Ego and Insecurity
Dallas Willard words my symptoms perfectly in his book The Divine Conspiracy.
Egotism is a reaction to anxiety about whether one really does count. It is a form of acute self-consciousness . . . It is a desperate response to the need we all have to count for something and be held to be irreplaceable, without price.
And I’m not sure I’m the only one living this way. A lot of us seem to seek the approval of others while living with the anxiety that we don’t measure up. We hope to be recognized for our gifts and to be given a platform to share them with the world while avoiding the shadow sides of our lives.
And that’s the peculiar thing about ego and insecurity. Neither one of them leave room for exploring the shadow, sinful, gross, dark corners of who we are. They just cover them up. So we never talk about the feelings of unworthiness we all carry. I guess if we did we’d realize we aren’t invincible. If we realized that I guess we’d realize we’re actually wounded which means we’re in need of a healer/savior. If we realized that I guess we’d realize we ourselves aren’t saviors. If we realized that I guess we’d humble ourselves enough to allow God to speak into our lives -- which ironically is what we preach from our platforms.
This lifestyle is exhausting. I desperately wish I could live out of my “best” self. But I’m not sure I’ve ever met him. I know he doesn’t worry about ego or insecurity. He claims his belovedness from God and lives in it each day with reckless abandonment. He knows that his shadow side, his woundedness, is part of being human and it’s ok if someone finds out about it.
So that’s where I’ll start. I’ll start by exploring and examining the shadow sides of my life. If I can know myself better, then I can know God better. If I can know God better, then I can help others find God too. If I can help others find God then I’m no longer the center of my own universe. If I can stop being the center of my own universe, then maybe I’ll be able to see God noticing me and telling me I’m worthy. I’m irreplaceable. I’m loved.