I was standing in the elevator with Richie. Across from us was a couple and their dog. Being a dog trainer I was interested in saying hi to the dog and saying hi to the owners. The husband was nice and told me the dogs name. The woman shot me a couple of dirty looks, curled her lip and flared her nose. Looking me up and down, then at her husband without so much as a hello being spoken to us. When we exited the elevator the husband nicely told us to have a good night. The woman still did not acknowledge us, but as soon as the doors opened she saw another couple and was exuberantly saying hi to them and sparking up conversation.
My mind, on autopilot, immediately started questioning myself. Did I look messy? Was I dressed crappy? Am I the only one who actually thinks my cologne smells good? Are my tattoos offensive? Is it because me and Richie were riding together and she picked up that we were gay? (That one didn’t matter since the couple she said hi to when we exited the elevator were gay) Of course my mind went to what others think about me. Did they think those things about me too?
I immediately took it personally against me. I began to get angry and wonder why the heck she couldn’t have even said hello and faked kindness. What the heck did I ever do to this lady? What elicited that kind of response from her towards me?
I’m what is referred to as insecure. I have been very insecure of myself for as long as I can remember. Always thinking people were constantly judging me for every little thing. Even though I see my flaw, I still think this way anytime I think someone has slighted me, whether they did it intentionally or not (or if it was even existent). I take things very personally, and always have.
I have always been the kid who got picked on. I was the skinny and poor gay kid with a name easily attached to some horrible nicknames, like “Scrawny Ronnie.” I was an easy target. But I think this bullying as a kid easily molded my mind to think the way it does today. I was made fun of so frequently as a kid, that I guess I think everyone is thinking those things about me.
I thought my insecurity would somehow go away when I went sober. Boy, was I wrong. It is the same as it always was. I thought the alcohol caused the majority of it. In reality, it just made me more aware of my mental state.
But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
I shouldn’t allow domain over my mind from anyone else. But that’s easier said than done when you live with bipolar disorder and an overall low image of yourself. I do actively try to combat it though.
I have recently been listing all the major and most common reasons why I go into insecure mode. Most are very superficial and surface, as is most of the time the case when it comes to insecurities. I am looking at why I think those specific things make me insecure as if people were judging it. I am either stopping doing them or trying to figure out a way to be more confident in those areas overall so that I am less prone to feeling insecure about them.
Another thing I do is look for encouraging Bible verses that speak on insecurity. One of my all time favorite scriptures that applies to this is Philippians 4:6-9.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace be with you.
Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV)