I think all of us have been put up against a measuring stick before. Been told that we aren’t good enough (or, we are better than everyone else) based on how we compare to that stick.
I have been compared to many sticks. Other people, standards of success, and my own past-self. Some are self-inflicted and some are not, but either way, when I don’t measure up, I feel this ache of unworthiness creep up.
It really is a losing battle, especially when we compare ourselves to other people. There is no, no way I can ever measure up to other people because people can’t be compared. Even when we race others, the time is the thing that is ultimately compared, not the soul, family, or personality of the athletes. It is just the time.
But it is hard, especially when these ideas are reinforced. Whether it has been family, romantic relationships, or co-workers, when I am measured based on who others are, I feel the unworthiness creep up again. It aches, it hurts so much that I feel like I am punched in the gut. I have fought my entire life to be good enough for everyone, while not even considering what “good enough” is for myself.
Basing my self worth on how God sees me is important but if I were to be honest, sometimes I don’t see it as valuable. Sometimes, I feel like God isn’t that present in my life and that basing my self-worth off how God sees me seems a bit too “Chicken Noodle Soup for the Teenage Soul”. It feels like fluff and pandering to how I really feel. God loves me, but why does it hurt so bad when I don’t measure up, when I should have this inherited worthiness?
And then, I feel like a total asshole for questioning God.
But, I don’t think that’s how it works. I think God appreciates the honesty, and that is where we can sift through everything more clearly.
Of course it doesn’t feel like sustenance when I try and base how God sees me versus how the world sees me, as the world offers the more proximate threat. Having another person tell me “you just aren’t XYZ” hurts a hell of a lot more than thinking in my head “well God loves me because the Bible says so” because one is coming at me externally and the other is being recited based on Bible study.
Maybe I can’t get through this block because I am basing my entire faith and self-worth system on a book that I barely read, one which has been explained to me in snippets of regurgitated “feel good” allegories.
So where do I go from here?
First of all, more regular church attendance would help. Primarily, because exposure to God’s ideas will help me sift through how I feel about myself and the world more clearly. Second, I think I need to really define my standards for my own self worth, and not let outside factors seep into my metric. And finally, I think I need to begin looking for evidence to support my inherent worthiness rather than unworthiness. After all, you can base an argument off of any little fact; looking for light is a heck of a lot more fun that looking for the dark.
Go Learn. Define Values. Seek Positivity.
And most of all, remember the heart.