“Please explain how your past personal and professional experience make you an excellent candidate for the position for which you are applying…” I stare at the job application screen and watch the cursor tick as if silently mocking me. My brain is empty but critiques pour forth freely.
“You’re not an excellent candidate,” Ed proclaims, “You don’t even know what to type here. That’s proof you would absolutely suck at this job. Who would even hire you anyway? Don’t even try. What are you thinking? Turn this computer off and go engage in some of my favorite behaviors.”
And so has been my August: application after application (around 30 in all); one long waiting process after another. The question above remains the hardest one I have had to answer. I know what experience I have and I know why I want to teach…but what makes me think I am better than any other candidate applying for the same position? In truth, what makes me think I am NOT better than any other candidate applying for the same position? In a word, Ed. Through past jobs, my college education, my leadership in my community and my genuine love of children I know I am an excellent candidate. However, Ed stands in the back of my head with a megaphone shouting that it is arrogant of me (and rather irresponsible) to think that I deserve the job over another; especially since I have been doing a rather horrible job of listening to her demands as of late.
This is the curse of Ed. She will steal any self-confidence you have and replace it with doubt, insecurity and self-loathing. Part of recovery is reclaiming that self-confidence and seeing yourself as more than Ed. Because, believe it or not, YOU ARE more than Ed. I know what you are thinking, “Could she be any more cliché?” But hear me out. For so long our identities have been wrapped up in Ed: what will I think about myself today, what are others thinking about me today, what ed behaviors will I engage in today, can I even leave my house today…the list goes on and on. We have learned to define ourselves by our eating disordered thoughts and behaviors rather than the unique qualities that make us…well, us. Despite what Ed may have lead you to believe, you have your own brilliant gifts to offer the world; things that others do not possess. And none of those gifts involve anything Ed-related.
By realizing that God made me more than my eating disorder, I was able to answer the job application question and I have been able to recover the Rhea that was stolen by Ed. I sent in my application knowing that I AM and excellent candidate. Through recovery, you, too, can recover the you stolen and hidden by Ed; because you are not Ed. Take back your power and live your life the way you want; not the way Ed tells you. You are more.
Below is one of my favorite songs right now, “You are more” by Tenth Avenue North. I cannot wait to see them in concert at my current job next weekend!
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.