Joy asked: I know that you were very hurt over your brother's death and pain causes us to respond in all different ways. Pain can cloud our perception and move us in directions that we would otherwise never go. I understand that you were dealing with your pain in the best way that you know how at the time, however after reading your story I had this thought. Some would have called you highly self-confident... I would have called you arrogant. Some would have called you highly resourceful... I would called you manipulative. These are my questions...:
Aisha’s reply: Before I answer your questions, let me first just say that yes, pain does sometimes bring out the worst in us. When I lost Dominic, I was looking for somebody, anybody to blame…even God as you recall. I’ve since learned who was really behind my brother’s death and through much prayer, I have forgiven those people.
Joy’s 1st question: In retrospect... what would you have called yourself? Why?
Aisha’s reply: I would have myself called all of the above. I was self-confident, arrogant at times, highly resourceful, and manipulative. Still am in some ways. Unlike most people, I own all of who I am. If part of who I am at times is not good, I own that, too. Then I ask God for forgiveness, the strength to move forward, and the power to not repeat those negative actions. He’s been helping me a lot with the vengeance thing in particular.
Joy’s 2nd and 3rd questions: How did you become that way? In your opinion is good to be that way?
Aisha’s reply: Some of those personality traits are a part of my blueprint, which means I was simply born that way. Resourcefulness is one of them. For some reason, my mind gets very alert in crisis situations and I am able to think fast on my feet. That resourcefulness turns into manipulation when I allow the devil into a given situation. My self-confidence turns into arrogance in much the same way.
Incidentally, those touches (depending on who you ask. lol) of arrogance were acquired from life experiences. They come from people trying to make me feel less than who God made me to be. Or from people who resent my self-confidence and want to ‘put me in my place’. No one has the right to put me anywhere but God! I belong where He wants me to be.
Is it good being this way? I think so. There’s nothing wrong with having self-confidence or a high level of self-esteem. And even though I may come off as being arrogant at times, it is usually a reactionary response to someone coming against me first. Trust me, I don’t go around thinking I’m superior to others. But I refuse to think that they are superior to me either!
But here lies the heart of the matter – the devil is always trying to corrupt the good things that God puts in us. For me, that corruption might be arrogance when I should stay in the high self-esteem zone when someone comes against me. For another, it might be lying under pressure when it’s the truth that sets us free.
Joy’s 4th question: How do you see yourself now? Why?
Aisha’s reply: I still see myself as self-confident with a healthy level of self-esteem. Being a Christian has only solidified that. I mean, I’m a King’s kid (The King’s kid) now and I really don’t think Father God would like for me to act like or allow anyone to treat me like a pauper – somebody who is deprived of the basic necessities in live, including love.
Joy’s 5th question: What would your advice be to other women with a similar self perception?
Aisha’s reply: I would advise all women (and men), regardless of their self-perceptions, to get into the Word of God to find out who they really are. Who God says they are. A good concordance with a thorough search of “In Christ, In whom, In Him,” and other phrases like that will help any Christian, male or female, to raise their level of esteem. After all, it’s kind of hard to feel down on yourself when you start to see yourself through God’s loving eyes. When you realize that He loves you even if nobody else does. When you realize that He thought you were worthy of making sacrifices for (the ultimate sacrifice, in fact) even if no one else on this earth ever gives up a thing for you.
Best wishes to you, Joy. I hope I clarified things enough for you.