I’ve always been a people-pleaser.
Growing up, when someone asked me a question, I never took it at face value. I never thought about what I wanted, but only about what they wanted to hear. There were moments when I was so afraid of disappointing or offending someone that I became completely paralyzed, unable to say anything at all. There were times I even lied.
I’ve grown a lot since then, but recently, remnants of that people-pleasing fear have poked their heads out, and I’ve been compelled to delve down into the deepest parts of who I am to figure it all out. It’s been a little uncomfortable, but I’ve realized a few things:
First, sometimes I really just don’t know what I want.
Actually, a lot of times. When someone poses a question (like, “What do you want to eat for dinner?”), there is a good chance I haven’t even considered that topic before and will need some time to mull it over. And there is a distinct possibility I may come to the conclusion that I just don’t care.
But second, I do find it hard to be honest with people.
Especially when it comes to completely subjective opinions, ideas, and preferences.
I realized recently that at the bottom of this difficulty is an inability to justify to myself why my opinion should be important. Why should I be honest about my preference if that preference will clash with my friend’s and make them unhappy? Why should I express my opinion if that opinion will offend someone? Why should I share my idea if I already know it’s not what everyone will ultimately decide to do in the end?
And then it hit me. Well, for one thing, being honest would allow people to know me.
Wow. I suddenly found myself asking: Do I think I’m not worth knowing?
In that moment of complete vulnerability (with just myself and God present), my rawness provided the perfect stage for God to come in and speak some truth to the deepest part of me. He said:
I’ve never wavered once in my love for you. I’ve never questioned whether I wanted you for a daughter. I’ve never doubted the choice to make you my minister. Never for one moment have I ever been shaken from the place of complete and utter confidence in my opinion of you, that you are worth every drop of blood I shed, every bit of pain and discomfort I endured, every tear of agony I cried. You are worth it all.
That’s when I realized that it was really a love and security issue all along.
Because that declaration changed everything.
I’m still learning how to be honest with people––it’s a journey and a process, my gut instinct is often still to hide what I’m really thinking and feeling––but I’m excited amidst the discomfort. Excited about who I am becoming. Excited about the deeper level of confidence, the sharper level of clarity, and the higher level of boldness I am entering into. I can already tell I am.
When is it scariest for you to be honest? Why?