“It is difficult to see clearly when looking through eyes green with envy!”
While walking out of church on Sunday, I saw women crowded around a registration table. I glanced for evidence of the event and saw a book propped up titled Overcoming Insecurity, written by renowned author and conference speaker, Beth Moore. Upon seeing that the date conflicted with a previous wedding commitment I had, I honed in on the meaning of the title and sighed thinking, “Boy what I could say about that subject!” My feelings mixed with disappointment at not attending and if honest, a twinge of envy.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have heard raving reviews about Beth Moore from one of the most highly respected book and speaker critics I know, my mother. She attends Beth Moore seminars and women’s studies. She told me the author’s tragic history overcame and wisdom gleaned that qualifies her to pass on information truly transforming to women. With this knowledge in mind, I wondered where this twinge of jealousy came from and why it coexisted with deep respect for a women I am very curious to hear.
As I processed my envy, I realized an irony existed in my life. During those days as a youthful pastor’s wife, when I taught women’s studies and spoke at women’s conferences, I knew so little about overcoming insecurity.
Now that I finally have the life experience to share a few insights on the subject, I no longer have such a platform.
Nevertheless, I can spend some time recounting my experiences with insecurity and do what any good blogger would do…Photoshop myself into a prominent position, of course (Writing this piece provided a little redemptive self-soothing as well ).
I envisioned where I would start if I ever spoke at a women’s seminar about the subject. Would I begin by retelling my middle school years when teased relentlessly for my bucked teeth and flat chest? Then again, maybe I should tell of trying to transform my geeky self into a confident high school girl.
Yes, insecurity has always been one of the most formidable foes fought throughout my lifetime. Building confidence has not been easy.
So I would have quite a few examples to share. There was the time when I got lost in the middle of Amsterdam after taking the wrong bus into the city. Or when I cried myself to sleep that first night. Courage would be required to explain why I wept hysterically when there wasn’t a seat next to my former husband (I was twenty-two). Perhaps I could be honest about dealing with my codependency that caused me to blindly serve in a dysfunctional marriage for so long. How about learning to be alone after my divorce? Maybe I could use lessons learned from single-parenting, going back to college, or building a new career.
Yes, insecurity has been like shackles for as long back as I can remember. Acts of courage when faced with debilitating fears unlocked them for a time.
When I came back to reality and shared my conflicted feelings with my best friend, Barbie, she encouraged me that not all jealousy is bad. Her insights freed me to think about the importance our envy has in determining our destiny. Often what we envy is the very key to unlocking the door to our potential. My impetus for sharing my life experiences is to encourage others also struggling with insecurity.
Perhaps insecurity is the wicked sister of envy. We feel drawn to do something but our insecurity whispers we cannot so we envy those who can. Sometimes the water of God’s strength needed for overcoming our insecurities takes reaching down into some deep wells of courage.
For envy without action holds the worthless straw of life, insecurity.
Envy might provide temporary peace and protection from those pesky stings of insecurity, but one day we must risk daring to pursue our dreams.