Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Already Taken [Guest post from Kathy Escobar]


Kathy Escobar is a plucky spiritual formation-minded woman bearing God’s message…and she has a great time in the process. What a kindred spirit! Enjoy her contribution. How could you not, right?

Kathy co-pastors the refuge, an eclectic beautiful faith community in north Denver, juggles 5 kids & an awesome husband, advocates friends in hard places, and is a trained spiritual director who loves to teach and facilitate events, workshops, and groups.

Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Taken
-by Kathy Escobar 

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde

I first discovered what a “blog” was in 2006, when we planted The Refuge, the wild little faith community I am part of.  Honestly, I had never heard the word before; I had been immersed in a hectic ministry role that was very insulated from the wider church conversation and I just wasn’t online.  This transition from mega-church to small-church-plant was a messy one for me.  I was in a lot of pain from my experience, so I reached out online after stumbling across some blogs while searching for church website ideas.  I felt an instant and immediate sense of relief when I discovered I wasn’t crazy, and I wasn’t alone in some of my feelings.  I found others with similar stories & similar church dreams.

The men and women I read were honest, bold, raw, and pure.

They weren’t selling anything, trying to push their agenda, or attempting to make-people-come-over-to-their-way-of-thinking.

Rather, they just told their stories.  Shared their experiences. Responded to other people’s comments with simple kindness and respect. And above all, they remained honest about what they were wrestling with and learning along the way.

Reading their blogs gave me hope.

They inspired me.

They pointed me toward God (even when they were wrestling with God).

They challenged me to think.

January 1, 2008, I started my own blog and dedicated myself to two simple commitments:

1. Write as honestly and purely as I could without editing or trying to worry about what other people might think.

2. Write once a week for one year.

It’s been a wild ride, and I have learned so much through the process over the past 4 years.

Out of everything, I think blogging has helped me learn to become more comfortable in my own skin, with my own voice, with who I am.

I think that is a very holy and sacred experience on our spiritual journey–learning to find safety and security in who we really are.  

Not who someone else is.

Not who we think we should be.

But in who we are.

I am someone who has always struggled with the message that I wasn’t enough somehow–not spiritual enough, not quiet enough, not domestic enough, not skinny enough, not organized enough, not-whatever-enough.

Blogging definitely intersected with this message, initially making it even worse.

In the first few years of my blog, I had so much internal anxiety about not being good enough, funny enough, theological enough, wise enough, or concise enough.   Whatever “enough” it was, I wasn’t.

But something began to shift in the past several years as I continued to find my voice and become more comfortable in my own skin out here.

I began to realize that the world doesn’t need another _________ or __________ or __________ (Insert name of any bloggers you are jealous of, and my guess is they are wrestling with similar feelings and go a little psycho about the same insecurities).

What’s missing is me.

Not because without me the world would stop spinning or the blogosphere would come to a screeching halt.

But because everyone else is taken.  

I think God wants us to learn how to become comfortable in our own skin, to be who-we-are, and not try to become someone else.

Blogging is a great place to practice this.

Making peace with who-we-are requires the ongoing-work-of-the-Holy-Spirit.  I doubt and question it all of the time.  I obsess before I hit “publish” and freak out about not being more like ______ or _______ (insert name of other blogger also obsessing about the same thing).

I need God’s help to remind me:  “Um, Kathy, just so you know, in the big scheme of things, it’s just a blog post.  And one other thing:  it’s a great place to practice just being you–with all your strengths & all your weaknesses.  Just you.”

And then I hit “publish” and take a deep breath and am reminded yet again, this is what transformation looks and feels like.

This is how we get more comfortable in our own skin.    This is how we learn to offer ourselves grace.  This is how we become “us” and not someone else.

Yikes, it’s hard to learn!   But blogging is a great spiritual practice that can help integrate this important truth into deep places in our hearts.

Yeah, my spiritual guidance for all us bloggers is this:  Be ourselves.  Everyone else is taken.

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10 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Beautiful post; thank you for writing it.  I know that I am definitely finding out more about part of my identity through blogging and I do often have those feelings of “not enough”.  I wonder at times what the point is–what do I have to contribute, especially when some of the things I think I want to write about or say have been covered multiple times by other, well-established bloggers.  But I then tell myself that it doesn’t matter; I love to write, I love finally having the time to get some of my thoughts out, and that primarily it is because God is giving me this opportunity to do these things that I am doing it.  And THAT is what matters.  

  2. I needed you in my life today. I am a girl who loves to tell stories. I started a “blog” not realizing that there was even a blogging world out there. I just wanted to express stories of my life and to prayerfully show Gods hand along the way. Once I began discovering and reading others blogs I put my pen down. I experienced the “not enough” syndrome you speak of. Last night I began writing again and to be divinely lead to your post on the subject I struggle with is nothing short of God answering the cry of my heart. Thank you Kathy, thank you. 

  3. My dear darling Kathy! Oh man, you did it again! You inspired me! To what you ask?!? I have been thinking for months now to start my own blog but had all the same fears you had. I was overly concerned with what others would think about my honesty when it came to faith and life issues. Now, because of your inspirational words, I will start my own blog within the next month! God bless you my dear sister in Jesus!

  4. Oh my. This is good. [bookmarking immediately…] If we could all understand that God made us different on purpose, perhaps we’d stop trying to be like everyone else. Nobody else has had the exact same experiences as I have, so nobody else can give glory to the Father exactly like I can.

    I want that to be more than enough for me. Your words here help. Thanks, Kathy.

    Just discovered you and Lisa a few weeks ago through Ed, and immediately became a fan of what God is doing through you both.

  5. Excellent point, Kathy. This lesson has taken me a while, but after much pushing, prodding, and obsessing over little things like that, I find people connect much more when I’m just being myself.

    I worry I’m not spiritual enough, or smart enough, or funny enough, etc. But when I come home and dump my brain onto the page and I’m brave enough to hit Publish, it’s way better than when I *try* to sound all poetic and smart.

    Thanks for the encouragement, as always.

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