The topic for the evening was insecurity.
I grinned and cringed inwardly after the leader asked us to share if there has ever been a time in our lives we felt insecure. This should be interesting. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp. You could hear crickets chirp if there were any. Nobody wanted to go first. Were we all too insecure to admit that indeed we do have moments or even lifetimes filled with or battling insecurity? But to admit that in a society where self confidence and assertiveness, and do-whatever-you-have to get to the top are pounded into our heads from preschool to the grave would be to commit social suicide.
We have become conditioned mask-bearers.
Truth be told.
We see you there nervously touching your hair, checking and rechecking your make-up. Fidgeting with your purse, or looking down at your cellphone standing in what seems to be an hour waiting for the elevator door to open. We see how you break eye contact or laugh too loud and forced or worse, not at all. We see you cover up or let it all hang out. We hear you throw big shot names around like it was a hailstorm. We listen to your conversations selling yourself or using way too big words trying to hide behind your intellect. We see you drive in your shiny big car and wearing your designer clothes, while sporting your latest spray-on tan. We hear you tell how everything is just so in your happy, perfect white picket fence world, how your kids are the smartest, cutest, most well behaved - ever. How your marriage was made in heaven and how you always look like the Christmas postcard on our fridge.
Don’t think we really buy it. Because sometimes we wear those masks too. We know that the dark sometimes creep up on you too and that the moment the foundation and mascara run down the sink at night and you are staring at the woman in the mirror you see how time has drawn lines on your face and colored white through your hair, insecurity peers over your shoulder, whispering in your ear, “You don’t have what it takes”, “You are not a great mom, goodness you are not even a good mom.” Don’t tell me that at times you don't look at the sleeping kids you just lost your temper with earlier and wonder if you have scarred them for life with your impatience or the fact that you keep missing their homework deadlines. Don’t think we don’t know you have noticed the jeans fitting a bit too snug or how you sometimes think you have to look like the perfectly sculpted photoshopped girl plastered over the fashion magazine at checkout line. Don’t think we don’t know that you are measuring and comparing and weighing yourself at times consciously sometimes even without realizing it. Don’t think we don’t know that you wonder if you will ever find someone to share life’s journey with. We know how you cringe when you have to go to another friend’s wedding and everybody wants to know when it will be your turn.
Insecurity. It rears it head by invitation or just rudely crashes the party without announcement. Don’t think we don’t know how you are so rarely just you, or that you only take your guard down when you feel really, really safe. Don’t think we don’t see how your flood of shocking statements, outfits and piercings and behavior is a cover up much like the snob looking down on you with her freshly painted French manicure.
Insecure. Longing to belong. Longing to fit in even if you scream with all in you that you hate everybody and that you don’t care if you fit in. The harder you rebel the clearer it becomes that you are even more desperate for a meaningful human connection that stretches beyond liking or disliking someone on Facebook.
She twirls in her beautiful princess dress.
She looks at me with her blue eyes that pop out even more with the blue in her dress,
“I look like a princess and I feel like a princess.”
And with all in me I pray for God to freeze the feeling in her heart forever. That she will never fall for the lies of the Enemy or the media or critizing voices that she has to be different. That her identity will be built on the truth,
“For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
My Karooboer looks at her and answers, “You don’t just have to feel like a princess; you are a princess, because God is your Father and He is the King.”
We become insecure, overcompensating, mask bearing women the moment we forget Whose we are.
So woman in the Unnamed Tent when the world and the Enemy and your own self doubt start to whisper or shout in your ears till the hidden insecurities tell you that you are not good enough, dress up in your princess dress and twirl before your Father the King, and kick them out of the palace - for good.