the unique handiwork of God’s own molding, crafted for good works, that God already planned out (Ephesians 2:10, Callie version).
I’m just a worried sapling, always growing even when I’m concerned that I’m not. I’m glad you’re here, reader. Let’s learn together, yea?