May 30, 2017
“Pick a card that shows the phase of life you are in right now…”
I walk around the table as everyone is eating, looking at all the pictures that are laying strewn all over. Pictures of trees, carousels, babies, beaches, cars overflowing with people, delicate spider webs, foggy roads… and a solitary girl, standing facing the camera, hand raised to block her face from the camera’s gaze. That’s the one… I realize with a jolt. That solitary girl who is there in front of the camera, but choosing to be faceless. She’s there, but not there. It’s such a sad picture–full of insecurity.
Why, out of all these pictures, is this the one that jumps out at me? Why is this the only one to claim me as its own? I sit back down and lie. Telling all these beautiful women that I’ll have to look at the pictures later because none of them are jumping out at me and plus, it’s hard to look at each picture while everyone is eating. I lie because I don’t want to talk. I lie because I’m so close to tears. I lie because I don’t want to analyze my only question. Why is the only picture that speaks to me, the one that portrays insecurity…?
I have fought so hard against insecurities. I’m not insecure, not any more. I’ve left all that behind a long, long time ago. At least that’s what I thought. But apparently not…
I am that girl. This girl who gracefully stands there, all alone, beautiful, but anonymous, faceless–refusing to be apart of the picture. I do this with life. I’m there, but not. I’m friendly, but not friends with people. I’m a walking ghost, floating through life, but never living it. I have no passions, no goals, no purposes. I simply exist. Going to work and Netflix is all I do.
I fight the entire night to ignore that picture, to ignore the intense sadness that is filling my entire being, to focus on the lesson about Colossians. I use my multitude of markers to make my notes beautiful even as I am forcefully reminded with each breath, with each heartbeat that the faceless girl claimed me as her own.
I make it to the end of the night by not speaking much. The tears are too close. But before I’m able to leave, I’m asked one more time about which picture I would pick. I take a deep breath, hoping I can explain without completely breaking down, and pick up the faceless girl.
“It’s this one,” I say holding her up.
“I don’t know. I feel like she’s in this picture, but doesn’t really want to be. That’s why she’s covering her face. She’s there, but not there. And I think I’m like that: I want to be engage, but I can’t or don’t engage.”
I begin to cry and finish by saying “I’m sorry. I just feel like this is such a sad picture. It makes me really sad that this is the only picture I relate to.”
I’ve always felt like there was something wrong with me deep, deep down. Something that actually kept me from making deep connections with people. I had a lot of excuses for this. I blamed my jr. high friends who, to me, turned on me and made sure that I knew that I wasn’t cool enough to be around, unless there was no one else. Or I’d say “I’m just introverted”. But the real reason was fear. Fear that if people really got to know me, they’d reject me. That I, at the root of myself, am not good enough to know. Which is rather strange because I am a pretty confident person, but deep down inside there is a voice that whispers: Don’t let people really get to know you. They won’t like you if they really knew you. You’d be too much…
But then I read “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile, which is a book about enneagrams (different personalities) and that changed my whole perspective.
There is a personality type (enneagram) that is called a Loyalist and this personality type craves close relationships, but as a child they constantly got the message that they were “too much” — too weird, too talkative, too quiet, too nerdy, too annoying, too [fill in the blank] — and as such, they pendulum close to people and then away because they are afraid they are “too much”
That one chapter not only put into words exactly what I do and made me realize there wasn’t something wrong with me, but most importantly, it gave me a “face” to fight against. Because the truth of the matter is those thoughts of me being “too much” is a lie. It’s a lie that Satan whispers to me to keep me from close relationships. It’s a lie that keeps me from sharing what I’m going through. It’s a lie that keeps me isolated which is really what Satan ultimately wants for me and everyone. A lie that keeps me vulnerable to his attacks.
So I’ve declared war on that lie. Every time I hear those whispers of: You shared too much. You talked too much. You were too weird. You were too vulnerable. I simple whisper back: No, I was not…I was enough.
Because I am a daughter of the King, a warrior princess, perfectly created for the time I was born in, and God doesn’t make mistakes.
So this is my war that I declare against. I declare war on the lies that I’m “too much”.
I DECLARE WAR!
– Sarah Baum