Since I was a little girl, I've pretty much had the same routine each day.
Wake up and immediately begin climbing a large mountain called Inadequacy.
To climb this ugly mountain, I've had to acquire certain skills: Overachieving. Performance. Perfectionism. Producing. Striving. Lying. Hiding. Strategist. Slaving. Grinding….doing whatever it takes to get to the top—at the expense of everyone else, but especially at the expense of me.
No matter how much success I obtained, no matter how perfect my body became, how many books or songs I sold, or how many achievements I had under my belt….I could never seem to reach the peak where everything finally felt TOTALLY peaceful. And because I couldn't seem to ever fully overcome or reach the top of the inadequacy mountain, deep down, I've lived a majority of my life petrified that everyone will find out a core truth that I've spent my lifetime trying to hide…..
I am not enough to be loved as I am.
I will only be fully loved if.
I will only be fully loved when.
I won't ever be fully loved unless.
But living in a world of if's, when's, and unless's means one thing:
You live in a constant state of discontentment, unsatisfied with every waking moment.
A couple of years ago when my daughter Goldie died in my arms from a condition called anencephaly where her brain and top skull didn't form, I had never longed to escape a moment like the I wanted to escape the excruciating moments of her death. Every second, minute, and day for months and months hurt like hell was scraping and clawing at my heart, bleeding me dry of any life or will to live.
But smack dab in the middle of hell on earth, I made the decision that changed my life…..I chose to sit down in the middle of hell on earth and accept it—connecting to Love (heaven) in the middle of my darkest night.
I chose to stay present with my heart as it bled all over the place, choosing not to abandon it like I had in the past.
I chose to accept myself as a disaster, fully experience and embrace the agony, and learn to love myself as a completely hot mess.
Every day of my grieving process, instead of overachieving and moving up my mountain of inadequacy like I would have in the past, I began accepting myself as totally inadequate. I learned to accept my very present weakness. I learned to embrace the fact that some days I wanted whiskey at 9am to numb the pain, and that girl and her cravings was still lovable. I learned to be okay with the fact that many days I couldn't even get out of bed. I learned to embrace the woman who wanted to run to every old numbing trick in the book (alcohol, sex, food, escapism, shopping, busyness)….not trying to fix her, clean her up faster, or fast track her healing process.
I just learned to be with myself as I was.
Just be with me, in my worst moments of life.
As I learned to accept my broken heart without shame or judgment as it was being pieced back together, a miracle happened…..I actually learned to like myself, even while I was a total mess. As I pulled my heart close when it bled and sobbed, I learned that love and acceptance was the medicine that began to heal me and bring peace. As I became the best friend I had always wanted—nurturing, supporting, caring for and loving my heart as it lay wounded and broken…..
I learned to be like Jesus.
Today, my second book Heart Made Whole is released into the world, and for weeks up until book launch, my old tactics of inadequacy try to rise up and claw at my mind and heart, prompting me to run back to old patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. When I have given into their screams—listening to how I'm only good enough IF I have a successful book, or that I'm only a good writer and speaker WHEN I make this or that list, or that I can't make it to success and peace UNLESS the world loves me through clicks, shares, follows, and purchases—-when I listen to those whispers….
I. FEEL. CRAZY.
SO. I. THEN. ACT. CRAZY.
Numerous times in the past few weeks, I've run to check my book ranking on Amazon, letting my emotions fluctuate up and down with the number. It's as if my heart has had a value attached to it, hoping that a number closer to #1 will help me finally feel like a #1.
But then, I stop. I close my eyes and smile, remembering what it felt like to love and accept myself as a disaster after Goldie died. I remember how shame and judgment are terrible motivators for change, so I pull the inadequate, insecure, fearful 38-year-old Christa in close, wrapping her up inside of love that's been so lavishly poured out on me from above. (I John 4:19)
I love you, insecure Christa. I love you like Jesus loves you in this very moment. I love you even though you're still scared, still afraid that you're not enough, still petrified you'll never be loved.
I love you, Christa, even if your book is a total failure and no one buys or reads it.
I accept you in this moment, fearful Christa, still longing to have an external world of strangers validate the inadequacy you feel within. I'm staying WITH you, refusing to abandon or neglect you, fearful Christa, refusing to shame or beat you with judgment.
I forgive you, insecure Christa, for not being all the things you think you should be at this point in your life.
I see that as a little girl, Christa, all you wanted was nurture and acceptance—acceptance that you felt like you never received enough of….or deserved even when you did receive it. I recognize, broken heart, that you will never heal if I keep you locked away, ignored and forgotten.
So I pull you up and embrace ALL of you—the girl who bit off a fingernail or two worrying about book launch day. I hold you close, frightened Christa, knowing that only perfect love can cast out your very old, and very real fears.
I accept you. I receive you. I embrace you. And I love you…..just as you are in this moment.
Just like God does.
I have a feeling I'll have to run back towards these feelings of love and acceptance in the days and weeks to come, as Heart Made Whole is shipped out and sold all over the globe. I'll have to keep accepting the scared little girl who still feels like she's far from enough, pulling her in close as her expectations of value are still sometimes attached to numbers and charts.
But in every moment of acceptance, and not shame…..this love chips away bit by bit at my very old fearful heart, melting the anxiety away into an ocean of love that I'm never separated from. I'm not dreading my fears this week as they are sure to surface. In fact, I'm welcoming them as an opportunity to expose more of my internal inadequacy—fears that can only be cast out as they are loved as they are.
So today as my book is released all over the world, with very real fears surfacing from the depth of my heart that the book won't be enough, I sigh deeply, knowing those fears have been with me throughout the course of my life.
I'm not really afraid the book won't be enough. I've ALWAYS been afraid that I'm already not enough, and that's very different.
So today, I hold the fearful Christa close with deep affection, knowing that love is all that her broken heart really needs to finally be made whole.
Order your copy of Heart Made Whole, RELEASED TODAY, and learn to love your heart the same way that God does!