For as confident as I would like to pretend to be, I must confess that I am really not. And every so often, through a million little cracks in my armor, the Fear comes in. It says that I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough. It makes it way into my homelife (Will I be the kind of aunt I want to be for Maddie?), in my worklife (Does my boss think I am doing a good job?). It permeates everything I am, and leaves its stench all over me.
And I know better, I really do. But the problem is I can remember every bad thing anyone has every said about me. When the Fear takes hold, they all come back up like bad Mexican food. It's not pretty. Somehow I find myself believing that because someone once said I wasn't whatever, I'm not. I carry those actions and words around with me all the time, and whoever tries to say that words don't have power has never been leveled by the weight of someone else's opinions. I'm not sure why I give those people that kind of power, but I do. The world doesn't really know what to do with me, so it tries to shame me into some other category. My own insecurities try to tell me that it's for the best.
But, I'm here to say that it's not. I'm here to say that Truth is stronger than Fear. That each and every insecurity I feel is meant to keep me tender and humble. It's meant to remind me that we all have doubts, but that it's a common thread, not a singular peculiarity. That those things that are the hardest to carry are some of the very things that students tell me gives them a measure of hope that they can make it through the maze of adolescence. That there is something more. That I am something more.
I'm writing all this down because on the days that the Fear is winning, I want to be able to go back and remember that Fear has no more power over me than anything else. And that in the times that it seems like too much, I just have to remember to choose to believe what I know to be true over anything else.