04 February 2013

[talk: "I Can't Stand Her."]

Hi there ... 

This was written as a way for me to process something that recently happened to me.  This was not posted on the day that it happened.  If I have chosen to post it, it meant that I came to a place where I felt that being this extremely vulnerable may be the perfect way to to finally champion over these feelings and say, "no more".  

If you choose to read this post, I would ask that you please do not publicly comment - even if your intention is to encourage.  I am not typing any of this for public accolades, and honestly - I fear that there would be those who would choose to hurt me even more if given the chance ...

So.  Please ... if you've come here from my FB account and want me to know that you've read this - you could simply "like" it without any comments, and please - no comments on here - truly ... thank you so much.

* * * * 

"I can't stand her."

I'm sure you've heard those words before, maybe even said them yourself - as I'm certain over my lifetime, I have.   They're pretty harsh when you read them, no?  Well.  Today I had someone tell me that these words were recently said about me, to them.  And as this person told me this, they added, " ... and not by just one person.  By three."

My first reaction was sadness.  In fact, I started to cry ... no one likes to hear that people don't like them.  My feelings were hurt as this person went on to tell me why these people said those words about me ... super hard to hear, super hurtful. 

My second reaction ... defensiveness.  In my mind, I was thinking, "They don't know me ... who are these people?? Have they ever had a conversation with me?  Been in my home?  Been a part of my life?  How can they judge me like that - and gossip and slander me as well??"

Then ... after a little time passed, I thought, "It's not easy, and it's not fun ... but I need to stop and look at what my contribution to their thoughts are.  What I have done to make them feel like this?  Where's my responsibility in this ..? ".

YUCK.

Their words accused me of arrogance, of always-having-to-one-up-someone, of thinking I was better than everyone else.  Even as I type that, tears stream down my face as that is not my heart at all.  I am so sad that I would give that impression to anyone - because anyone who knows me well, knows of my vast insecurities ...  and would testify that I know exactly how incredibly far from perfect I am.  

But here's the thing ... if I give off that impression - I believe I need to stop and reflect on how I do that, and figure out how to change it.  That's not who I want to be, and certainly not how I want to be perceived.  I want to be confident, but humble ... to be accomplished, but not arrogant about those accomplishments.  I want to be generous and hospitable, to be hard-working and motivated.

I love to do things I love, well.  The truth is, If I can't do something well, I simply won't do it.  I either do it "all the way", or nothing at all.  There are very few things in this world that I do, that I think I'm alright at ... most things, I struggle with.  But when I look at others, I am inspired by what they do.  I try not to compare myself to them, because what they're good at - I'm probably not.   And it's ok - maybe there's something I can do well, that they can't.  We're all different ... and I want to be someone who rejoices in other's accomplishments despite my own short-comings, and I want to be someone who learns from them.  I don't want to be someone who looks at another's accomplishments and see it as an insult to me.  That's not fair to them and their successes ... and because, Lord knows how MUCH I really have to learn, and I should be having a teachable spirit daily to learn those things from the incredible people around me.  

People may think they know me - but there are very few who really do, as I am sure you all can relate to.  Did you know that I cannot handle being in a large group of people that I don't know?  I feel awkward and panicked.  I feel like all eyes are staring (which, logically, I know they aren't ...).  I don't go to a lot of events - simply because of that.  Did you know I'm claustrophobic - to the point that if you stand too close to me, my heart races?  And if I wear socks to long, they restrict me to to the point where I feel like I can't breathe?  Did you know that I can't remember people's names and I find it horrifying to recognize a face and not the name?  Did you know that sometimes I'm just so humiliated by that, that I do the wrong thing and avoid eye contact just so I don't have to say, "I'm sorry ... I've forgotten your name?"  Did you know that my life has been far from perfect - as everyone's life has?  I'm not just talking about the loss of Shalom - but things that very few know about and I'm not willing to share with anyone but a chosen few?  Did you know that our family was hit hard financially when I was in elementary school, and we moved from the city to start over - and it was the scariest thing in the world to me? Did you know that I was bullied through my teen years ... that in my grade 8 year there were a few months where I feared going to school because a gang of grade 9 girls decided I was the perfect one to beat up after school?  They never actually did, but they tormented me on and off, to where I would choose to walk different halls to class and would be late, and different routes home by myself.   Did you know in Grade11 a group of girls did the same thing at my new school, and made a point of coming to my locker to remind me of how stupid, ugly and lame I was - and the only place I felt accepted was at my church youth group?  Did you know that my heart for Recovery Church is because I see my face in EVERY SINGLE ONE of theirs?  That after the loss of Shalom, I would've done literally anything to make the pain stop ... and the only reason I never abused substances during that time was because of the amazing support I had?  And I look at them and my heart breaks because they didn't have that support ... and I feel so blessed and guilty at the same time, that all I can do is give and give and give to them?  Did you know that I love almost too much - that I am loyal and would do anything for those I love?  That I've cried countless times from feeling "left out", from feeling "replaced", from feeling isolated?  That my heart has been broken more than once?  Did you know that for the first few years of marriage, I felt not good enough - that I had to do absolutely everything I could to be the very best, so my hubby wouldn't think "gosh - what I have done?  why did I marry her??" ... that I felt the only way to be worth being stayed-with was through my works and then, maybe, I would feel accepted?  Did you know that my brain struggles daily with how I look at myself, with my body image, with my worth as a mother ... that I beat myself up at night when I see all the things that I didn't do well, that I didn't accomplish, that I procrastinated on, that I was lazy about, that I totally failed at?  Did you know that my love-language is "words of affirmation", and that I hate feeling like I need 10 compliments  for every one criticism?  Did you know that I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to prayer and Bible reading - two fundamental practices of my faith - that I fail DAILY at.  Did you know that every time I step up in front of people to lead worship, my heart races and I only where dark colours because of how much I sweat?  And that I don't need anyone to remind me that it's the Lord who does things - because my absolute greatest fear is having any part of "me" up on stage as I know it could hinder Him from showing up?  Did you know that I can never get rid of the ache I feel when I realize that I'm getting older, and soon - my turn will be over and I won't be asked to lead anymore?  Did you know that I could go on and on and on and on and on ....?

