I’m not usually candid when it comes to certain personal and deep facets about my life to my readers. However, there are some things I don’t care to share with anyone, especially when they teach a valuable lesson like this one.
When I was in my teens and early 20s, I wanted nothing more than to simply belong. I didn’t care who accepted me, just as long as I was accepted. There were those few individuals who truly made a difference in my life and I’m blessed to have known them.
However, there were also those that used me for emotional target practice, wanting me to be something in their eyes that I wasn’t. Therefore, I began to forget who I was and felt that in order to simply belong, I had to adapt to other people’s standards.
What’s worse, I begin to think God didn’t love me just the way I was, either.
We sometimes think we don’t affect people in such a profound way, but we do. When we tell someone to change something so small that isn‘t hurting themselves or anyone else; we not only cause that person to withdrawal emotionally and spiritually, but we also tell that person they’re just not good enough and something‘s wrong with them.
God has really allowed me to be around a lot of friends-turned-backbiter, a.k.a. cliques, and I can assure you that the reason why these people act like they do is because there’s something missing from in their own lives. These people may have a lot of pride in themselves, but they certainly don’t love themselves.
To all the “cliquers”- step out of your comfort zone and reach out to those lonely people. Sit with someone in the break room at work or in the pew of your place of worship that you haven’t sat with before. Sometimes, a warm welcome and friendly smile can sometimes be the difference between someone feeling worthless and feeling like they’re worth something.
For those that want to belong, let me encourage you to be your original, wonderful selves.
You’re wonderful just that way God made you. Never allow anyone to step on your life or dreams because they simply don’t feel comfortable with you. It’s not you that they don’t like; it‘s them they don‘t like. As my grandma used to say, “If heartless morons could fly, this place would be an airport.”
Nevertheless, cut off the dead roots and plant yourself firmly in faith, hope and love. Live you life and not for someone else. Travel the road less taken and never look back. Most importantly, always remember the words of an American poet and essayist: “Be yourself. If people have a problem with you, it’s not because of who you are. It’s because of who they are.”