How A Security Blanket Can Become An Insecurity Blanket

How A Security Blanket Can Become An Insecurity Blanket

The more we rely on a security blanket, the more insecure we become.

For as long as I can remember, I have had long hair. I can only recall one phase from when I was around the age of four when Matilda, Dora and I all shared a similar hairstyle: straight, dark brown, cut to the shoulders and finished off with eyebrow-length bangs.

What a look.

Since then, my hair has gone from long, longer to longest. When you've had long hair for the majority of your existence, people begin associating this feature with you; it becomes part of your identity, both internally and externally.

The reality is that we as humans tend to attach ourselves and our identity to physical entities, a.k.a security blankets or comfort objects.

I have found that there is great irony in this because the more we rely on a security blanket, the more insecure we often become. The problem with this increasing reliance is that once the entity ceases to be or is taken away from us, we are left to push through a minor (and sometimes major) identity crisis.

This attachment can be to a teddy bear, a special blanket, a scarf, a piece of jewelry, you name it. If you have something tangible in your life that you feel you would be insecure, incomplete or unrecognizable without and you fully depend on it to make you feel a certain way (hidden, comforted, protected, confident, etc..) chances are that it has become a security blanket.

These objects provide us with the psychological comfort that we innately desire. Throughout childhood, we naturally attach ourselves to the blankets, toys or stuffed animals that we were given as infants.

While I do believe it is important to have a source of comfort or security, and I absolutely acknowledge that there are certain circumstances where these objects are necessary and immeasurably helpful, being able to seek comfort from within is a transformative skill that can catapult us into an unexplored realm of self-reliance.

One of the first steps in detaching from these objects is recognizing that we can experience the same security and strength without the comfort objects as we once experienced with them. The power to feel this comfort is within and we were the ones providing that solace all along; the tangible items were just there to help us hone this skill.

Last month, a friend asked me if I would ever cut my hair. I immediately replied by saying oh no, my long hair makes me who I am. I wouldn't recognize myself without it. It's an extension of my personality!

Red flag.

I kept rationalizing that I ought to keep my hair long and wild while I'm young because one day when I have an established career, I'll need a professional-looking hairstyle that's more manageable and tame.

None of these thoughts have any validity but for whatever reason, I felt it necessary to try and negate the truth of the matter which was that my hair had become my comfort object. It had become something that I felt I could not identify without.

I would constantly think to myself that long, wavy, messy hair is what defines me.

Another red flag.

Eventually, enough red flags went up that I decided to throw up a white flag.

The flag of surrender: I cut my hair.

To some, this may seem like a non-event and in reality, that's exactly what it ended up being.

Six inches are now missing from my hair but to nobody's surprise, my personality and identity are still intact no less than what they were pre-haircut.

If anything, decreasing the length of my hair only increased what I felt I was capable of and gave me a newfound pep in my step.

Detaching from our attachments frees us.

We can't let our dependence on these security blankets cause us to feel more insecure when we find ourselves without them.

Understand that we are infinitely capable beings with or without the help of a comfort object.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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The 3 Lies You Tell Yourself When You Dismiss Someone’s Compliment

Accepting compliments graciously does not make you prideful and self-absorbed.

I will be the first to admit that I am notorious for rationalizing myself out of compliments or just straight up dismissing them.

I only found myself with a better perspective after I got outside of myself (shocking, I know). Not only did I realize how offended I would feel if someone doubted or dismissed the genuineness of my own compliment directed at them, but I realized that I have actually been lying to myself in order to justify dismissing them! Red lights.

See if you can relate to telling yourself any of these lies, and make sure you read to the end for some truth to speak over yourself instead.

1. "They’re lying."

This is my go to because it's so easy to just think this and move on, which is horrible, but, apparently, I am horrible sometimes.

Maybe you don’t sound as harsh in the way you respond. “They can’t actually mean that.” But, ultimately, you’re still telling yourself the same thing. You’re literally lying to yourself about them lying.

If you can’t see the problem here, well, then, that’s a problem.

2. "They’re just saying that to make me feel good or they just want something out of me."

This reflects bad motives on those that (chances are) are genuinely complimenting you simply because your view of yourself doesn’t allow for the heartfelt and honest kindness they’re showing to you.

Maybe you try to make it sound good, like “You’re too nice to me.”

OK, no. This isn’t some kind of personal pity party that they decided to throw for you because they were like “Aw, she actually sucks, so I should probably be nice.”

These assumptions are so insulting, not only to yourself but to those people who see the good in you and want you to see it as well.

Imagine how you would feel if someone dismissed something you said to them in this same way. It’s really rude and hurtful.

3. "I'm not talented/pretty/whatever it is they’re saying I am."

This is really the heart of the issue because none of the other assumptions would be made if you didn’t believe this lie in the first place.

We have to completely change our internal dialogue. Start speaking truth to yourself.

Accepting compliments graciously does not require you to be prideful and self-absorbed.

I'm not sure where this idea got started, but apparently, it's running rampant through the streets now.

Words of affirmation are meant to do just that and there's nothing wrong with it!

And, if you feel like you don't even have this problem, because it seems like no one feels any need to compliment you, just know that Someone already has.

Your Creator knew you and formed you perfectly in His Image according to His will and what He knew would be good.

Isaiah 43 says,

"But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel... you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you."

Zechariah 3:17 says,

"The Lord your God is in your midst... he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

And Psalm 139:14 says,

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

We have every reason to rejoice in what God has done in and through us.

Be thankful that He has given you these words and so many others so that you can be secure in Him and what He has spoken over you, rather than being overly preoccupied with what others are or are not saying. And if they are complimenting you, be happy to accept it and return the kindness.

Speak truth in love, not lies in self-loathing.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

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