When I was a little girl I wanted everyone to like me. I liked everyone, so naturally I expected them to like me back.
I was such an innocent little thing, wasn’t I?
In 3rd grade, I couldn’t understand why a 4th grader who I didn’t even know would make fun of my hair. At that age I didn’t love my hair, but I certainly didn’t think it was that bad.
One time something hurtful was even put in writing and published for the entire high school to read. Now that was a bad day.
I remember the people who said unkind things about me. I remember thinking that if they just knew me, they would know what a good person I was. Wouldn’t they? I never wished harm on anyone, so why would anyone wish it on me?
Each time, their words – whether verbal or written – affected me. They placed a little seed of doubt in me that wasn’t there before. Maybe they even began to shape my opinion of myself.
Luckily I had great friends and family who loved me.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m still a lot like that little girl. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to be liked and accepted by others?
But I’m not that same little girl. Back then the opinion of others carried so much weight. What else did I have to measure my worth?
What’s different about me now is that (most of the time) I don’t let the negative things others think about me eat away at me or define my worth. Why? Is it because I’m old and hardened?
Boy, I hope not.
I think it’s because I’ve learned whose opinions really matter. I know whose opinions to seek because they truly know me and care about me.
They are the people who…
…are invested in my life.
…want the best for me.
…aren’t threatened by my potential successes.
…don’t run away on the hardest days.
…share my perspective on life.
…base their life on the same Truth as me.
To these people, I say thank you.
Thank you for freeing me from the never-ending-people-pleasing. Thank you for the honest conversation. Thank you for caring enough to be kind, even when I need to hear something not-so-nice to hear.
I think as long as we’re forced to interact with people that we wouldn’t naturally choose to interact with, we’re going to find people who would rather tear us down than build us up. We’re all human and imperfect, so we’re bound to hurt each other at some point even when we’re trying our hardest not to.
And that, dear reader, is why the most important opinion in my life is my Creator’s. He’s the only one who can love perfectly. If He’s good with me, then I’m good with me.
And lucky for us all, He thinks we’re pretty darn worthy of love and kindness. (No matter how bad our hair is!)
What I can’t seem to figure out is how to make sure theBABY never gets hurt by the words of others. My guess is I can’t make that happen, so I’ll make it my job to be there when it does – to listen and to try to convince her to believe me when I tell her whose opinion really matters.