We see ourselves as we assume others see us. (Note the use of the word "assume".) We emphasize, within our minds, every single thing we see as imperfect and wonder how on earth anyone could ever love us. We criticize and over examine, giving little room for bad days or the simple fact we are...human, and therefore undeniably flawed in our own unique, beautiful ways. These very flaws, imperfections...they are the cracks that ultimately allow light to enter, giving us room to grow. Without them we would be stagnant, unable to see more than...more than what?
Oh hell...you know what? I have sat in front of this screen so many times the past few weeks willing myself to write; wanting desperately to get all the...stuff that seems to be stuck in my head out and into words others would want to read. Why? Because this is like therapy to me and when I can't write I feel completely overwhelmed, like I might burst. I get so frustrated with myself. This is the one thing I feel I can do - although, during times like these I question that more and more. Sometimes I think I focus too much on how my words are going to sound rather than just saying whatever it is I need to say. So, what is it I've been needing to get out? It almost feels like too much...a bunch of things, feelings, thoughts that are all jumbled up inside of me now.
Work. It challenges me in ways I can't even describe and the past few weeks have been especially hard. People amaze me - in both good and bad ways. You can want something so much for someone and they will still make the wrong choice. And, sometimes, people will surprise you beyond measure. I learn something new every. single. day. Some things I wish I could unlearn. Others humble me. Some things literally break my heart. And sometimes I get to see absolutely amazing things happen. I fear giving bad advice. I worry that I will somehow make their lives worse rather than better. And then, sometimes, I get to actually extend grace in ways I could never have imagined. I just pray I make a difference to even one of them in some small way. I find myself begging God to give me the words to be whatever it is they need me to be in those moments. Thankfully He is pretty good about coming through for me.
M. She's growing up faster than I'm ready for. I am so thankful her dad and step-mom live up here now and we no longer have to go eight weeks without seeing each other. She is becoming so much more than a little girl and I'm terrified of what the next few years will bring. I'm so not ready...
I miss my girlfriends. We had gotten so good at making time for one another and the past few months it's been next to impossible to get us all together. I don't need some wild night out - I don't care about that. I just want real time together...drop our guards, allow ourselves to be honest, no need for justification...I wanna laugh and just be the us that somehow exists underneath all the crap that life has thrown at us. And, I'm missing the one of us who can't be here more than I can even say.
I want so much to sit on a beach...to watch the sunset and feel soft, white sand under my feet...to smell the salty air and hear the waves crash. I want a picnic...a real one...on the lawn at The Nelson - I know, that sounds incredibly simple, yet I've never done it. I think what I really want is to experience something new. I think that's what it all comes down to. I want to see someplace I've never seen, make a new memory, to live in that moment and not think about anything else for a little while.
What on earth did I start all of this with...oh, right. About how we see ourselves as we assume others see us. Right. Well, it's true. We look in the mirror and immediately point out everything we are certain others would dislike about us, never stopping to admire all the beauty they may actually see. Most of us are incapable of allowing ourselves to see beyond the presumed image we have created based upon what? A snide comment? A dirty look? Something not actually directed at us, but because we are so self-absorbed we automatically made it about us? Yep. All of that. Throw that crap out. See, God doesn't make trash. My dear friend, Kenya, told me that. (Take your own advice, sister!) He created us in His image, to live a life on earth that He Himself can't live so why would He create anything less than amazing. (Now is where I admit that I've barely been to church twice in the past year - once being Easter so that doesn't really count. I'm not sure I'm the best person to be preaching to anyone, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and claim this one.) So, how do we ignore the junk in our head and see past our insecurities to be the best we can be? I don't know. Honestly. I have no answer. All I can say is surround yourself with the best people possible. I mean, really...the ones who make you a better person...the ones who build you up and encourage you...the ones who challenge you to reach beyond your perceived limitations. Yeah, those people. Move away from negative people. I tell my families: if something in your life isn't adding worth, if it isn't making you a better person...let it go, get rid of it. Life is hard enough without all of that. Declutter. Let go. If it (things/people/whatever) doesn't add value to your life, it serves no purpose. Stop letting others determine your worth. The price we pay for anything is the amount of our life we exchange for it. Think about that. Let people in who want to see the dusty corners of who you are...who will see, and appreciate, your own special kind of beauty - who will love your quirks and uniqueness in such a way that you won't mind opening yourself up to them and trusting them with all the stuff you would normally hide. Those people are out there, trust me. And when you find them, cherish them. Remind them of the value they add to your life and don't be afraid to let them in.
Okay, that's a lot. See what happens when I don't write for a while? Sheesh. I'm exhausted now just typing it all. I know. This post isn't my typical. I guess I just needed to be...raw. To not think, and just type. I'm not sure I said anything of any real value tonight, but I feel a little better. With any luck I can get back on track now and find my "voice" again.