We’ve Been Here Before (I Recognize That Tree)

The number of posts I have written that have something to do with learning to love yourself, or becoming free, or letting yourself grow and breathe and create, are insane. You would think that by now I would have it down…that I would be an amateur expert on this sort of thing. From my posts it might seem as though I have it all figured out and know exactly what I’m doing. I Have Arrived.

Sadly, no. I wish I had arrived. I wish I knew how to do this every day, consistently, regardless of circumstances. I wish I knew by now how to love myself and let God love me and never hit a bump in the road. But what can I say? I am human and humans struggle with this. In fact this is probably one of our biggest struggles, because if we can’t love ourselves or let God love us, we’re paralyzed. Perfect love drives out fear, and lots of other things, so if that is neutralized, then we are neutralized. There are moments of freedom – it’s getting better. But it’s not where it should be.

At the end of every semester, after the chaos ends and I am left alone with my thoughts in the quiet of my room, I find myself having to re-re-learn. Because despite what I might believe and know in my head, I sometimes do still find my identity in the marks I earn. I do still compare myself to others, in academics and in every other part of life. I do still, sometimes, catch myself thinking that I can’t do this, or that I’m not good enough, or not intelligent enough, not pretty enough, not creative enough, not interesting enough, not academic enough, not <insert every positive adjective here> enough.

What is that, even? How dare I tell myself those things? I would never tell my friends that they’re not enough and I would never think that about them. I would have to restrain myself from breaking the face of whoever said that about anyone. So why do I treat myself so badly? I think that most of us do this, and I think it should stop. I think we should decide, once and for all, to believe what God says. Because we believe the other things He says, but when it comes to our identities – when it comes to passages like Psalm 139 – it suddenly becomes difficult to believe Him. But let’s just decide, shall we?

All I know is I don’t want to be 50 before I figure this out. So this is me, deciding.

Have no fear, you will
find your way.
It’s in your bones.
It’s in your soul.

Mark Z. Danielewski

4 thoughts on “We’ve Been Here Before (I Recognize That Tree)”

  1. Aye, I think it’s something we all deal with, and we all try to cover up, or overcome, this fear differently. Some use money, some use fame, others use drugs and sex, and others take the attention away from themselves and point their fingers to others in blame.

    Here is a poem I wrote, concerning my own struggle with this fear of self, and it comes to the same conclusion as you do.

    “I can live my
    whole life
    in fear
    of who I am
    or I can go out
    and be all I am.”


    1. I love that! And it’s so true. Fear is such a prison.
      Personally, when I try and find my identity anywhere other than God, things start to go south. For me it’s always a matter of coming back to what He says…but it would be nice to be able to stay there.


      1. Fully. God created us and therefore our identity is also found in Him. The other things pale in comparison to the truth we find when we meet God, and they are, when they are good things, indicators towards who we ultimately are and not our final destination.

        It is as Paul said “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”.

        And as Lewis echoed, “For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a love we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”


        1. Absolutely. That verse captures so much of the human condition but also of what we have to look forward to. And what Lewis said is also very profound. But it’s comforting to know that we’ll visit that country one day, and stay there 🙂


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