Alright guys…this may be a long one. When I started this blog back in August 2013, I didn’t have any real expectations of it. I had always loved to write and I saw it as an opportunity to get back to something that I loved to do. I wanted an outlet for my life experiences and, in the process, I hoped to encourage someone or let someone know that they are not alone in what they are feeling and experience. I wanted to inspire hope, even if I was still personally struggling with the hope I hoped to inspire. For those who have been along for the ride for the past seven months, I truly appreciate the support and love that you have poured out to me. It has made this season in my life so much more enriched by being able to have your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement as I attempt to be completely authentic in how I share my life.
May 2013 started a very interesting time for me in the deepest personal spaces of my life. I began to experience waves of what I perceived to be rejection from some of the closest people to me. The rejection has come in different forms – a parting of ways, a “family member” spreading malicious things about me and my character, family not advocating for me in situations where I was clearly being done wrong, being constantly compared to a person who has chosen immaturity and pettiness over maturity and love. I wish I could say that all of these things have come from people I didn’t know or didn’t care for but they have come from the people who are the closest to me and claim to know me and love me better than others. I do not wish to make myself seem like a poor victim; I have never been able to love people perfectly despite my best attempts. I have tried to be there and love everyone in the ways that I felt like everyone needed and sometimes it just wasn’t enough or was simply wrong.
However, I found myself in these situations with the people with whom I am the closest. I wish I could verbalize how much hurt this has caused but I think that’s been understood. At first, I internalized everything as simply my fault. That person walked away because of me. That person decided to treat me worse than scum because…me. I really am like that family member that they insist on comparing me to. With one quick sweep, I had painted myself to be an overly sensitive, bitter, malicious person that just couldn’t get it right. But the thing is – that really is not me. And I think most people who know me could say the same.
Yes, I am a sensitive person but I believe God gifted me to be that way because my sensitivity is integral to what I feel I am called to do. I also recognize that sensitivity unchecked can be a problem so I have been learning when and how to be sensitive – pretty much my whole life. Yes, I have struggled with getting over hurts. I struggle particularly hard when trying to get over the hurts of those whom I feel like I have attempted to love well. But I have rallied hard against bitterness and if that process hasn’t looked perfect, I’m sorry. I have been wrong, I have been impulsive, and I have not always been the most accurate judge of character; HOWEVER, I do try to be the most decent person that I can be. I don’t think I have ever previously experienced a point in my life where I had been accepted or believed to be a person different than who I am – and especially not by those closest to me.
After a certain point though, I had to take a serious look at what was happening around me. I could accept the truth of what was going on without demonizing myself. Sometimes in life – sometimes – everything doesn’t always originate and end with you. Sometimes people are comfortable blaming you for their own issues because it’s easier than confronting the actual issues. Sometimes, people will just downright misunderstand you, even those who claim to know and love you the best.
What all of this taught me was that I could not continue to allow how people feel about me to dictate how I feel about myself. I thought I was past this issue in my life but it quickly rose to the surface as I tried to work through all these happenings. So, with the help of God and a good therapist, I began unpacking things. I learned to advocate for myself and that I don’t have to take what people unfairly or incorrectly project onto me. All the ways that I had idealized life, love, and people came crashing down and I can live with the reality of life and love being messy and imperfect. I had to accept that I am an individual and, though flawed, I am capable of loving and being loved. My value does not increase or decrease based on who people think I am, say I am, or whether they stay or leave.
I still have my pearls; I still am a pearl. That won’t change.
P.S.- Today would have been my grandmother’s 93rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Nana! Thanks for ALWAYS believing in me!