Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Now I'm a Believer - Swanitude Part 4

Currently humming The Monkees "I'm a Believer"

For my other posts in identity click here (part 1) or here (part 2).


Continuation of my journey into the lies of my identity. I just talked about cutting others down to avoid them knowing what I think about them.

I want to go deeper into that.

Somewhere, along the way when I was young, I was taught to believe (by my peers and some teachers) that my opinion wasn't wanted. I can pinpoint several instances when:

  • My opinion on books, movies, or music wasn't worth a damn. I was a fool who didn't know good taste.
  • My feelings about individuals was against the norm (you can't like them or be their friend! They're weird!)
  • My affections towards members of the opposite sex were unwanted (ewwww gross! Kelsey likes you? Ewwww!)

My opinion was met with rejection. I found my value in other's thoughts on MY PERSONALITY!  I put my stock in how they saw me and conformed to what they wanted to see!

It stemmed so far into my being that I truly believe(d) that my feelings, affections, self, aren't wanted. No man could ever want my affections and all friends would pity me because I am 
A) not pretty enough
B) not sexy enough
C) not funny enough
D) not worth enough

Now, I know this in my head.  The head is a great thing that can contain so much truth, but sometimes our selves..the emotional beings that we are (our hearts, if you will) can't connect with our brains.

My brain knows I'm awesome, because God made us all awesome. My brain knows I would be a blessing (and let's be honest, occasionally a curse) to any man. 
My heart can't get on board.  My heart can't fathom why anyone would love me, because how could I be worth loving? I was told (by people who I shouldn't have been listening to) when I was young that I wasn't what a man would ever want or what anyone would want as a friend.

So now when I sit across the table (or across the room) from a beautiful man, I can't express to him my appreciation of his:
A) Beauty
B) Kindness
C) Humor
D) Nerdiness (is this one only super attractive to me? I didn't think so. Stand up, nerdy girls)
E) Worth that God sees in him (and God has shown to me as well)

Now, no man needs MY approval any more than I need a man's (or a woman's. We've got God's and frankly that's all we need. Believing it, again, is the trick. I know, broken record. Sorry)

I have been a cruel person because I have been so low on myself.  I have brought others lower because I didn't want them to know how I truly felt. 

I've crushed dreams. I've broken hearts. I've hurt people.
All without meaning to.
All without realizing it.

All because I wasn't capable of seeing I was worth something or that my words could hurt. That my opinion could crush someone just as much as someone else's opinion once hurt me.

It's a journey, and I'm not the only one on it.

It's my identity, but I'm not the only one who doesn't know who she (or he) is. 

In my own little bubble, I've knocked others down. I haven't pointed out the glory in others. I haven't told my brother every day how much he amazes me in his kindness and social prowess (he can make friends with anyone and make them feel good about themselves).
I haven't told my mother how selfless she is in her giving and how her heart is what draws other people to her.
I haven't told my niece that her boisterous energy might earn criticism, but that she shouldn't ever lose her love for life because her joy brings others joy.

I haven't told my best friends that they are beautiful...good moms...talented...worth every breath.
I haven't told any man who has an affect on my heart that his ability to listen and care for others is worth an elephant's weight in thousand elephants' weight in gold. Seriously, that's so important and I wonder if he knows it about himself. 

I haven't told these people, because I've been so consumed in who I thought I was, that I didn't realize part of who I am is reminding others who they are.
Because you are me.
(I know, it's confusing, I'm still embracing it myself).

We're all on the same journey, but when we focus solely on ourselves we miss the hurting people around us and hurt each other.  When we focus on our lies, we don't listen to the truths others are giving us, and instead we spew more lies without meaning to.

I am the swan, not the ugly duckling.
I will bless (and curse) a man someday should I find one who walks the same path as me (run the race, equally yoked. All that jazz). 
I will bless my brothers and sisters with the truths about them, so that when they are dealing with the lies, they will have little nuggets God wanted them to have in their brains...little whispers that sound like my voice reminding them that THEY ARE LOVED. 

