Last week, something happened that made me quite sad. Actually, I was angry and if I were completely honest, I went into straight up pity party, woe is me mode. You know it; don’t act like you don’t! That mode where the world is simply unfair and you are being treated like a common criminal when everyone knows you deserve to be treated like royalty! Yeah, that mode! In the midst of my par’tay I said just as proudly and arrogantly as I could, “When is someone going to defend me?” And boom… the bomb dropped.
As if I were in a movie theater with stadium seating and 3D glasses, buttery popcorn, peanut M&M’s and a diet soda, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I recalled the little girl wanting to play with her neighborhood friend who seemed to be the idol of “the block”. But rather, she was in her room looking out the window because her neighbor’s cousin was in town - and the cousin always bullied me. This was my first experience of wondering, “Why won’t my friend defend me?”
Fast forward to high school. I had a friend who I loved dearly. We did everything together; we shared everything. And one day, she was no longer my friend. Just like that, it ended. To this day, I have no clue why. I wondered for years why she didn’t take a stand and defend me against whatever it was that tore us apart. Let’s be real here, I’ve wondered for a long time… up until last week.
Fast forward to college. The short and sweet – I was “steered” from joining what was familiar to me, although not conventional, only to be rejected by what was unfamiliar but would have seemed more befitting. Once again, I found myself wondering, “Why aren’t THEY defending me?!”
So, what was the bomb? It was a simple question. “When are you going to start defending yourself?” Boom - a paradigm shift. A 180 in how I think, reason, plan… live. Life isn’t about having others do for you what you can do for yourself. Why didn’t I stand up to the bully? Why didn’t I confront my high school friend? Why did I need the familiar? And why was I willing to accept rejection by the unfamiliar when I never wanted it anyway?
In truth, I have always wanted acceptance. And since I am removing the veil, I have always wanted to be on top – the best. So much so that I have compromised the very teachings and principles that shaped my formative years – my Christian walk. You see, in all my examples here, and the countless others elsewhere, it was never about them. It was about ME! I’m the best friend, I’m the lovable wife, I’m the one that’s super special. Surely you want to be with ME! In essence, I felt that I was so special that I shouldn’t have to face adversity. Life should treat me fair and right and when it doesn't “they” should be right there to help me! To defend me! To cater to me - sweet lil’ ole’ innocent me! Geez Louise, someone bring me some cheese for goodness sake!!!!!!
Wow, I didn’t expect to go there but why blog and share your journey of self-discovery if you aren’t going to be raw. I’m learning that my focus in life hasn’t been on those around me but on the accomplishments I wanted to make in life. It felt good to say I’m on umpteen number of boards (wearing myself O-U-T), and I am president, and I know the CEO, and I… I… I. What about them? Those who truly love me no matter what I accomplish… and here’s the kicker, or what I don’t accomplish. I am learning to love. I’m learning to love me for who I really am. I’m learning to love others for who they are and for who they are striving to be. But most importantly, I am learning to love Christ. I am learning that as I grow closer to Him I am gaining all that I ever needed. And that defense… well who needs a greater defender than the Savior?
I have lived a life led by fear… fear of what may be and/or what may be thought of me. I choose not to live that life anymore. I choose to live a life where I am free. Free to be the new me that I’m discovering more about everyday.