Friday, May 29, 2015

Finding Myself

I am not the same person that I was.

I am different but it's a good kind of different.

I used to push and pull myself to fit into the boxes I thought I was supposed to be in. I was clay to be molded into who I thought they wanted.

But I found people who were like me... and so it gave me the freedom to be me. And I found all that pushing and pulling was really a lot of work.  It was exhausting to always be someone you really aren't.

Having a safe place to be me gave me the courage to still be me in places that didn't feel as safe. Places that were risky, places that made me feel vulnerable.  It was still scary to risk being me in places that held emotional danger...

But knowing that there was a place that it was absolutely okay to just be who I was gave me the strength to just be who I was in places that could still sting. Knowing I had people who loved me just as I am made the potential backlash of being just who I am less debilitating.

Despite the best attempts of people who love me very much, I will probably never be the kind of person who doesn't care what people think of me. I do. And I will probably always tend to being the chameleon. It's a safety blanket.

But I know now that I'm okay.  Faults and all, I'm okay.

And maybe I don't need that safety blanket as much as I used to.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Mask over our Changes

I have taken my daughter to counselling for some issues she was having for two years now.

For the first year, all the changes were hidden. They were important things, things that needed to be worked on before we could get to the big things.  But they were things that were all under-the-surface. Heart changes. Confidence. Belief in herself.

If you had asked me how counselling was going, I would have told you it was good -- because it was. But the concrete evidence I would had to back that up would have been small.  They were inside changes that meant the world -- but that you couldn't see unless you knew her really well.

And the second year came.

We'd done the inner heart changes the year before... and it was time to make those changes outside, as well as inside. But that was hard too because it meant that she had to take off her mask.  The changes were no longer things that only she could see.  They were changes that she was going to reveal to the world.

But what if the world didn't like those changes? What if the world didn't like her?

Do we ever feel like that too? I know that I do.

In life, we grow and change.  Sometimes that's just in "living wisdom." Sometimes that's because of experiences. Sometimes that's because epiphanies and being convicted by things. We are spurred on to change.

And those changes are all safe as long as we keep our masks on. If people don't know we really are or who we're really becoming, then we can't really be judged on who we are, either. -- They don't know. There is a safety in that, keeping who you are and who you're becoming a secret.

But you've become who you are for a reason. You have walked paths and roads and climbed obstacles and mountains. You have hit dead ends and retraced your steps. You have conquered. You have changed and you have grown. You have been convicted and you have rewritten your journey. And these all happened for a reason. They have all combined to make you who you are.

And who you are shouldn't be hidden by a mask anymore.

Take the risk. Don't be afraid to be the person who you have become. It makes the Becoming worth it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trusting Myself

I was walking through some friend-y strife a few weeks ago. So, on an evening run, I was listening to Christina Perri -- who is sort of my "having a hard time with people" go-to music. My best friend introduced me to her a couple years ago, and I really liked her first album. It's a little angst-y and fills my emotional needs when I'm struggling with people.

But I liked her second one even more. Sort of the same themes as her first...but the songs seem to speak much more to dealing with yourself after people struggles -- rather than just being mad and sad they exist.

I happened to be listening to her song "trust"... and I thought "This is exactly what I need tonight."

You see, I trust really easily. I don't really think of that as a flaw -- it's a choice that I make, and I make it knowing that it could backfire on me. I know that people can use that against me. But I don't want to be someone that's cynical -- and so I trust with the hope that people are worth it.

Because I want to be the kind of person who believes that they could be.

I have two people in my life that I've become friends with over the past months or years that were a risk to trust. They were people who were friends with someone that I knew really didn't like me -- and allowing them inside my heart and my confidence was a risk.  It was a risk that I knew could be extremely hurtful if it didn't turn out well.

But I want to be the kind of person who believes people could be worth it.

And so I risked...  and in these cases, I'm glad that I did. They have become friends and people that I enjoy talking to and spending time with.  And they wouldn't be if I hadn't been willing to trust -- even when it seemed unwise.

But sometimes that risk doesn't pan out.  Sometimes that risk breaks me. And somewhere in the brokenness, I whisper to myself, "You were wrong to trust. You were wrong to put yourself out there. You were wrong to let yourself care. This brokenness is your fault."

But I want to be the kind of person who believes people could be worth it.

So I think that voice is wrong.  Even when it feels right... I think it's wrong.

Yes. I might be hurt. And I might pay the price. But I am the kind of person who believes people are worth it.

So I trust.  Them.  But mostly, I keep learning to trust myself.

Because I am who I am -- and I think you're worth it.
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