True honesty in humlity

I try hard to be honest, to not mislead or misrepresent myself .

I would compulsively lie in High School. I watched it damage my relationship with my parents, friends, co workers, and teammates. I hurt people and scarred myself for life. For years it took an active choice on my part not to lie.

To lie all the time, you have to be constantly aware of the stories you are telling people. It takes up all your brain power and energy to keep all your stories straight. Lying is exhausting. And in the process, you loose yourself.

I hated living like that.

That is why honesty is so important to me now. I don't like to hide things and most of the time I will say what is on my mind. I also never want to appear as something other than what I really am. (I hate the idea that some could look at my facebook photos and think my little family has it all together. Shocker: WE DON'T!!! We are a mess, truly.) I want to be real and transparent. I want people to know they can believe the words that come out of my mouth. I want to be honest. I want to live in truth.

But I am terrible at being honest to myself or about myself.

I have found that as honest as I can be with others, I deeply struggle with being honest with myself about myself. Even more specifically, if being honest paints me in a good light, I really struggle with that.

I was reading the Momastery blog the other day. It is a great sight and was wonderful getting to know the woman behind the blog. As I was reading her story, I was struck that she could say great things about herself when describing herself to us, the reader.

When I found that odd, I realized that if someone asked me to describe myself, I'm not sure how many good qualities I could list. What I would say is, "I am a mess. I'm too lazy to get up early and get dressed most days, I am addicted to TV, I am controlling, I am a secret eater, I don't manage time well, I am an overachiever, I loose good people and friendships in life, I'm too harsh on my kids, I am unbalanced, I'm too hard on myself, I am a perfectionist, I procrastinate, I am forgetful, I don't know contentment, I am a binge spender, I don't do life well, I don't trust God very well, I am a control freak, I live in fear, I don't know AGAPE love. I am a mess."

I see this list and I agree with everything I wrote. You may not or you may excuse some of the things I wrote, but the bottom line is I believe these things about myself. The sad realization is there isn't one good thing on here. It isn't even on my radar to think of something positive about myself, and if I do then it just feels wrong. Saying that feels even worse. Knowing our positive qualities and acknowledging the good in us is a healthy self-esteem.

What's funny is if I was going to list some of my better qualities, I couldn't do it in a concrete way. Sometimes I am thoughtful. I can be patient. I am loyal to friends who live close. I am fun to be with short term.

It's tough and frustrating to know that I have a much unhealthier self awareness than I realize. I thought I was pretty confident and self aware, but I didn't realize that I don't have a very high opinion of myself. I don't say that to beg or illicit compliments, I just wonder if this is true for others.

I wonder if our effort to be humble, we depreciate our value.
In our effort to think of others as better than ourselves, we emotionally sabotage ourselves.

My weakness and shortcomings are apart of me. But that doesn't mean that God doesn't work good in me also. By not acknowledging the strengths, I am discounting the progress God has made in my life. The things he has done through me. The characteristics I want to pass along to my children.

We all possess good and bad. Strength and weakness.

Why is so hard to stand strong in our strengths? By admitting to my strengths does that mean I am then conceited? I think too much of myself? I am now better than others?

I think that is only true if we separate our strengths from our weakness. If we look only to our weakness, then we have an healthy low self-esteem. If we look only to our strengths than we have an unhealthy high self-esteem. When we can see the good, the bad, the ugly, the grace, the strength, the weakness, and Christ in the middle of it all, we are humble. We are humble because we realize for all the weakness, he is there. For all our strength, he is the source.

I wasn't expecting to read Momastery and have this reaction. Clearly I have some work to do in my prayer time this week. I need a healthier self-awareness.

I heard someone say one time it isn't self-esteem, its God-esteem.

I like that.