This was originally written to myself, for myself only- but after sharing a tiny snippet, a couple folks asked to read it. My initial thought? Umm, HELL NO. But then I decided to listen to my own voice below and worry about the dry heaves later. The inspiration came from my stupidly-talented-artist friend Tom, who is in the process of finalizing a pop-up gallery show he titled “Make, what you most need to find.” I asked myself the question What do I most need to hear? and this is what came out unedited…well, mostly- I edited out a few parts that were perhaps too personal- nobody needs to read me talk myself in circles about relationships. 🙂
Life is scary and it will hurt- that’s ok. You’re going to take risks and some will break your heart, in fact, many already have- that’s ok too. You know what you love now, but don’t stop falling in love with new things and new people. It’s ok to be afraid, just don’t let it determine your steps. What makes your heart beat faster? Do that. Your hands may shake and your voice may crack- but do it. Face it head on. It’ll be messy, most good things are. Don’t be afraid of the mess.
Stop being so fearful of your own voice. You love to write so stop whining and just do it. Be bolder; your best pieces have been those that’ve induced some panic and even a few dry heaves. It’s not wrong for people to know you in this way- it’s uncomfortable and weird, but remember what I said about good things being messy? God gave you this voice, use it- some people won’t listen to you…so what? They don’t determine who you are any more than you determine who they are.
You’re never going to please everyone, so stop trying. You break your own heart over and over striving to make everyone happy. Not only is this not healthy OR possible, it’s kinda selfish- compulsion to act in order to make others like you is not nearly the same as moving out of the goodness of your heart. Don’t be afraid to say no, but don’t use that as an excuse to get out of the things that make you squirm in discomfort.
Don’t forget what you know about God right this very minute; that you are insanely loved. You struggle with doubts, you over-think things- it’s ok, don’t freak out, you’ll get through them as they come- just don’t let go and don’t allow them to be an excuse to do whatever the hell you want. Keep fighting for it. God will too- take comfort in that.
Learn to be grateful for what you have, comparing yourself to no one else on either side of the spectrum. There will always be someone worse off than you and there will always be someone better- comparing yourself to either robs you of true gratitude and turns people into statistical competition.
Learn to let others take care of you- this is not weakness. Being in need is weird and incredibly uncomfortable, but learn to embrace it. People love you, they want to walk with you- let them. People want to be the hands and feet of Jesus for you, let them.
Don’t forget to follow your heart- use reason too, but really listen to your heart, it will guide you far better, with more clarity than your anxious brain will. Learn to know when to let go and when to hang on. This can be a confusing one, but it’s vital. You’ve spent years fearfully hanging on to what you’ve needed to release, while also giving up on things that have just needed a little more patience and energy. There is a time for both, but it will take some discerning to figure out which is which- your heart will know, listen.
Lastly, give yourself a little more grace. You have been making mistakes your whole life and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll stop now. It’s ok to be imperfect- perfection is a lie. Nobody else expects you to have it all figured out, so why do you insist that you must? That kind of life is exhausting. Embrace the mistakes you make- it allows others to embrace theirs too, it’s not comfortable, but you’ll to be ok…I promise.