Broken and Beautiful – How to Enjoy Being Yourself
Everyone says I’ve got it all together, everyone looks at me in envy. Everyone sees my cute kids and my loving husband and thinks my life couldn’t be more perfect, that I must be living heaven on earth and that I couldn’t possibly emulate with anyone in tough situations. It is true that I am very blessed and have a life that seems picture perfect now (don’t let that fool you), but it hasn’t always been this way. I have a secret. I am NORMAL! I’ve suffered, and in some cases still suffer, from severe self image issues, abuse, depression, thoughts of suicide, unrequited love, self doubt, regret, paralyzing fear and more. I’ve made decisions that hurt people I love, I’ve lost best friends and family members. Even now, despite being surrounded by the people whom I love the most, most of the time I feel desperately alone, like no one understands me, like no one cares. Like I have nothing to say that means anything to anyone else. Like my crosses are all mine to carry alone while no one else even pays enough attention to know that I need help. Everyone looking at me thinking I’ve got it all together while I’m slowly crumbling to bits inside only makes the loneliness feel more intense.
You are not alone
I don’t share this for pity or condolences, I only share this with you because I know you feel similar emotions, because maybe my story can let you know that you are not alone. Maybe people think you’ve got it all together, or maybe they don’t. The point is, when people look at you, you know they make their assumptions. Too often people don’t really care about getting to know you, they just treat you how they choose to see you. How can we live normal in a society puts labels on us? You can’t even live up to the expectations you’ve built for yourself. You certainly can’t live up to the expectations others have built for you. How can you just be happy being you, the real you, complete with limitations and talents, regardless of what other people want to think? The hurt is oppressive, we want to make it go away, we NEED to numb it, but how? How, without making things worse? How can we fix the pain at the source instead of just covering it up?
Who am I, really? How can God place all this on my shoulders? They say God doesn’t give us more than we can handle but I don’t believe that. He gives us precisely more than we can handle so that we MUST count on Him. So that we never forget just how much we need Him. So that we can know that it is not us who accomplish anything on our own.
No longer will we feel the need to numb our pain or pretend it doesn’t exist, but now we can rise above it. We can leave behind our mistakes, we can make all things new again. We can do all this because we have Someone who is strong to carry us, and Someone who has suffered the same and more to guide us.
So, How to enjoy being yourself?
I’ve been on this journey for a while. I have reaped some of the rewards and tasted many of the joys. I am still on this journey and every day I find new reasons for peace, for love, for joy that makes the sorrows and struggles of this life pale in comparison. This is why I hope you too can come to know Him like I know Him and love Him like I love Him. His love is the only thing that can bring out the true us, the real us, the untarnished us, the us that is just as perfect as when we were created, the us that doesn’t have to hide. He’s the one who loves us BECAUSE He knows us. When we know that kind of love, we no longer have to hide or pretend, we can just BE. When you can experience that, nothing else matters. When you know Him, there is always someone to turn to, always someone who “gets you”, always someone who listens, always someone who feels your pain, someone who doesn’t pity you or tell you what to do (unless you ask)… someone who is JUST YOUR FRIEND, someone who just wants to hold your hand, someone who just wants to make your life a little more bearable, someone who is just waiting for you to let Him. Read: 6 steps to building a Practical Friendship with God, How to know if you have a genuine relationship with God, and What does a true relationship with God look like?)