September 13, 2012

Fightin' the Forces

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." -- Eph. 6:12

Exhibits A and B above both were shown to me this morning between my Facebook and Twitter feeds, respectively.  George Takei posted the photo on his Facebook timeline, and something a friend tweeted reminded me about that Bible verse, so I went and looked it up. 

Lately, as artists are wont to do, I have struggled with the most ridiculous insecurity. It's not coming from anything specific...nobody is making me feel badly about myself as a performer or anything like that. I've lost weight. I'm doing a fabulous show with an incredible theatre, where I'm used more and more with each passing production.  I love my costumes. I love my hairstyle for the show.  I'm completely surrounded by wonderful people.

But still, that nagging, evil little insecure voice finds its way into my brain and brings on the waves of self-doubt and negativity.  I'm not going to blame myself anymore, though.  Read that verse again.  I believe it to be true.  These voices are coming directly from the Enemy and attacking my weakest areas, causing me to think I need to try harder, audition for more shows, eat less...and not in the healthy, productive way in which all of those things can be done but, instead, in the obsessive, messed-up priorities, selfish way that has gotten me into trouble before.

When logic prevails, I think back on the past 11 months (I'm starting with CafĂ© des Artistes last November) and I am incredibly proud of the work I've done as an artist, as a Christian, as a person trying to get healthier, as a wife, and as a friend.  It's incredible (and incredibly sad) to me how easily and how quickly that switch can be flipped.  How I can be so proud and happy and then look upon a series of show photos and feel "You're the biggest person on that stage.  Look how fat your face looks.  God, you don't look like anyone else up there, what are you even doing?!"  Or to know in my heart of hearts that I'm thrilled for a friend's successes but still think "It wasn't you this time. You weren't even considered.  Why would you be, though? You've got a long way to go."

(that inner voice is a real bitch, huh?)

This is not coming from a healthy place of bettering myself and pushing myself to reach higher goals.  This is a darker, more sinister force that is trying to halt the progress I've made, trying to make me feel like nothing I'm doing is quite enough, trying to get me to focus completely on myself and how I can make my selfish desires come to pass.

The good news? I'm aware of it.  I know that there are ways to better myself that simultaneously bring happiness and joy to my life that will radiate outward to others around me. That I can push myself to be better without the only result being my own selfish gain. 

Eleanor Roosevelt has been quoted as saying, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."  Well, consider my consent not given. I do not give anyone, physical or spiritual, permission to bring me down and cause me to focus on negativity, insecurity or doubt. 

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