you know that game, two truths and lie, that you were forced to play to get to know each other when you started a new class in school? this is kind of like that. except this is three lies and a truth.
1) i, kortney good, am a bad person.
2) no matter what i do, i will never be enough.
3) i am my mistakes.
4) i am worthy of love.
okay, so hopefully those are really easy to distinguish for you, but growing up i had a very hard time telling the difference between which was truth and which were lies. in fact, until about the age of 25 i believed to the very core of my being that i was a bad person. and because i was a bad person, no matter what "good" things i did, it was never going to be enough. i was never going to be enough. every time i made a mistake or a bad decision, it reaffirmed that i was bad, i was my mistakes and my bad decisions... because i was bad to the core. therefore, i would never truly be worth loving.
here's how i got there: when i was a little girl, i took a disciplinary message of "that's bad" to actually mean "you are bad." anytime i did something "bad" that message got etched deeper and deeper into my personal identity. for me, there was one area in particular that this really affected me in, and i hope to share that with you all one day. in a lot of ways, i think this was a spiritual attack, and one that i was far too young to be prepared to handle. sadly, the shame and the guilt and the embarrassment that i felt kept me from reaching out to my parents or my siblings for help, despite having really great relationships with all of them. i was afraid that if i opened up to them about what i was struggling with, i would disappoint them - or, the way i truly viewed it, that i would be the disappointment. over the years, these lies were further solidified as truth in my mind by broken relationships. obviously believing these things impacted my self-worth, and so i didn't always pick great guys to date in the first place, but when those relationships ended and i felt that soul-crushing pain of rejection, i knew it was because i was bad, and i would never be enough for anyone.
here's how i got to the truth: short version? God's love and my closest friends. when i was 23 years old i was living with two roommates. one of them was Ryan, who became one of my closest friends. from the very start of our friendship, Ryan surprised me with how genuinely he cared about me. i mean, i met the guy off of craigslist and chose him as a roommate because he was the only normal one to respond to my ad. (just kidding - he crushed our interview and to this day he is an absolute God-send!) i found myself opening up to him in ways i honestly had never done with any other human being before, and he always held space for me to be vulnerable. he didn't try to fix things, but he kept asking questions and prompting me to dig deeper, while remaining as an emotional lifeline so that i didn't get crushed by the overwhelming emotions i was finally digging into. eventually, that lie came out. "i'm a bad person." i don't even remember if that's how i worded it, but the message came out of my mouth and he instantly named it for it was. "kortney. that's a lie." and i cried, because i wanted to believe him, but i didn't. it was so much a part of me, that lie, that i couldn't quite believe maybe it was wrong. but hearing him call it that gave me just enough courage to start challenging my belief, to test and see if maybe it was in fact a lie.
the journey from there has not been simple, and it has not been quick. as i said above, he named that lie for me when i was 23 years old, and i didn't stop believing it until i was 25. even today, i have to remind myself sometimes. "kortney - you are a good person. that was not your best decision, but you can make a better one next time." i'm so thankful that God brought Ryan into my life, and that Ryan took the time to get to know me, and that between the two of them they helped me see the truth. God has continued that work in me through countless books, through a broken heart, through a wonderful counselor, and through more beautiful relationships with friends and deeper relationships with my family. He let me endure this struggle, and He gave me the tools to overcome it.
every day i am learning to love myself more. every day i am falling more in love with God and pursuing a beautiful relationship with Him - because now i actually believe that He loves me and wants to be loved by me. there is so much more that i want to share with you about this journey - and i will continue to do so. i hope you'll continue reading, because i promise you it's so worth it to fight for truth!! my entire life has changed in the last three years, and it's all for the better. stay strong, beautiful soul, and know that you are worthy of being dearly loved.