Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hide and Seek

"I hide because I don't want to be exposed in my fallenness, my darkness. I hide because I'm afraid if the truth about me is known, I will never be loved. I hide from other people. I hide from God. I hide from truth - in a sense, I hide even from myself." John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

I used to be a hider. Not one of those people who hid behind a fake facade. I have to say - I've never been able to be fake or been able to pretend to be someone that I'm not. But I've hidden behind extreme lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

I still hide behind those barriers sometimes. I still retreat to the quiet, seemingly bitchy place when I'm uncomfortable or feel threatened in any way. I'm beginning to recognize it and I'm beginning to understand that being an introvert does not = being shy, quiet, withdrawn, judgemental, uncomfortable. That is my Imposter. My self-conscious, low self-esteem Imposter. My barrier. My wall of defense.

It was an incredible epiphany for me to realize that.

What do I hide from? Why do I hide?

A few years ago we read a book in our small group called Waking The Dead by John Eldridge. He observed that each and every person in this world is wounded. We all have wounds. Its time for us to recognize our wounds, deal with them and move on. We need the Ultimate Healer to help us deal with them. First, we have to recognize them, acknowledge them and desire to move on.

While I was reading this I thought I was pretty well put together. I mean I have my issues and my weirdities;) like everyone else. But I don't have deep issues that I won't recognize. I haven't had anything major happen in my life that has been a huge negative influencing factor in who I've become. I've got it goin' on.

Wait. Huh. I'm a jerk. Really, seriously... do I honestly believe that I am the ONLY person in this world without wounds?

Got me thinking. Reaching back. Trying to see past myself to find out what my wounds are.

Its pretty obvious after I thought about it long enough. Go back to my grade school diary and its all there - maybe not spelled out exactly, but its there if you read between the lines.

And its still here. And its what I hide from: my feeling that I've never been chosen. At least never been chosen first, or before someone else, or in place of someone else. Maybe I've been settled upon as a last resort... if so and so can't play, or if so and so can't go with me then I'll ask Jana.

Is it truth? Probably not - there really is no way for me to know. But it is part of MY truth. Not the not being chosen thing, but the FEELING like I've never been chosen. To be honest, Cornbread didn't CHOOSE me - we just started hanging out and it eventually turned into more than that. He didn't pursue me or even woo me. We clicked and it was.

And thats what I'm hiding from in uncomfortable situations. The feeling like the people in the situation will not choose me. They won't choose to talk to me. They won't choose to sit by me. They won't choose to be partners with me. They won't choose me. So I hide behind being quiet and unapproachable. When in reality I am a pretty friendly, interested and outgoing person. Yet I hide.

I've been in the process of shutting down my Imposter. It takes work. And it takes thought. Recognition. Intentionality. I have to remember who my Imposter is and that the Imposter is not truth. The remembering is the hardest part - because the Imposter is a natural, habitual response cultivated and perfected over 34 years.

When my brain and soul feel as disordered as they have for the last few weeks, I have a hard time remembering this and I retreat behind my wall of defense. Not intentionally, but naturally. The Imposter needs to put away.


Mommy Brain 9:05 AM  

Sounds like you've been doing some heavy mental lifting. Hope the sun shining today lightens your load.

Brenda B 3:04 PM  

Jana thanks for sharing. I can really relate to this, I do it too.

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