‘Shy’ in the Thesaurus: afraid, apprehensive, cautious, fearful, hesitant, nervous, reluctant, timid.
I write this blog post from experience – as I do with them all.
Shy is a word I’ve been labelled with many times, especially when I was younger. The more I ponder it, the more baffled I am that people thought it was ok to label me with this particular characteristic. People make a deliberate choice to label others this too.
It’s a label that sticks. It’s a label that affects you in many ways. It’s a label of self-fulfilling prophecy.
And do you know what, ‘just pondering’:
Maybe it’s your presence that makes me feel uncomfortable and therefore quieten down. Maybe your company is so invading and intrusive that I just leave you to it and am happy to take a back seat. Maybe I enjoy observing conversation and don’t feel the need to always participate. Maybe I’m processing internally as opposed to externally. Maybe I’m content in who I am that I don’t need to show that outwardly. Maybe you label me ‘shy’ because of your insecurities with your own character. Maybe I just have different characteristics from you. Maybe, ultimately, I’m just totally different from you.
N.B. Just ‘maybe’. I may be wrong, I’m sharing my thoughts for you to explore where you stand yourself.
We have to be careful with our words.
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose” (Proverbs 18:21, MSG)
I carried ‘shy’ for so long that it started to define who I was and how I approached different situations. I would immediately cave in. BUT now I have the choice to let the initial power behind the word 'shy' fall away: and it will.That’s not who I am. I’m open, I’m chatty, I’m passionate, I’m loved, I’m significant, I’m confident. I’m learning to own who I am. Love it. Embrace it. And carry on growing, learning and exploring.
God's thoughts about you (and me) are bigger, truer and more powerful than your thoughts about yourself. And they are bigger, truer and more powerful than other people's thoughts about you. And where do we find out what these thoughts are? The Bible.
"You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something" (Psalm 139:15, MSG)
So – thank you that I can now relate to those going through a similar journey. And – please – think about the words you speak into others’ lives. They have power (whether they should or shouldn’t).
I'll keep you posted.