It has been over a year since I sat down and typed a post. They typically come in seasons of major growth and change throughout my life. As I looked back over the past posts I have typed, I realized I have been battling the same thing. Insecurity. From my past until now, I have made major improvements but I have not YET been able to defeat it. I know that I WILL overcome this, and this time I am closer then ever. I am typing this post as a reminder of some important lessons to myself and to others that may be struggling with the same thing. I hope someone can find some encouragement from this.
I have struggled with insecurity my entire life. I never felt good enough. Never felt that I could make others happy. Never felt that I was lovable. I felt used when people wanted to be in my life. I spent years thinking I was broken and unfixable. I put more and more walls around my heart and never wanted to allow people in. I threw myself into school, work, a relationship full heartedly in order to fulfill my unhappiness. (Do not get me wrong I am a very hard worker and take pride in my work and the strong friendship bonds I have but it is not a solution to insecurity) I did not even realize what I was doing when I made these choices but looking back onto it I do. Even in the times that I did feel good about myself, I was to paranoid about coming off as conceited or I was to busy worrying about other people that I forgot to worry about my own emotional health.
Each time I tried to overcome the insecurities, they seemed to always come crawling back. Looking back now, it was more like putting a band-aid on a deeper cut down in me. My inseurity has led me to some of the darkest place where I was sucidial and brought me to some of my highest points in Wyoming where I learned who I really am.
Once I learned who I was, a battle in my mind started. The same one I had in some of the darkest parts of my high school career when I conquered insecurity in my friendships. I see myself in two ways. I see a broken, wounded person and I see a amazing, healed version. It seemed that the broke, wounded person crushed the amazing person down each day. That it controlled my emotions and thoughts. I felt out of control of myself and how I responded to situations. Until this week, I was unable to put into words how I felt or what was going on. I hurt people along the way. I hurt myself along the way. I was miserable.
Three weeks ago, I hit a breaking point and now that I finally am free from the stresses of school, I have been spending a lot of time digging deeper into who I am and what causes me to feel the way I do. I’ve spent about four hours each day reading and journaling trying to see where my issue stems from. I am only on day four & I have already had a major breakthrough.
By doing this, I realized all of issues came from my past.(which I have known all along). But what I did not realize is that I was not taking responsibility for them. I was victimizing myself to others past actions. Yes my past caused me to build some walls up to protect myself. I tore myself down for years, because if I tear myself down then no one else could say something to hurt me is the mindset I had. My attempts to protect myself as a child has now distanced me from accepting love as an adult. I have trained myself to see myself so negatively in my mind that I forgot to learn to love myself along the way.
“Although your childhood experiences may have caused you much pain and created your false beliefs and resulting behavior, those beliefs and behavior are now yours. Your thoughts that come from your beliefs – not the past – are what cause much of your current pain.”-Inner Bonding
Like I said, I have conquered the part of knowing who I am in a positive mindset but I have not conquered the part of not letting that part of me get destroyed daily by my thoughts.
Today I finally take responsibility for my emotions, for how I feel about myself. Yes, some bad, unfortunate situations have happened in my past but I choose to internalize it the way I did. I choose to let it build walls around my heart. I am not blaming myself for every situation or looking at this as it is all me. I am looking at it in a way that I need to step up and be responsible for my feelings. I need to wake up every morning and bring the positive side of me out.
The best analogy I have ever heard was to hang a white canvas on my wall and each day look at it and remind myself that I get to choose what words to paint on it. I get to choose what version of myself paints that painting that day. To remember that if I do have a bad day, or a bad situation happens that I get to start fresh the next morning.
I am ready to deal with every past pain/emotion and deal with them. To change my mindset from negativity to positivity. To see myself as the beautiful, independent, understanding, loving, caring, hardworking, amazing, sweet, determined, fearless person I really am. The one that is going to make an amazing mother and wife. The one that will be a better daughter, sister, and friend. The person God sees and has created me to be. The one that can finally accept the love everyone has tried to give me my entire life.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” -Song of Solomon 4:7
I encourage anyone that is reading this that struggles with insecurity deep down to start thinking about how you may have internalized things different than they were ever meant to be. How at the end of the day we are responsible for our actions. It is not an easy road to take, but remember that we are strong and courageous and can overcome all challenges.
