(Photo from Pinterest, original location may be here)
Several months ago the Lord made it clear to me that I worried too much about what others thought of me. I admit that I was a little surprised by this revelation in the beginning as I thought that I didn’t care. Then I started to realize all of the times that I had held myself back because of a worry about what others would think. Acts of service that hadn’t been performed because I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. Events that hadn’t been attended or enjoyed because I was worried about what others thought of my appearance. Posts that hadn’t been written because of fear of what people would think when I opened up. It didn’t take long to discover that it’s true. I care too much about what others think and it definitely holds me back.
Recently my family was able to spend some time at the beach. We rented some boogie boards and Big Boy and I set out into the surf. I had never boogie boarded before so I really didn’t know what I was doing. There was a young guy there boogie boarding who had obviously had some experience on a board. I watched him, trying to gain some insight into how to boogie board, which kind of waves he would ride and which ones he let pass, etc. Soon I was trying to do just what he was doing and have my 7 year old do the same. I felt stupid if I didn’t look just like he looked.
Then I stopped myself. I realized that I was ruining the experience for me. Who cares if I don’t look like a long time boogie boarder? I decided that I didn’t. I rode whatever wave I wanted to and didn’t care when it tossed me around and spit me out the other side gasping for air and eyes stinging from the salt water. Or if I chose the wrong wave to ride and only ended up going two feet. Or that we had to walk out into the ocean instead of swimming on the board. I was having fun. A lot of fun. More fun than I ever remember having at the beach.
Now I’m wondering how much more there could be in my life if I wasn’t constantly holding myself back, worrying about what someone else might think. I’m grateful for such a simple experience to show me how my insecurities are effecting my life and to help teach me to ride whatever wave is right for me no matter what others are doing.