I will remind you, if you need me to, that you have so many amazing qualities...and so many lies that you're believing.

I will spend the rest of my life getting rid of these lies in order to believe the truth God wants me to have. Come with me.

Now tell me...what lies are you going to stop believing?Shout out to all of my fellow Swans. Tweet if you can relate using #Swanitude (because it's fun and funny and true).

Guys, something AMAZING is coming on May 19th called The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. It's all about identity and figuring out where you belong and the lies we listen to.
You've already been chosen. You are already loved.


LaDonna Cole said...

Holy Cross Posts, Batman. I just finished posting a blog about lies we tell ourselves. When I went to see if it posted, viola! I see you posted about the same thing! Great minds think alike, my friend.

Self sabotage is an ugly thing. We effing swans don't need it anymore!

DM Kilgore said...

Lies I no longer believe:

I'm not (whatever) enough.

I can't.

I'm in this alone.

What other people think about me defines me.

Bam. I'm enough. I'm an #effingswan and you know what... I always have been. Thanks for reminding me. Again. ;)

Rob Holliday said...

Today, this is such an amazing providence. I've been so blessed by your writing, and my recognition of so many special people around me - it's just a joyful thing to build people up. I feel like your "LET ME LOVE YOU" gif on FB and Twitter today. I'm sure I'm creeping some people out, but I hope the majority know that I see something amazing in them, just like you've put down here.

You always shed your blood beautifully, Kels.

S. R. Karfelt said...

You have a knack for gifs, Kelsey. Not to mention the whole Effing Swan movement. This is terrific. So next time you see me and I come running like the second to the last gif, you'd better run fast cause I'm gonna head hug ya. <3

Ashley P. said...

I don't feel like much of a swan today. More like a sloth. Or maybe a koala. Something that sleeps all day. :P

What am I going to stop believing. Hmmm...

I guess the most painful lie I believe is that everyone I really love talking to/getting to know/hanging out with secretly wishes I'd shut up and go away.

Guess that'd be a good one to not believe...

And that last GIF is totally me and you at Re:write.

Tom Mohan said...

This has been an awesome series. It took a lot of courage to write it. I have two daughters around your age (or older) and have watched them both go through their own effing swan stages. As for me, God has been working on my need to find meaning in other people's opinion, though I still have a ways to go. Two other areas I still need a lot of work on:

- Thinking no one cares about anything I have to say
- 6'1", 200 pounds and completely invisible

Actually, that second one can sometimes come in handy. Keep believing and keep growing in knowledge of your Heavenly Father and yourself.

Kelsey Keating said...

LaDonna - great minds!
Donna - You can. You aren't alone!
Rob - thank you so much. Let's go creep out the world with all of our positivity!
S.R. - Run? Nah. I'm going to run TO you.
Ashley - you're breaking my heart! No one wants you to go away. Life would be dull without you :) and yes that is exactly what happened at Re:Write and I couldn't be happier about it!
Tom - Being a ninja must be cool, but it's definitely a lie if you think no one cares about what you have to say! I think you're an ocean of wisdom and kindness :)

Thanks everyone!

kirsten oliphant said...

I've really enjoyed this series and I wanted to share something that is maybe weird? Whatevs. I'm an effing swan so I'M SHARING IT.

Assumptions. We all have them and we are so often wrong. for most of the conference I sat behind you. (I really enjoyed chatting when we got the chance!) You seemed like this gorgeous, totally put-together, totally on-point, important, amazing person without insecurities.

You? Struggle with insecurities? From that distance and the outside view, I wouldn't have guessed at your effing swan journey. And I love that God uses moments like these to remind us that we don't see the heart. When we look at people, we should really ask for the Spirit's insight into that person because our assumptions are so often wrong or stop short or just don't quite hit the mark.

Anyway, I loved this series and am sharing it this week on the old Tweeter.

S. R. Karfelt said...

Now I want to head hug Ashley, possibly even follow her around until she wants ME to go away.

And Tom? I see you.

Lovin' on Kirsten's comment because I felt pretty much the same way the first time I met Kelsey.