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us”- Romans 8:37
Here’s an inspirational travel quote for each week of the year (plus one for good measure) to keep you dreaming of exotic lands:
1. “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float; to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.” ― Hans Christian Andersen
2. “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
3. “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
4. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
5. “He who does not travel does…
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Time with people has always been a very precious thing for me but this summer has taught me how precious time with people really is. As my summer experience comes to an end, I realize that a lot of people are in the same boat. We are all about to part from Jackson and head all over the world. Realizing this made me realize how precious my time with these people really is. I had 3 short months with these people. Some I will see again and others I will probably never see or speak to again in my lifetime. It made me reevaluate my relationships with these people. Did I take advantage of every second I could with them? Did I really listen to and let their stories impact my life? Did I live a life full of following my heart and dreams that would make an impact on them? Did I do my part to make them feel special and loved? Did I follow my gut and go for anything I wanted at the time? My answers vary both yes and no.
I realize how that time I had with these people is so precious, which then makes me think of the bigger picture. Every person we meet has an opportunity to make an impact on us, and as do we on them. This is a thought that is known by most but so easily forgotten.
We live in a world that is so fast pace. We are always in such a hurry to get from point A to B that we don’t even notice people anymore. Our lives have become so instant. We can have any information in an instant at our fingertips; we can get instant food without getting out of our car. We live in a world where minimal effort has to be put in. Since we live in this instant world, things can instantly change. We change plans in a second because we received a text. We blow people off because we receive a better offer. We forget how valuable peoples time is. People start to lose trust in other people because we cannot be reliable anymore. Commitment to plans is very unheard of these days.
What if we took time to stop and talk to the homeless guy we see on our walk to work every morning? A cup of coffee or just taking a minute out of your day to acknowledge him and talk to him could have a bigger impact on his life then you could ever imagine. His stories will probably wreck your world also. Or what if we just say hello or smile when passing people walking down the hall or streets. What if people made an effort to step aside from their fast pace, instant lives and really focused on being relational. Really loving people and appreciating everyone for who they are and what they have to offer to this world. Buy someone a cup of coffee, go to a nursing home. Every person in this world has a story. We all have past hurts and future dreams. Obviously it is impossible to talk to every person we see each day but we can take small steps in being more relational and less focused on everything else. I believe that it only takes something as simple as a smile to impact peoples lives, imagine what we could do if we lived in a relational world. Where people genuinely loved other people.
Appreciate the time you have with the people in your life. Put aside time in your busy schedules to sit down and talk. Learn everything you can from each other. Love each other. & Push each other to be the best possible versions of yourselves. Time with people is short. Appreciate it while you have it because you never know when that opportunity will be gone.
So if anyone is anything like me they forget one little tiny detail about their life.
WE ARE YOUNG
We have so much life ahead of us, the things we can do in our time in this world is unbelievable. I don’t know if anyone else does this but I like to make plans. That being said, little high school Claire made a plan of how her life was going to go. I was going to date a guy for 5 years and get married at 21. I would be going to med-school to become a doctor to cure chronic migraines that me and others that I know struggled with for years. I had it all figured out, that when I got to be around this age, I would have it all figured out. News flash: None of this is the reality of my life and none of it will be. Things change so much, the way we view life, plans and so much more.
Here is the issue, we get disappointed when our certain plans don’t go as planned. We look around and sometimes it seems that everyone else has it all figured it out and we are the only ones who have no clue where we are going or what we are doing with our lives. This is where we are very wrong. I would say that 5% (if even that) know exactly what they want where they will be and will actually do that. The rest of us, well we tend to compare ourselves to them.
