Monday, August 25, 2008

Holy S*it!

I hate it when I chicken out of something and blame it on someone else.

So a few weeks ago, I was at Saddleback Church for something other than the candidates' Q & A with Rick Warren. Ignoring all the TV trucks and buzzing helicopters, I sat and listened to Kay Warren, Rick's wife talk about a subject that I had been discussing with my inner critic for quite some time now. When I got one of the random passes, it was only for that specific time, but rather than feel like I got the fuzzy end of the stick, I had this awesome feeling that there was something at that specific time on that particular day that I needed to hear. As I sat there in the sanctuary, I understood why.

She was talking about the fear of stepping up.

Then she referenced Aztlan from Narnia. May mean nothing to you, but I fully expected her to look right at me. I got that feeling in my chest you get when someone randomly calls you out and makes you come up on stage to answer an awkward question. All from a Lion in some kids' movie? Yep! See, I've been using guided imagery in my daily trials with difficult people since I have a few of them buzzing around at any given moment. The picture in my head that I call to mind is the part where Aztlan (The Lion) belts out a roar and shuts the witch up. She is frightened back into her seat and he goes back to his pose of strength even thought she thinks she has won. That whole roar thing and the witch backing down... that's the visual I use when people start to cross my boundaries. Sorry ahead of time if I ever let out a loud roar when you ever happen to "should" on me. At least you'll know why. Back to Kay... she brings up Aztlan and how Lucy, the curious little girl asks one of the Narnians, "Is he safe?" The answer...

"Safe? No. But he is good."

Kay's point was that sometimes, doing what we're supposed to do may not be safe and may be scary, but we know that we are supposed to go in that direction... and that it will be good, and that God is right there with us. I've been wanting to become a group leader in our recovery team for a while now. That was why I went to the summit that day. The problem is that I didn't think I was good enough to go the next step... to ask. I was paralyzed by the fear that I wasn't ready. I didn't know if I would ever get the courage up to ask. See, once you ask, you are open to rejection. That rejection might sound like criticism to a sensitive ear. And I can be... sensitive. I hate that. A LOT! But supposedly, I'm not concerned about what others think anymore. And there was Kay reminding me that my Lion is good... So why then, did it bother me when the woman (leader) sitting next to me (also listening to Kay speak) got all snarky and said I was merely getting there? Because it tapped into that crummy fear.

"I'm not good enough."

That afternoon, we had the opportunity to nail a note to a cross. Each of us wrote what we were going to leave behind, nailed to wood, never to haunt us again. In next year's program, there will likely be a picture of some crazed woman pounding a nail in as far as it could go eliciting giggles and stares from some bewildered attendees at this summit. No matter how much she resembles me... don't be fooled. That woman was someone who was brave and strong at that moment. The woman typing this post still holds that fear in a little velvet box, wrapped up in a plain brown wrapper, tied with some twine, tucked away in a dark spot, somewhere deep in her heart.

What a pathetic loser.

But then I sat there at church on Sunday, a week and a day later, and heard a message of how many other leaders were afraid. Afraid of not being good enough. Afraid of change. (Woah! Didn't I just post something about that? Creepy...) Now, I don't mean to say that I am equal to Moses or Abraham, but I'm also not being asked to go smack down some big old Pharoah or build a massive nation. Nope. Just being nudged to help out with a small group of women that want to recover from life's hurts. Not a big deal. *big sigh* But I still worry... and I still care a teensy tiny bit about the opinion of others... and I'm still afraid to hear "No, Sugar. You're not good enough."

How many times do you suppose I need to hear that I am good enough? Only one more...

In comes The Pilot this morning, one day after the Fear of Change sermon, coffees in hand. Did you know we have a Starbuck's within walking distance from us? Did you know that sometimes, I'm still tempted to go to the Starbuck's Drive Thru like three miles away? Way to be green, huh? Anyway, today's installation of The Way I See It on the back of the coffee cup was #17. Look it up. I'll wait... Oh, never mind... I'll just show it to you:

Huh! Serendipity comes in 16 oz. coffee containers, too!

Here, I got all worked up about someone else being snarky and allowing that feeling of not being good enough to spill on to me and get me all yucky with their stuff almost to the point of not stepping out and stepping up. And all this time, the truth... (according to Keith Olbermann, but not Starbucks as they clearly state that this is the authors opinion... big chickens) the truth may actually be that they, the dream stealers, the nay-sayers, the grumpies are simply not very smart. Huh! In fact, they may actually be stupid! So you know what? Me and my lion are going to step up and just keep on roaring at all the stupid people in the world.

Even if sometimes, I still get a little scared...


