Truth be told, I am a twitching, worried ball of insecurities. Oh, I see you shaking your head, and I hear you telling me it can’t be so — you just saw me play the stage so confidently the other evening — but I am here to burst your bubble.

I battle insecurity. I battle it every day, every time I look in the mirror. Those nasty words and slights from childhood? They cut more than you ever could imagine, burned more than you could guess. I am scarred inside, a mess of anxiety and fears and not-good-enough feelings that only dim and never vanish completely. Some days it’s worse than others.

Remember that phrase about “sticks and stones?” They got it wrong — they can and DO hurt, a lot — but they also got some of it right: it only breaks you if you let it. Even though I ended up a mess, an emotional wreck lying there on the floor, I set my jaw and dragged myself back UP. Every time, after every nasty comment. Hurt like that will eat you alive. I grew up in the country, in the rough-and-tumble wild, and I learned fast that life is hardly ever fair. It will kick you down to the ground if given half a chance…

…but you’ll only stay down if you let it.

Really, that’s my secret. We all have a choice in how we react to adversity. I am probably the most insecure person you’ll ever meet, but I’m the one who didn’t let it eat me. Even though I do not live up to everyone’s standards, nor will I ever be able to please everyone, I’m still the only one who can play my songs and have them mean something. And having the power to do that, even with the emotional risk, means more to me than any alternative.

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4 thoughts on “Insecure

  1. you remember that the only way somebody can hurt you is, if you let them hurt you, right? some people say things and you just shrug it off and let it go. And then there are people that you think you care about, when they say something, it hurts like hell. What I am trying to say is – it is your choice.

    I read it somewhere that the only way you will reach out and touch the souls of your audience is if you sing from the bottom of your heart, if you open up and put yourself on a platter, when you are valnerable. You have to look into yourself and write about that pain, write about insecurities till they go. You reach people because they can relate to you and to your feelings. If you are insecure and you sing a happy song, it will come accross fake…

    And remember you are perfectly imperfect and that is what is awesome about you.

    1. That’s a load of bollocks that never worked for me. ANYONE can hurt you if they want to, saying it is a choice on your part doesn’t address the problem. Even when you wall yourself into a safe, little fortress, even when you let nobody in, people can still hurt you if they’re malicious enough. True bullies have a knack for it, and you can’t just make it not hurt by waking up and saying, “when so-and-so calls me names today, it isn’t going to hurt.” You can fake it, you can pretend it does’t faze you, but I guarantee on some level, it does. The trick is learning to find that internal strength to get back up and move forward. And when you look deep inside, there’s where the choice is: deciding whether you’re going to give up or keep going.

      Dealing with maliciousness and bullying is kind of like bicycling up a very steep hill. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be tough — but you decide whether you’re going to move past it or turn around and go home.

      As for singing from the bottom of your heart, I wholeheartedly agree. You have to put your soul into your music or it’s just another farce.

      1. I would still disagree with you. Pain is inevitable but suffering is always an optional. You choose what certain words mean to you and no matter who says those words, you have a meaning associated with them and you hurt yourself. Words without a personal meaning do not hurt.

        If somebody tells you that you are fat in a language that you do not understand, it doesn’t mean anything to you. But if they tell you using words that you have heard before, that you have associated an emotional turmoil with, it will hurt as hell.

        I am not dismissing what you feel as that is true and there is no doubt that it hurts. And I am not saying that what you are going through is bullshit. What I am saying is that you are hurting yourself! Nobody can hurt you as words are just a sound, it is you who gives them a meaning and allows them to affect you.

        The same way as you perceive music. There is music that will get to you really deep and that is because you have had an experience either with meaning of the lyrics or sounds. And there is music that neither lyrics nor music itself creates any emotion and that is because you have nothing to compare it to.

        You now I am right. However, the way you choose to deal with it – either take it as always and let it get you down and then crawl back up or just choose not to be influenced by it, it is your way of living, it is the path you have to choose.

        I know what bullying is, I know how it is when people humiliate you and call you names. I know how it is, when you do not know if somebody will beat you up because they are not happy with who you are. I know all that but I also know that is always my choice what I do with what is coming my way…and it is always my choice what meaning certain words have…

  2. I don’t think it’s putting yourself through undue suffering to recognize the ouch in some statements, or recognize that you have insecurities, and then move on. The person is still moving on, they’re still growing as an individual and not letting the bad opinions of others hamper them. I think suffering would be if they were NOT to make any attempts to get past it, to curl up in a hole and rot away…

    Also, how can you choose what meaning words have? Fat = fat. Bitch = bitch. Whore = whore. Regardless of how you look at it, those words will always have those meanings. Sure, we can *say* that we’ve appropriated a new, gentler meaning, but truly, a book is still a book, a hammer is still a hammer, etc. And even if no one ever called you any of those things before, if someone calls you something bad to your face, it’s still going to set you back on your heels because those words still carry meaning. It may not be personal, but it’s still meaning.

    Of course — and the more we discuss, the more I think we are saying the same thing — one has a choice on how we react to those words. How we react to those things doesn’t change what they are. But we can still choose how to react. 🙂

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