Let me cut to the chase: I don’t know my worth. Am unsure of it, constantly questioning, probing, trying to find my place.
Don’t misunderstand: I know what the Bible says, that Christ loved me enough–loved us all enough–to die. But I sometimes feel lost.
Like this week. Life is harder than it’s been in a long time.
And like most men–ha! big surprise–my sense of worth is inextricably tied to what I do–not who, or Whose, I am.
The seeds of this plaguing self-doubt were planted long ago. Mostly by a dad who didn’t care. Who dealt mostly in shame (because even if he knew better, he didn’t care: he lived with shame, and didn’t love himself). I wish it were not so, that I didn’t define myself by this lack–but I do.
So I look for affirmation, for ways to fit in. And yet Jesus is always there implacably imploring me to stand out.
And when I do? Wham! Life slams me. Shame all over again. So I have learned to keep to myself, to keep my convictions to myself.
To hide the real me.
Then a funny thing happened: I found a community online, a place where I could both fit in, and stand out.
I’ve always wanted to write–so I’ve spilled my hearts blood upon the pages of this blog. Still I wonder: am I making a difference?
Does my one and only life matter?
I suppose much of it is my fault: I am by turns: heartfelt, silly, sarcastic, serious.
People don’t know what to make of me. And the blame lays squarely upon my shoulders–because as much as I fear failure, I fear success. I fear being noticed, and so I have self-sabotaged. In this, I create a self-fulfilling prophecy!
I just know that standing out will bring me criticism (like my dad used to drop on me), so I’ll blow things up. Because negative attention is at least some attention. Or something.
Thing is, blogging has afforded me so many vibrant connections, so much more affirmation than criticism, that I’m seeing the light, engaging in less and less self-defeating behaviors.
But it’s not easy. I wish I were connecting with more people here, but it is what it is.
I wish my sense of worth didn’t get so tied up in the lack of comments, but because of how personal I’ve made this place, it does.
Sometimes I wonder if I stopped blogging: would anyone notice?
And so we come back to where we began:
Don’t ask me what I’m worth–because I don’t know.
How about you? What are you worth? How do you know?