The older I get the more I notice that I feel others sadness when dealing with the embarrassment of public humility. It is the biggest reason I tend to watch less tv, especially the news. It seems that no matter how thick our skin is there are times that something said can affect us in a negative and hurtful way. We are often too busy worrying about what others think about us or we are passing judgment about others and we forget we all originated from the same cloth. Tiger Woods is a perfect example, though I do not agree with his actions I believe the media has taken it too far, let the man deal with his bad choices on his own and in private. It amazes me and saddens me that our society gets so much pleasure in others pain and humility.
In my younger-past life I was very sensitive to others opinions, to the stares of those who seemed to look down on me and to those who did not like me no matter how hard I tried to make them think differently. I worked hard to be accepted and wanted everyone to love me. I would sometimes do things I did not want or agree with for acceptance. Thank God I am still here to talk about them because some of the things I did in my teens could have taken my life had the circumstances been different in even a split second of the moment.
I struggled in elementary school with a speech impediment that made me different, it made other kids talk down to me and it hurt. While they were out playing kick ball, laughing and having fun I was in a classroom trying to learn how to talk like everyone else. As I grew older those internal feelings grew and I allowed them to manifest into something I believed not something that truly was. I never felt I was good enough, I never felt pretty enough and I allowed my thoughts to take over my choices by settling. I stayed in relationships that offered reinforcement on my belief through manipulation because I thought I deserved less. I never trusted because in my mind everyone was planning to hurt me, I was outwardly doing everything I could to be accepted but privately I was sad and very alone. I believed that loving yourself meant that you were selfish and self centered and I had become a victim in my own thinking, I was living my story…one that I myself created in my own mind. The person here before you now is very different from that person, although at times some of those old thoughts may resurface I am always aware and I am able to find my true self, that self that I know I love.
For me something happened…something shifted somewhere around the time I entered my forties. Perhaps it was the mere fact that I finally began the battle of wanting to love myself and except, honor and be grateful for what I had, what I was and who I am. I think the real factor was that I was truly tired of the struggle, of the sadness and I wanted to figure out how to be happy. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could find that early in life so that discovering the truth self-love creates for us could be experienced by all. Imagine how much more happiness we could have encountered in our lives if this were the case, now imaging how much more happiness your children could have if you teach these things to them now.
The idea for this post came to mind when I remembered an episode that happened on the playground in 1st grade way back when I was struggling with my speech impediment and my feeling of not fitting in. I was friends with an african american girl named Karen and we would often take turns throwing the basketball after school on the basketball courts. It is hard to believe that where I grew up there were practically no african american people who lived or went to school with me and there were no other ethnic kids in our school. Even today I hate that we have to use titles to represent the color of skin (or sexual preference) to define a person who is not a straight caucasian. On this particular day as we walked to the basketball court two boys started saying awful, judgemental things to Karen because of her color. It was obvious she was used to being talked down to in that way and she began to walk away as the boy’s continued with their rudeness. For whatever reason and without even thinking about my actions I stood next to her with a basketball planted between my arm and resting on my hip full of attitude and confidence as I told the boys we were staying and were playing whether they wanted us to or not. Through her humility on that day in that instant I saw a faint smile and she stayed there with me regardless of the fear she was feeling. At the time I did not realize what an impact that must of made on her but she stayed my friend until we moved on to different schools. I never saw her as a color but as a girl that I liked to hang out with and I have to thank my mother for those morals because she always told me that I should always treat others as I would want to be treated because in Gods eyes we are all the same.
Most of my life I allowed myself to experience humility and felt it was what I deserved, boy did I have that all wrong and now I realize it was something I made up in my own mind. I believe that this is the reason I have always felt drawn to those who are different, to those who might be considered strange, damaged or less fortunate…perhaps it is the reason I want so badly to give something back and to make others feel good about themselves.
In my quest the greatest lesson I have learned is that you can’t make everyone love you no matter how hard you try but you can make your thoughts about what people think or say mean NOTHING….it is all how you think and what you allow yourself to believe. Most of the time we have it all wrong in believing that someone else is even thinking about us. Insecurity runs rampant when we allow it to but we always have the choice to love ourselves enough for it not to matter. This is what I choose, this is who I have become and my hope is that if I can touch even just one person out there in a way that changes their self-thought in a positive way I have made some sort of difference. As always I am sending love to all because love is the truth of why we are here. The greatest thing you can do in life is to give love and compassion so pass it on….