Last Friday, I set a timer for twenty minutes and sat and listened to my soul, just to see what she would say to me. I wrote down my thought process, making sure to keep my pen moving, not allowing myself to overanalyze what I found. I saw tendencies in myself that I have never noticed before, especially the tendency to hide my soul from other people. I asked myself hard questions: What do I really believe about myself? I asked God what He wanted to say to me about what I had learned.
This material is taken straight from my own journal. I've debated for several days whether or not I should post this, because some of it feels silly to write, and to share it exposes more of myself than I think I am willing to bear. But I am sure that I am not the only one who must confront what author Leeana Tankersley calls "Soul Bullies;" I am not alone in doubting what I believe about my own personhood. I hope that this will remind others of what truly lies within them, too.
What are you feeling today, soul? What do you want to say to me?
Adventure. I feel the longing. I feel it is here with me. I can almost reach out and touch it. I keep reading about Tolkien and his world and it fills me up with a longing to read the books again myself. I am filled with a desire to be in Middle-earth. I am reminded that I have more adventure and princess-ship here and now than Tolkien’s Shieldmaiden ever did.
I am pleased that I felt like myself today in choir. I am pleased that I moved from myself. Recently I’ve felt that I am unwanted by those around me, that no one will want who I really am. When I am around boys I think are cute, I tend to forget who I am. I forget what I have to offer. I feel that I have nothing at all to offer the world, to offer these guys. The Soul Bullies really do whisper to me then, malevolently, destructively, with the desire to kill me, to see me bleed out while I watch in horror as scarlet blood gushes from the wound in my belly. I lay my hands over it, shocked. They say to me, “Who do you think you are? Do you think you are desirable? Do you think any boy could ever want you? Do you think you have what it takes to get a guy to notice you? Get real.”
These Bullies tell me I am not beautiful, not desirable, that I have nothing to give.
But what to you say to me, O my soul?
Do I believe I have something to offer? Do I believe I am whole? Do I believe I am beautiful? Desirable? Feisty, as Katie tells me? Bold? Brazen?
I know I have physical beauty. I like certain parts of myself. But I have not considered whether or not I have allowed others to see those parts of me. I have not considered whether others might like these parts of me, too.
Maybe the world is looking for someone like me. Maybe people want my presence, my full self. I think if I fully showed up, people would love me, and the full self they got to meet.
Father, what have You to say about this to me?
You tell me I have been hiding because I feel wrong. I feel like too much, or not enough. I feel like my strong personality will overwhelm. I feel that I am not relevant. I feel that I am too, too much, too honest, too weird.
But Father, Abba, Daddy, what do You tell me?
You tell me You made me this way.
You tell me I have been hiding for far too long.
You tell me You made me to be seen. I am hiding under a bushel basket.
You tell me I am enough just as I am. You made me the way I am.
You tell me I don’t have to be afraid.
I can be honest. I can be silly. I can be feisty. I can be as “relevant” or “irrelevant” or “weird” as I want; isn’t all this relative, anyway?
You tell me to relax and move from myself.
You tell me to talk about stuff even if I don’t have the right answers.
You tell me to present my full beauty on display. You tell me to really offer my full, wild beauty to the world. You tell me You did not make me to conceal it. You made it to blaze bright.
Put on lipstick. Make yourself alluring in the way you know how, the way that you feel the most confident.
And in your soul? Speak honestly. Be bold. Don’t be silent. Say what you mean. Be silly. Talk. Say what is in your heart. Give compliments. Move from the root, the core of who you are made to be.
I think my beauty is wild. I have eyes that are as clear as the sky. I have hair the color of sunlight on wheat. My body is lithe and strong and lovely.
And my soul? I am feisty and fun and sassy and smart. I have opinions and I believe in them. I am passionate and wild and rare.
Help me to live like it.