Leaving ‘survival mode’ and celebrating who we are
Unless we’ve become free of it, each of us continues to measure ourselves every day. It’s almost as if we’ve swallowed an inner measuring tape by which we constantly check ourselves with questions like, “Have I done enough?”, “Am I clever enough?” or “Have I met their expectations?”. This inner tyrant drives us to keep proving we’re enough. But constant judgement is waiting to fall!
For most of us, our upbringing left us with no doubt that we weren’t enough. We grew to think that we’d perform better if we were harder on ourselves. This push to achieve more to prove we are valuable has made us become what we’re not and will destroy us if we don’t face it.
If we have doubts about our identity and ask, “Am I enough as a person?”, we undercut our very being and put ourselves in a vulnerable space. This question should never be applied to our personal value. If what we’ve done is not enough by others’ standards, that can be discussed and negotiated, but it should never be at the cost of our personal worth.
When we are accepted for who we are our productivity actually increases. We’re then not in ‘survival mode’, anxiously having to prove ourselves in order not to be rejected. Like the tree that doesn’t strain to produce fruit, but blooms and fruits naturally if nourished, so too, with us.
Jesus loves us as we are and wants us to be fully in our own skin, to trust that who He made us to be is more than enough. When we don’t accept ourselves and refuse His unconditional affirmation, saying “When I’m this…or that…then…” we even hold God back. The enemy, however, wants us to stay unsure and fearful and asks, “Did God say…?” and “Are you sure you’ve done it right?” What he wants is to separate us from the reality of our affirmation in God.
The community around us is important on this road, for when we’re isolated it’s easier to drift into doubt. Like children of our family of origin, it should be a given that we will always belong, even though we go up and down.
This week, let us live in the adventure of our enough-ness and celebrate who we are (not who we should be). We will need to protect this space and to identify the voices that want to steal our freedom and confidence. Just as He said to Jesus, the Father says to us, “You are my beloved in whom I’m well pleased.” This was before Jesus had done even one day of ministry. Remember, because you are alive, you are enough!