Hey guys! Lucy Claire, anorexia survivor and spirit lead blogger, is stopping by my blog today. I hope you enjoy this post so wonderfully written by her:
It is such a huge honor and privilege to have the opportunity to contribute towards this beautiful blog. First sentence done. See that was not so bad, maybe I can actually do this. When Lydia asked me if I was willing to write a blog post for her blog my first emotional response was happy excitement followed quickly by terror. Let me tell you now that experiencing these two emotions in quick succession is a bit of a physiological nightmare so I was relieved to find, after the dust had settled, that I was still standing or maybe sitting but at least not lying down.
Where did this terror come from you might ask. Well it came from my own thoughts, insecurities and lack of faith. More specifically it came from my own desire to do things perfectly. There are two pervasive messages which have shaped my understanding of what it is to be a female. The first is that as a woman/girl (it’s ok if you prefer the term girl to woman, I completely understand the term woman used to frighten me as well) you have to do everything perfectly. This deal breaking message is not complete without the second message which is that as a woman you cannot do things perfectly. Does anyone else see the problem here? Basically the overarching message is that as a woman I have been set up to fail. Which is made even more problematic by the fact that above all else as a woman/girl failure is unacceptable because then you would not be perfect and so the vicious cycle starts.
I distinctly remember being more stressed about my brothers exams than he was. I would start studying for exams a month before, with my beautiful study timetable to guide me. My brother, on the other hand, would briefly glance over his notes (if he even had any) the night before his exam. He would walk into that exam with confidence, trusting in his own abilities while I walked into my exam, after memorising every single word of my notes, terrified that I would be unable to do it. He knew he could and whether he did or not didn’t actually matter. Similarly, I knew that I could not and whether I did or not did not really matter either.
Men and boys are socialised to believe that they can do absolutely anything, which is in stark contrast to the pervasive message of perfectionism that haunts the hearts of all women and girls. Boys will throw themselves into something with reckless abandon and without the slightest worry about the outcome. If they do fail, it will inevitably be someone else’s fault, and most likely that someone else will be female. Girls, however, will only throw themselves into something if after careful inspection they can predict with a high percentage of certainty that they will succeed, and if they do not succeed it will without a doubt be their own fault. If nothing else we are excellent at taking the blame for our own and others failings.
I do not know about you but I do not want to be a professional blame taker. I do not want to live the rest of my life calculating every risk or not even trying because I may not succeed. I do not know if I am succeeding at this blog post right now. I keep re-reading, doubting and wondering if I dare even send this to Lydia because it may not make any sense. I do not want you to know about how I have agonised over every word in this post or about the countless spelling mistakes that I have made thus far. I do not want you to know about how inadequate I feel every time I write or how I can feel my heart racing under the pressure to create something of profound significance. I do not want you to know this because I do not want to seem weak or lacking. I want to be a successful women and that means that I must be perfect. I want to be a #girlboss and command attention with out breaking a sweat. I desire to do things perfectly with out anyone seeing the strain that it actually causes me. Quite simply, I want to be effortlessly perfect.
If I do not do things perfectly, if I do not look perfect and sound perfect or write perfectly will you even notice me? Either way I am silenced. Our voices have been taken away by the most perfect lie. When we believe that we only have value as long as we are perfect, we are kept silent permanently. In fact if I believed this lie then you would not be reading this blog post right now and my blog would not exist. I am not my appearance, my abilities or my accomplishments. I am a women of God and a daughter of the King.
The world may not see you, but I know one thing to be true: the Lord Almighty sees you. He says that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and that he cares for you. The God the Father says this, “I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:11-10). Which is why despite all the worldly pressure we can be free. We can be free to walk around with chipped nail polish and below average grades. We can be free to be fully ourselves because in every situation that we face, we have the Lord God going before us. All we need to do is believe.
I am not perfect but I serve a perfect God. My life is in His hands. So while I cannot spell and my grades will always a bit below average, I can face every day confidently because I get my justification from God and not the world. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Love, Lucy Claire
(It was a HUGE honor to have Lucy on my blog today. Thanks so much, girl!! You’re rocking this thing called life and it was great to have you here. Keep on being the awesome, inspiring, fabulous world changer that you are! XOXO, Lydia)
Recommended: Live. Life. Fully.