Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Have you ever spent so much time trying to please others and conform to suit them that you don't even know who you are anymore? That was the story of my life. Even though I could hear myself saying things like "I don't really care what others think of me" inside I craved approval so badly that it caused me physical pain.
I acted in ways that went against how I felt inside, I did things that I knew I shouldn't but wanted so badly to feel like I fit in somewhere. The truth of the matter is that I ended feeling worse and never did fit in. Unfortunately, it took me many years to realize that it is ok to not fit in and being unique is better than being the same as everyone else. As a matter of fact, it is much better to embrace yourself as God made you. I compare it buying a new outfit and then meeting so many others wearing the same thing. Who wants to look exactly the same as everyone else.
Another lesson that I learned over the years is that there truly is no pleasing some people. If you have to change who you truly are to have people accept you - FIND NEW PEOPLE! But the biggest eye-opener of all is that we would probably be more upset if we really knew how little people thought about us at all. Sometimes it seems that we build up a dialogue on how they are probably thinking this or that or they are feeling this way or that way and in reality "they" are so busy dealing with their situations that I am not even a blip on their radar.
After so many years of feeling like a square peg in a round hole world, I am working on being the authentic me. The persona I am meant to be is the person that God created not the one that the world tried to make me into or the person I tried to create in order to please the world. When I think about what Jesus gave up for me, I should be ensuring that my life is lived in such a fashion to be pleasing in the eyes of God. No one else suffered and died so I could live a life of no condemnation and paid the full price for my sins.
I am thankful to people who think enough of me to give me a present, pay for my lunch, or just drop in to say hi. How much more has Jesus done for me It took me many years to get it straight and to realize that I don't need to change one thing to ensure God's unwavering love for me. I am still baffled that I put such energy into attempting to be accepted by a fallen world.
Knowing and accepting that life will not always be easy and people will hurt you and you will hurt people is a reality that once embraced can provide comfort. Comfort? Well, in my life, yes, comfort. God has forgiven me, been patient with me, loved me unconditionally, and has been gracious, gentle, and kind with me, and because he has shown me that this is the way to treat others it has removed the anger, hatred, revenge, and grudges that I use to carry around. Being able to process the situations, forgive easily, and realize it is all part of life, I find comforting.
If anyone is naive enough to think they have never caused pain to others or do not need the forgiveness of others, they are not being real and are sadly mistaken. Since my journey back to finding myself has begun, I have faced some heartbreaking and soul-crushing situations but with my new outlook and faith in God I am limping along life's highway but I still have my joy and just knowing that God is still on the throne allows me to enjoy my life and work on what he wants for me!
Psalms 55:22 reads "Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain and uphold you: He will never allow the righteous to be shaken".
1 Peter 5:7 says "casting all your cares on Him, for He cares about you".
The journey has just begun and I am excited about where it will lead me.