I had a rather fascinating and very uncomfortable emotion recently I thought I would share with you. It took a while to work out that what I was feeling was in fact insecurity. The key reason for the delay in enlightenment was because insecurity has a lot to do with control and who wants to admit that to themselves? With a lot of things, if I can’t work it out for myself I ask the Holy Spirit for help (John 4:16-17). Then I go to sleep. Well actually, in this case, I asked for help in a dream which allows my subconscious to come alive and experience hidden things more easily. This is not always pleasant, so it’s a risky strategy.
I woke at two in the morning with the cat wanting to come inside from its midnight hunt. I let him in and tried to get back to sleep. The same awful emotion I could not describe was sitting in my gut like a large rock, so I did not think sleep was an option.
As I thought about “The Rock,” the word insecurity kept coming to mind. Could this feeling be insecurity? I am the last one who would describe myself as such and I know my close friends believe me to be a relaxed, confident person. So I did what I am doing quite a lot recently: I consulted Holy Google’s wide variety of dictionaries. Here was my best find:
Emotional insecurity or simply insecurity is a feeling of general unease or nervousness that may be triggered by perceiving oneself to be vulnerable or inferior in some way;or a sense of vulnerability or instability which threatens one’s self-image or ego. Insecurity is the underlying emotion that shapes our self-image and influences our behavior. And it also makes you cry and feel sick.
Eureka! My gut was displaying all the signs: Vulnerable? Check. Unstable? Present. Unease? Yup. Nervousness? Right on. Oh my goodness—I’m INSECURE! I know that may upset most people to find out, but for me it’s progress. Now I was able to get out a hammer and chisel and start to chip away at the rock. Believe me, I am no Michelangelo, but instead of actually removing this thing, I have every intention of shaping it into something. Which is why I am writing about it. The great delight about being in active recovery with other people is that you get to share your experience, strength, and hope with each other. If I am battling today with this form of anxiety, I know someone else is and by sharing it, I’m halving it, as my father used to say. There is a bit for me and a bit for you.
When I woke up the following morning, The Rock was actually gone. My situation had not changed. Uncertainty still looms large, but uncertainty is not insecurity if you are not trying to control it. In place of The Rock is an interesting and rather beautiful sculpture called Recovery.