You don't have to be a woman to struggle with insecurity. It's pretty human to feel insecure about oneself and there can be a variety of factors as to why you've developed insecurity. A tiny bit of insecurity is probably healthy. Arrogance and delusion are not attractive qualities. (Or maybe that's not insecurity so much as humility and self-awareness). But in general insecurity is not an attractive characteristic and it holds us back from living full vibrant lives. Insecurity often breeds negativity, poor self image, self absorption, and fear.
Women get accused of insecurity more often then men. One reason might be because many men withdraw and internalize when they feel weak or insecure while women have more of a tendency to want to talk things out. (Exceptions on both sides, obviously). But more than that, in our culture, a woman's worth is much more tied up in her image than a man. Even if you don't want to be, we are all effected by our culture in one way or another. And we live in a culture that prizes youth and beauty.
I've always been fairly confident. My mom did a great job of both teaching me my self worth wasn't tied to my looks and making me feel beautiful. She never once pointed out my flaws or spoke about me in a negative way. I never thought my self worth was tied to my image. Yet, the older I get the more I realize it is more tied together to my looks than I thought.
But more than anything, my insecurities are tied to mistakes I've made in my past. While I always felt I had worth and that my past was not something that should hold me back...those insecurities still rear their ugly little heads from time to time. Last night in particular I was thinking over a particularly dark period in my past...how did I let myself become that person? I never once in the moment felt like I was losing myself but when you look at it on paper...wow...who was that girl? How could that possibly have been me who did those things, said those things...
Forgiving oneself can truly be one of the hardest things to do. And that may be because even if we forgive ourselves for our mistakes, the scars as still there making us feel ugly. There's no plastic surgery for those scars...we carry them the rest of our lives. No matter how much we want to forget, those scars are a part of us and often others will be able to see them. (The fact that there is beauty even in the scars is hard to remember).
I'm so thankful for forgiveness and redemption. For unconditional love from a God who sees beauty in the ashes. I am also thankful for a husband who loves an imperfect wife who sometimes cries over things that happened years in the past.
Forgiveness is an important thing to extend to others. But sometimes we need to be reminded to forgive ourselves as well. We're hard on ourselves aren't we? Some people say they have no regrets...but I don't really buy that. I don't think there is a person in the world who won't at one point or another regret something they've done or said. We're imperfect people who make mistakes...no one can escape this life without making a few.
So I guess this is just a reminder to you that you are beautiful and forgiven, scars and all.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
- Psalm 103:8-12