I say all of that - because I don't know who reads this ... and maybe it's you who has had an tainted opinion of who I am.  I hope that by being vulnerable, you'll be able to see that I know just how far from "perfect" I am.  But here's the thing - If I live every day, reminding myself that I'm the person from the above paragraph, I'll never get out of bed *smile*.  So, instead - I have to try and walk in who I want to BE ... and celebrate the few things I CAN do and not let all the things I can't, define me and paralyze me from moving forward.

So.  Did you know that I have three music degrees - two in teaching and one in piano performance?  Did you know that I love being a business woman and ran Studio Di Meglio with 40+ students and I loved each and every one of those kids.  Did you know that my goal was to be a piano examiner and I was the Vice President of the BCRMTA teacher's association for two years?  Did you know that after Shalom died, I couldn't bring myself to teach anymore ... and that photography became the greatest God-send in my life?  Did you know that the ONLY reason RedHanded Photography came into existence was because my younger cousin believed so much in me - that she asked me to photograph her wedding before I had done any photography professionally?  Did you know that worship leading is the absolute greatest privilege, aside from my family, that I have in my life ... and I would do it every day, all the time - and give up everything else for the opportunity to do it again and again?  Did you know that when I lead others, I feel like I am exactly who God created me to be, and that short time each month breathes so much life in me?  Did you know that the first time I went for a run, 2 years ago, that I couldn't run consecutively for 2 minutes ... and that accomplishing the goal of running a half marathon the following year validated SO MUCH inside of me?  Did you know that I absolutely love to cook and share with others?  See, these are things that I CAN do, and things that I try to focus on and balance all the things I can NOT.  These are the things that I celebrate in me, instead of reminding myself of my short-comings.

"They can't stand me" ... and I have to process that.  I have to take a deep breath.  I can do my best to change - whatever that looks like.  And I want to.  I want to be a better person, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better everything.  But I cannot change how others see me.  I cannot change a person's heart on how they chose to view others.  If they wish to see the worst in someone, or just me, I'm not able to change that.  And I could change everything about me that "they" don't like now ... and honestly, they would perhaps just find something else to add to the list later on.  It would be exhausting to try and please everyone. Exhausting and impossible.

At the end of the day, I can look around and see that I have really wonderful people around me.  Sure - today has made my brain hurt and wonder, "do my friends really like me at all?" - but I know in my heart who I am loved by, and who I do life with.  And - at the end of the day - I have to be accountable for who I am, not live life to be affirmed by others. I am accountable because I say that I represent "Him", in calling myself a Christian.  And let's face it - claiming to want to exemplify Christ can only lead to failure if someone expects you to be exactly ... like Christ.  I will disappoint them daily, and give much cause for judgement.

So - all in all - it's been a hard day.  But a good day.  To be reminded that others can see my faults has been humbling ... to have my worst insecurities be spoken outloud by someone else ... has been difficult.  To feel judged and talked about, without being spoken to directly - having given a chance to explain, or accept - it's been painful.

But onward and upward, as this day of reflecting on who I am and who I want to be - who I want to be known as - has been a good exercise for me.  And we all know that exercise is hard work.

Maybe you've said something about someone ... someone you don't really know.  Maybe you have preconceived ideas, you've wrapped them up in a box without even asking a question. My hope, is that by reading this it would awaken in all of us the reminder of grace when we look at others.  That we, that I, would not use my own insecurities in bringing down someone else ... that we, that I, would take the time to be brave and see where these things issues come really come from.  That we, that I, wouldn't find affirmation in speaking of someone who isn't present - and having a group of people who "agree" as confirmation of our opinions.  Everyone needs grace ... Lord knows, I do.

PHEWF.  I'm spent.

And now ... I'd like to eat some ice cream - because, did you know, that I'm an emotional eater? *smile*

But I won't.

Maybe.

Have a good one. xx

1 comment:

Mike said...

The lady bug observes the sunrise from the twenty-third tallest blade of grass closest to the kitchen window. It observes a mother holding her child from the bottom-right corner of the double-glazed nursery window. After many days, it dies having observed, but never experiencing the deep, sacred world of which it was a part.