Stories are great for encouragement. I'd love to hear stories about overcoming fears, ignoring dream stealers, or eschewing the snarkiness of others.



Lu said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!!! They are the stupid ones. Finally, I understand.

MonkeyGirl said...

Years ago we needed to make a change to the trainer for my department. My boss went around the room to every one of her managers and commented on why they would be good in the position and why she needed them to stay put. Every single person around the conference room except me. And I wanted the job. Bad. I thought the same thing "maybe I'm not good enough. Maybe there is something she sees in me that I don't see in myself."

I decided that I needed to know. I had to find out why she didn't want me for the job. I had to move quick before I lost my courage. When I confronted her, her exact words were "You want the job? I didn't ask you because I figured you would hate it." Long story short, I got the job and it opened up hundreds of new opportunities for me. Take the leap, good things can happen!

KingdomWriter said...

That was a powerful post girl!
I wish I could just decide to got to Saddelback church on a sunday. One day I will, though.
Aneway,sounds like God is on YOUR CASE!
And ask yourself the question, what would happen if you didn't step up? Nothing, right... Isn't that an even scarier thought?
I love Aslan, he was always my favourite. He is also Jesus, of course.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Sugar,
Your last two posts have been very symmetrical with things I have felt at one time or another, about myself, about my relationship with my wife. However, if I had never stepped up to explore that relationship, had I listened to so many people who told me I was insane to leave my world for so much unknown, had I not found the inner strength I never knew lie within me, I would have experienced nothing, just continued to function in my known safe world. The best thing I ever did was leap off that cliff, and though there has been pain and tears, never regret. And the rewards too great to go into. You rock!

D'Arcy said...

Whenever I doubt myself or worry that the path I am choosing is not working as fast as I want, or it even just seems all wrong, I remember a thought I heard about a dancer...

Do you think the most stunning, celebrated, and adept dancer in the entire world could become so by only ever dancing to the most brilliant, illuminating, and clever music in the world?

Or would they freak, hip-hop, and tango to every riff, beat, and la-bamba within earshot?

I think we know the answer! Let that Lion loose!

We take time to become who we are, but also, we have everything within us that is going to create our life's journey. I am tired of letting other people tell me how I should feel about me. So, I really try not to.

You ARE good enough.

You ARE amazing.

You ARE strong.

You ARE a woman and we want to hear you roar!

You do it, Shoog.

Rowena said...

I am fresh out of stories, but I have to say... what's the worst that could happen, even if they did say, sorry, Shoog, you're just not good enough?

Which I doubt, seriously anyone would, by the way.

Rowena said...

Haha. The next post I read on my googlereader was and she posted a quote from Marianne Williamson that I think fits QUITE nicely.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

smiles4u said...

Great post...very powerful revelation that you have received and one I hope you run with. Facing fear is never easy but once you get to the other side you come out so much better. Not feeling good enough is an aweful makes me sad that you feel this way but one I relate to and I am sure many others do too.

I needed to read this tonight. I could also stand to learn this guided imagary you talked of to help me face my own adversarys.

You are good enough...more than good enough.

Sugar said...

You guys are all awesome. I found myself making up excuses all week for not meeting with the people that I need to meet with in order to put some plans in place. I had a little bit of chaos in the way, as well... but now I'm ready. I'm at my desk making all the calls. I've got my roaring lion and all of my friends and I'm stepping up!

Rowena: I've read that before... many many many times. Each time, I smack myself and remember the last time it hit me and wonder why I let things slip from the last time to this time... does that make sense? I want so much to hold on to that thought. Maybe I should tattoo it on to my arm. That's a lot of ink, huh?

Sugar said...

Oh, I know you won't believe me... but THE Bloggess just tried to comment here. She tweeted me instead. Can I just say that I LOVE HER!

Sugar said...

TheBloggess - Your blog won't let me comment right now but I wanted to tell you that you are *more* than good enough.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I love Aslan. I want to hug his neck and bury my face in his fur. (I'm such a shameless Jesus Freak... and totally unapologetic about it...)

Anyway, CLEARLY God was nudging you while you were sitting at Saddleback listening to Kay talking. If you have one of those moments where you are positive the spotlight is going to come on at ANY MOMENT and shine directly on you.... yes, then God is working through the speaker and talking to you. And, that, my darling is most COOL!

He's doing some big stuff in your life these days, Sugar - really really really really really (have I said really yet?) cool.

High five to you from the East Coast! :-)


Ann said...

It's amazing how deep the crevasse of low self-esteem can run. I know my own runs deep and wild, and takes a lot of practiced harnessing.

Lela said...

A post like this is so very smooth and inspirational and brave. Does that just come out all at once? If so, don't ever stop writing - that's all I can say. Great post, great generosity!