Insecurity and comparison run deep in the veins of our ever-social culture, feeding a monster of debilitating self-worth and doubt that when we hear of our father’s love, it can be difficult to believe and accept. But when we do, we are filled with the joy of the Lord.
We learn early on how to hide–how to pile on layers of feigned flawlessness in attempt to cover up what we deem “ugly” or “not good enough.” We become masters at wearing masks. However, there are certain aspects of our appearance that even the thickest masks fail to hide.
Insecurity is a visible quality that we don’t always put the correct name to, but if we take the time to look I believe we can see it. It’s the dull, withdrawn eyes telling the world they are burned out from trying so hard. The methods of coping with fear that have turned to addictions. The hurt and shame which have secluded the once vibrant soul from engaging with others. But we do not have to let insecurity define us.
I have a friend who is especially beautiful, and not because of flawless skin or perfect abs or toothpaste-commercial white teeth. Beauty radiates from her eyes in the way they glow and sparkle with a zest for life. She once told me that, “joy is the most beautiful quality,” and I have found this to be one of the most valuable nuggets of wisdom. Radiant joy is freedom found in a deep acknowledgement of self-worth and value.
When you’re worried and trying to cover up, I promise they don’t even notice the things you’re most self-consciousness about because they’re to busy worrying about their own insecurities. We become so worried about masking our own flaws we don’t realize others are just trying to do the same.
Yet when someone has the courage to take off their mask–we finally quit hustling and hiding and catch our breath. We see that it’s all a facade, and to whatever standard we have created from our own insecurities no one measures up. Not even one.
Over the years I’ve struggled to feel God’s love. A major part of my story has been learning to accept love. I feel this love more easily now than before, but some days are more difficult than others. I think this is why we are called to trust Love even when we don’t feel loved or particularly lovable.
So keep speaking truth no matter how you feel. You are radically loved by the author of love. I am radically loved by the author of love.
Joy comes from the acknowledgement that we are deeply loved, and that is the only thing strong enough to shatter the standards of outward beauty. Joy truly is the most beautiful quality, and if we tell ourselves that truth long enough we will eventually believe it.