I am learning to see myself through others’ eyes.
Fleeting moments where the veil of unrealistic expectation lifts, and I am stripped soul bare of my glaring flaws. Confrontation by kindness, by no gnawing want or need of what use I can be, their words are based in truth. There are no “buts,” or “if you justs,” and I am humbled in an impossible way. I learned to be self effacing because what I knew was either cruelty or ambivalence, absorbing the worst of the words said to me about me. I was arrogant, fat, argumentative, petulant, selfish, crazy, stupid, or there was just silence on the line. I was never the Goldilocks option even when I was the only option. “Enough” always hanging in the air out of my reach. And it’s sad to think I simply accepted what was handed to me without question because it was joined with “love.”
I’ve cleared a lot of clutter in the last couple of years. The din quieting because I’ve silenced it. Excising the sources and healing the open wounds they left. I’ve stopped lying for other people because I’m no longer able to cushion egos like glass ornaments. Someone else’s insecurity isn’t mine to carry. I have enough of my own, and I need proof to justify an endorsement or its lack. And this is where the clarity comes. There is no emptiness in the spaces the negatives filled. This is likely due to the cold fact that they never should have been there to start, but I hung on because I thought that they were right and I was all wrong.
The things that people say to me now are hard to hear, a code I can barely crack. They’re things I say to other people without hesitation, but returned it’s inscrutable. I struggle with the idea that people enjoy my company. I don’t understand compliments about my appearance, my demeanor, my abilities, or my intelligence. The concept that I am good isn’t easily taken on its face because I’m not. I’m simply trying not to be awful out of the need to make my own daily existence just a little less harsh. There is enough chaos in the world. I don’t need to suffer. My capacity for kindness is in itself an accomplishment and I’m prouder of it than anything else I’ve ever done.
Did you know that you are loved despite your not loving yourself?
Did you know that you are perfect because of your flaws?
Did you know that you deserve the same kindness you give to others?
Did you know that there is no reward in martyrdom and self deprivation?
Did you know the only one who hates you is you? Have you asked why? Are you being honest?
Did you know that someone sees you as a gift every day?