We our own worst critics. We basically are setting ourselves up for failure when we do this whole his grass is greener comparison about our future. We create this picture perfect image of what life is going to be and when it doesn’t work out, we beat ourselves up about what we did wrong or what we could have done better and so on. Well I have news for you, every single one of us are going to fail. We actually will fail many of many times. The only way to reach success is by failure. And this is why failure is okay. Accept failure as an accomplishment, not a defeat.
WE ARE YOUNG
Aren’t happy with your major? Change it. Want to travel? Do it. Want a new job? Go get one. Need to reevaluate the people in your life? Go for it. Surround yourself with positive people. Follow your heart and accomplish your dreams. We are young. We can do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. I know there are many different circumstance but in general, you control the destiny of your own life, and you don’t have to have it all together today. Figure it out as you go. Live every day as your last. Because even though we are young, life is short. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for it. Make sure you remember that it is okay to mess up. You slept late and missed that Yoga class? Oh well, catch it next time. You didn’t accomplish everything you wanted in one day? Finish it tomorrow. Life is not supposed to be so structured and look like a picture perfect screen. The world is full of possibilities and little details. Focus on that. Stop beating yourself up over the things you didn’t do and start focusing on accomplishing the things in life you want to. Even if it is as small as stopping to smell a flower on the way to work. Stopping and noticing the littlest details can change your entire view for the day. So do what you want. Take control of your life and your happiness. Be an active decision maker in your life today.
We are Young & We are full of life.
Take advantage of that.
**This blog post is going to be targeting 20-something year olds but even if you are older, most of what I said can apply to your life in some way shape or form.**
So I have officially been in the beautiful Jackson, Wyoming for over a month now. As I find myself missing friends at home some, I also find myself not wanting to move back home. This place is truly a special place, that honestly has changed my life. I stated before in my last two post about how I have become more secure and how I really believe that traveling can help you grow as a person. This week all of that was put to a test. I won’t go into details about the situation, but basically I was put in a situation to take a stand for myself or to just sit back and continue to let things be as they were. It was something I had been thinking about for a few weeks now. I have found my worth. I know who I am and what I deserve. I am finally seeing the person of who I am, and not seeing myself as how other people treat me. I have found my worth. God has been using this season to stretch and make me grow. So yesterday I had to make one of the hardest choices I have had to make in a long time. I spent my entire morning in prayer about it, and like always, God showed up in his special way for me. Giving me the peace and comfort needed to make the choice I had to make. As I went to do what I needed to do, someone else handled it for me. I was kind of annoyed at this point, it was finally my turn to take a stand for myself and someone else did it. As I walked back to my coworkers, my manger looked at me and said, someone else may have said the words first but you were going to do it. You had made that choice, you should be proud of yourself. When I heard that I found the truth in it. If this situation was happening a year ago, I would have never had the courage to do what I was going to do. So yesterday I took a stand. It came with some sadness, but knowing I finally am becoming that secure person God has created me to be, that is worth more than anything. The progress is amazing, but I still have a lot more to learn, and I can’t wait to see what happens within the next two months!
As I mentioned in my last post. I am learning so much about myself and life in my short time of being here. Today I realized that we are overcomers. Now, I have known that for a while now but today that word took an entirely different meaning to me. We are humans, we sin. We are all born with a sin that will hold us back more than others. Some people its lying, others it is pride, mine is insecurity. These sins that hold us back more than the others are the sins that seriously become our daily battles. These battles are not easy, and as I stated before: we are humans we will fail. That is where our wonderful Savior comes into play. Through Him we have the strength to fight these battles daily. & That’s where today comes in. Like I said, I have struggled with insecurity for a very long period of time. No matter what people told me about myself, (even if I know it is true) I doubted, second guessed or convinced myself they are just saying that. It got to the point where it got so bad, that I would make excuses of why people wanted to be in my life (besides just genuinely liking me). I had slightly working on it before I moved up here, and I had gotten better but I still was struggling. Moving up here, I had no expectations. I just wanted to come work and get away from the heat and enjoy everything Jackson has to offer. Little did I know that God has a different plan. That he was going to use this season to mold and shape me into the women that in my mind I knew I was, but never had the courage to act out.
