I see some of you are hurting and I want you to know, you’re worth so much more.
You’re going to be afraid to love again. That hard exterior will grow around your heart And bitterness will become easy. You’ll cycle through the grief, anger, Possibly spiral into temporary desperation – Wishing they’d call; Wishing they’d say those words that water your soul – but in a way that they mean it this time; Not in a way that They’ve said it before. Not in a way It left you wanting more, Where they let it flow so carelessly Off of their lips – Where each syllable Made you recall The way their tongue curled with every breathe of air Passing across it.
Bitterness will be easy and No one will blame you for feeling it.
But – you’re only harming yourself. Self harm in the form of holding on. Emotional self harm That scars and destroys Your own sense of self respect Your own dignity Your own pride Your own self worth.
Don’t let it. Cry your tears But then dry them. Let yourself hurt But then allow yourself to smile. You’ll get chills. That’s your body trying to reset. You’ll be heart broken And it’s okay to feel. Let yourself feel, But you won’t find that fix in someone else.
That’s your work. The person that broke it, Won’t look back Once they’ve broken you. So show them They haven’t destroyed you. Raise your chin. Wipe your tears. Begin the mend. When they realize What they’ve done, Who they’ve lost
Loving yourself isn’t always easy as a matter of fact looking through your own bullshit is difficult
No one else will have to live with your thoughts the way you do No one else will notice all of those imperfections you worry over stress over try to fix Try to hide or just try to forget
Loving your curves when magazines and social media teach us that thin is beautiful and anything else is a health hazard. As if we don’t already know that And eat that daily dread With each bite of daily bread
We kick ourselves deeper for every extra pound we cannot shed or dimple on our skin that we cannot hide
Instead of loving ourselves And having pride in the way Our hips make our jeans tight We squat to stretch them We lay down to button them Wear extra layers to hide them
Loving yourself isn’t easy But it’s one of the bravest things you can do
This morning’s reading brought me to a blog by Nadia Bolz-Weber. If you haven’t heard of her, guarantee you will not be disappointed if you look her up. Watch her videos or read her blogs. She has truly helped me see things from a different perspective.
Today’s story told of a time when a woman approached Nadia after an event where she had been speaking on stage. Wearing a scratchy red cardigan, this woman wrapped her arms tightly around Nadia and began to bless her with words. She wrote about the emotions that went through her mind. How that situation created an uncomfortable feeling that forced her to reflect on its meaning.
Reading that blog today brought up a few memories for me. I realized that I lived my childhood in a fight, flight, or freeze mode. While it remained invisible to the outside world or disguised as “weirdness,” there was an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness tucked deep inside. On the outside, others saw me as the weird girl that tried to please people or as the girl that quickly became overly emotional and lashed out in inappropriate ways. I would be lying if I said that wasn’t the case. My skin felt foreign to me. My eyes would meet their reflection in the mirror or a pool of water, and disbelief struck panic in my chest every time. The person staring directly back at me was indeed the person everyone else could see. My attempts to cover up, hide or tuck away had failed. Still yet, I remained visible to the world.
Have you ever felt like an alien in your own family? How about school? That was me during my most vulnerable years. As early as second grade, something pulled me apart from the rest of the crowd. No matter how hard I tried to fit in, I became more and more unlike everyone else around me.
In those moments when I needed to fit in the most, I stuck out like a sore thumb, all while feeling completely invisible. Unfortunately, many of those traits still follow me around to this very day despite therapy, self-discovery, and growth.
You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. A square peg may try to make itself smaller to fit into the round hole. Still, it will have empty spaces around the edges. That’s how I felt through much of my life. Empty. Hollow. As if there was something in the shadows always waiting to get me, grab me, and pull me in. My thoughts scared the hell out of me. I lived my entire young life jumpy, easily angered, emotional, and always up in arms.
There will always be part of me that holds on to the hurt, scared, and “eager to fit in” little girl of my youth. But, at some point in life, we learn that it’s normal to feel out of place and that we’re much more typical than we ever realize.
Everyone has their insecurities.
Everyone has things that make them uncomfortable.
I’ve gone off topic a bit, so let’s get back to what I wanted to write.
After Nadia’s interaction with the woman in the red cardigan, this is what happened in her own words from the blog:
“I sat back down and think, “What the hell just happened?” My friend Sara, having seen the entire interaction, slides into the pew next to me and says, “Girl, you gotta just submit and let people bless you.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber
“Submit and let people bless you.”
The reply hit me like a lightning bolt straight into my heart. I reread it.
“Submit and let people bless you.”
My chest began to feel heavy with a tinge of pain, my pulse started pounding, and my throat tightened. The word “submit” caused a reaction inside of my body, and I had no control.
“Why is my body reacting to this, even though I am safe and well?”
In my experiences from my childhood, submission involved terrible things. When I submitted, bad things happened, and despite the years of therapy, facing facts, and speaking truths, somehow they’ve managed to hold onto me. Luckily, therapy taught me how to do the work when this occurs. But, unfortunately, I cannot avoid these feelings; I deal with them as they come and dive straight through them, feel them, and harness them.
Thankfully, Nadia’s blog today helped me practice the technique that brought me back to my center.
Her friend is right. Sometimes we need to “SUBMIT” and allow others to bless us. If we are operating in the fight, flight, or freeze mode, we could miss the good things people are trying to bring into our lives. We must have positive human connections and intimacy; Not sex, intimacy.
Thankfully, as I learn, bend, and grow into full awareness of myself, allowing people to love me is something I fight a little less every day. But, like greasing the hinges on the door to your childhood home, some things need a bit more attention than others or fine-tuning. So over time, I will need to grease the doors again, and that’s okay! Because now I know the root of the problem and how to fix it.
One generation CREATED the next. One generation CREATED the habits of the next. One generation RAISED the next. The previous generation created the traumas that the next generation is reacting to.
When we start taking responsibility for our pieces on the board and stop blaming each other, we can be accountable and realize how to improve ourselves. So many people focus on everyone else but themselves.
If more people looked at the path they’re walking and stopped pointing fingers in the direction of others, we’d have a lot more goodness in this world.