So the funniest thing happened to me this morning. My daughter asked me if I would slice an apple for her. She went into the fridge, pulled one out and handed it to me. I grabbed it to place it on the cutting board and just happened to notice a bite mark in it. There was an indentation of two top teeth and two bottom teeth. I watched her go to the fridge and pull out the apple – she didn’t bite into it at that time.
It was as if she was reading my mind or she was simply responding to my puzzled look, when she said “Mom, I bit that apple last night so that I could eat it this morning. I didn’t want anyone else to eat it before I could.” That just made me giggle. This was not the last apple in the fruit drawer. There were two more apples. My daughter was really wanting the apple and apparently had no insecurity about staking her claim on it.
It is one simply illustration of how confident my daughter is to just be herself. There are so many stories and sweet memories in my heart of her bold confidence, which I admire so much. She doesn’t sensor the things that she says or fit the questions she asks into a perfect mold.
I, on the other hand, have battled insecurity most of my life. Historically, I’ve been a people please-er. I did really well at it to. It’s strange how easy it is to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing, helping fill a need and booking your time with activities that you forget who you are and who you were meant to be. I lived by the motto that it was my responsibility to not let others down.
Wow is that a lot of work! I think the harder I tried, the more I let people down. Tied to people pleasing is a strong desire to use the word “yes”. Another common phrase, “I will do whatever it takes to make that happen”. It is scary how often I used those words with those outside of my family and how little I used them for my spouse & children.
I’m so thankful that I reached a point where I made the decision to put a stop to the insanity. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. I’m going to let people down. I see that as an opportunity to improve my ability to ask for forgiveness. I get a lot of practice at that. But I can do the best with what I have at the time. I can keep going. Progress, not perfection.
The world would miss out on so much if I am not me. God made me special. He made me unique. He made me a precious gem. If I can be me, all the good and bad. Perhaps it will give my daughter the continued confidence to be who she is. Who knows how many lives will be impacted along the way as a by product of that.
I hope that as you read my words you remember how precious you are. You are so special. You are such a treasure. You give hope to those in your life that they too can be themselves. All this happens just by being true to how God made you. Chances are you may not even known you’ve uplifted someone by your actions.
You were the one who lifted me up when you sang in church. I thought your voice was like listening to an angel speak right to my heart. You sent a card in the mail, it arrived on a day when I was tired and filled with anxiety. You gave me a smile and hope for the rest of the day. You came to visit me and share conversation when I was feeling so lonely and unloved. When you left I was so filled with love and joy. You left me a voicemail asking nothing from me. It stopped me from plowing through my to-do list and encouraged me to just take a breath of restoration.
It’s in all these little things you do just because you are who you are, that are gifts to the rest of the world. Keep on wrapping these presents and delivering them. Even if you don’t see them opened know that God sees. Perhaps when we get to Heaven He will show us what happened when we sent ourselves out into the world.
Be true, be you!
Dear Lord, thank you so very much for each person who reads these words. Lord please give them the courage and the strength to be the precious individual You made them to be. Help them to feel You smile down upon them as the are authentic with those in their lives. Help them to be a gift and to receive the gift of those around them. You are so good to us, for that we are grateful! Amen.