Just incase anyone doubts this (which you may strongly disagree) God can use music, outside of Christian music, to teach us and speak to us. Today he used the song Lanslide by Fleetwood Mac to teach me a lesson I don’t think I could ever forget. So incase you have never heard this song, which it is quite beautiful. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_CwT7p8-e8 I suggest listening through it once then continue reading. I could break down each part of this song and how it impacted me today but instead I am going to focus on the main point. The second and third lines read like this:
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
& I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills.
-Lanslide, Fleetwood Mac
If I can put into words exactly what I did today, it would be this. The outdoors is the best therapy anyone can ever get. So after a long day with a lot on my mind, I climbed a mountain. And then I sat there, and stared off into the distance at the snow covered mountains across from me. & then I hiked back down. During this getaway, this song came on. And instantly I started to learn something about myself. That when people look at these mountains, they see beauty, beauty that is so imperfect that it is perfect. A beauty that leaves you wanting more, you can never get enough of it. Just like the beauty we as humans hold. People see strength. Mountains are big and strong, they are sturdy. But they also hold weakness. When you see mountains, they have snow. And the snow melts and washes away. Just like snow, weaknesses come and go throughout different seasons. When you see mountains, you can see passion. Because somewhere on that mountain, at some point in time. There was a passionate person trying to conquer that mountain. Just as we as humans are passionately trying to conquer everyday life and the horrors that it holds. When you look at a mountain, you can see consistency through change. The overall mountain does not change, but the things that grow on it does. Just like humans, who we are in our core, is always going to be the same but as we go through life and learn we do change smaller parts about ourselves. & the final one that I will point out is when people see mountains, they see detail. Each and every crevasse that makes the mountain so spectacular. These are all things that I have always known but never wanted to accept about myself. I am beautiful. Size, weight, none of that matters. I am beautiful through my imperfections. I am strong. I am worthy. I have weaknesses, but they don’t define me. I am passionate. I am loving. I am caring. I am consistent. I am a warrior. I am constantly changing and growing. I have a lot of hurt, but every single one of those hurts are the details that have shaped me into me. I am becoming secure in these things and more. Because I am an overcomer.
So today, I came one step closer to overcoming my insecurity.
The battle is not over, but I have taken one giant leap forward to conquering this battle.
I hope me being open and real can encourage you to take a step forward in fighting yours.
IM LIVING THAT WYOMING LIFE.
After 2 long years I finally did it. I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the summer. I feel like this has been a long journey, but it has been one of the best. I have learned so much in the week that I have been here. I am learning how important it is to get out and travel, to enjoy and be part of the world. There are so many beautiful places and so much more we can be doing with our lives then we will ever realize. We are on a time clock. Each day is a day that we will never get back, and a day closer until we get to see the Lord. Think about that for a second. We are counting down the days till we die, but counting towards the days we get to see the Lord. Every day counts. Being that I moved up here with no car, I walk a mile to work somedays and bike about 3 the other days. Training has consisted of going on multiple river trips to learn the products we will be selling. This being said, I have spent most of my days outside. I have always loved spending my days outside, but up here I am learning how important it is. I am living in a place that no matter where you look, you have some kind of beautiful scene to be looking at. The view of the Tetons never gets old. The other day on our scenic float trip, I sat back and really looked at them. God designed every little detail in these amazing mountains, just like He designed every little detail in us. It is incredible everything God is teaching me through the wilderness. It also amazes me how much I am learning about myself. Like that I really do have a huge travelers heart. How I just want to go and adventure all the time, and that is really when I am truly the happiest. This was one of the hardest but best decisions of my life. Moving across the country from my friends and family, to a city where I only knew 5 people (3 being under the age of 7) was one of the scariest things I have done. But I have only been here a week and I have learned and experienced way more then I could even imagine doing back home. I would encourage and push each and every person to get out and travel. Especially before you start to settle down in life. It may be costly, but the experience and the knowledge you will learn is priceless. So work hard, play hard, and travel while doing both.
& as my favorite poem states:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.