Inferior? Nah!

Our April reflection is courtesy Sharon Witty.

Sharon Witty, mother of two and grandmother of four, lives in Marshalltown. When her husband of 32 years died 17 years ago, she was devastated. Looking back on these years, she thinks of two things: the poem “Footprints in the Sand” and the Paschal mystery. She admits that only through God’s carrying her many times has she been able to rise above the devastation. She also admits she has gone through many small deaths and risen to new life during these years. Consequently, her being able to trust the Holy Spirit has increased. She prays it continue to do so.

As I read the entries written for this blog site by YOUNG women, I am impressed by their spiritual knowledge. And I think, Who do I think I am? I’m not on any level with these women. Why did I sign up to write for this blog? And my technological knowledge is ignorant. What was I thinking?

Then I stopped my whirling thoughts (or maybe the Holy Spirit stopped me). Ever since junior high (and I am now 73; in only a few days, 74), the evil one has beat me down with such insidious lies — You’re fat. You can’t play basketball. You’re not pretty. You don’t fit in  — causing me to feel inferior to others. I know that some of this was caused by my growing up with two parents who suffered inferior complexes. But this year, the Spirit led me, through my adult daughter, to a book titled Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild.

At the same time I was reading this book, I was struggling with pride and self-centeredness. For months, each time I participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it had been the same old story: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Please forgive me, Lord, for my pride and self-centeredness.” At the same time, I prayed for my pride to be changed to humility and my self-centeredness to be changed to selflessness. I prayed a Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary for that intention, and change began to happen — slowly.

Although I was burdened by my constant struggle with pride and self-centeredness, the Holy Spirit was working. Through Rothschild’s writing, He led me to understand what was at the root of these sins. I began to understand my believing this lie of inferiority for years caused me to try to compensate for it by striving for perfection, which led to pride in my accomplishments — good grades in school, being well organized, losing weight. Focusing on being perfect and on my accomplishments also led to self-absorption.

During these months of prayer and struggles, God reminded me over and over that I am His beloved daughter, created through His love and in His image.

As I remind myself of this truth, the Spirit brings to mind I don’t need to believe these lies of inferiority. I can rejoice in the knowledge of my Sisters in Christ; from their knowledge and experiences I can learn. I am reminded that they and I are all beloved daughters of God, sisters of Christ, each of us with a Godly niche to fill here in the cosmos. Some of our niches will be apparent to many; others will be seen by only a few. But it makes no difference. Each of us has been given gifts to share with others of God’s children.

So let’s open our gifts and freely share them with others. Let’s freely receive the gifts of others and believe only God’s truth.