Although Ireland has many lore and legends surrounding the green hills and stone castles located around the country, Blarney Castle is one of the most well-known. We have explored the park in the previous post, but it is now time to enter the Castle to discover the mysterious stone.
As we begin to walk up the tight stone stairway and avoid the swarm of pigeons that have made this castle their home, I wanted to share something with all of you that I generally don’t talk about. Something that you would not know about me unless I told you.
On the way to the stone of flattery I like to believe that I am an excellent speaker. That I can get my point across directly and the person (or cat) I am speaking with will know what I am trying to say.
However, that is not necessarily the case. I find myself stumbling over my words in sentences at times, not having an extensive knowledge base to pronounce difficult words correctly, or saying the complete opposite thing that I meant in conversation. The latter may or may not have caused some unnecessary frowns from Gretel, telling her that she is just like every other girl in the world when of course I meant to say the exact opposite.
It is not a fear of losing my ability to speak or my mind jumbling up words that concerns me, it is my fear of being “irrelevant” or “nonsensical”, not being taken seriously with knowledge.
Of course, some of my facts are about 85% correct anyways, but I have seen grandparents being disregarded for their advice from youth my own age and letting out a giggle in their face saying “Oh grandma!” and continuing their conversation as the grandparent had said nothing.
I have that exact insecurity, the fear of being disregarded. You may laugh and shake your head saying “Kyle, that’s not a real insecurity! Mine is (insert just as equally ridiculous insecurity here).”
The insecurity may have been created by someone else weeks, years, or decades ago, but we are the ones that keep them alive. My belief is that if everyone has insecurities, and if we only focus on our own, then no one is really paying attention to mine since they are worried about their own. So the next time your insecurity bothers you, remember that people are more concerned with their own insecurity than yours! Woo!
Although I know that I am keeping my insecurity alive, it is not something that can just go away with that idea. However, what I can do is acknowledge the fact that I have it, own it, and cope with strategies to live with it.
My coping is going along with the jokes when I mess up or say something silly. Of course, in the back of my head the insecurity pokes its head out and waves at me, but I bonk it back down like a continuous game of Whack-A-Mole.
Humor may not work for everyone but it is how I get though my life talking back-asswards. And look at that, we arrived to the top of the castle! Ladies and gentlemen and non-binary genderless/full beautiful people, the Blarney Stone!
Whoa whoa whoa we just talked about insecurities, don’t go thinking that about the appearance of the stone! The Blarney Stone is actually build into the castle, and that’s right, you have to bend over backwards OVER A DROP to kiss the stone!
Now this is the part of the story where I tell you that I mustered up the courage to lean backwards while two strangers held my ankles to smooch a rock that hundreds of people put their lips on every day. This is where I tell you that I am insecure no more because I kissed the stone and am “cured.” This is where I tell you all of that was nonsense.
I don’t do heights, and I try to keep my germ intake to a minimum, so I did the least Irish thing and did NOT kiss the Blarney Stone. If I did maybe my charisma would improve, but would I still have my insecurity? Do those follow us no matter how much we improve ourselves? Then in that case how may we best something that attempts to hinder us?
I’d like to believe that all insecurities and weaknesses are a strength left to be determined. When I worked with people diagnosed with an intellectual disability where some struggled to communicate I used my insecurity as a guide about how others may feel, and empowered others by listening, considering, and caring for others that had difficulty advocating for themselves.
Is your insecurity a weakness that will hold you back, or can you harness that untapped power and make it a strength to help others, or maybe even yourself?
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