To borrow part of a line from a movie…I’m just a girl standing in front of a mirror, trying to love herself.
I have come a long way on this journey of becoming, and I am happy to be comfortable in my skin and loving myself. And yet, I can still find myself having fallen into the trap of negative self-talk which in turn leads to a distorted sense of who I am and what that looks like to others.
A few days ago on Facebook, a friend shared some odd facts about himself and welcomed others to share their own facts, and I did. Someone I do not know saw my facts and inquired after my fact of holding a World record, which led to further discussion and comments between the three of us. My friend called me a warrior and amazing and told this other person that she would really like me. Reading my friend’s comment was heart-warming but also rather made me feel the uncomfortable glare of a spotlight. It was high praise that I instantly felt was grossly exaggerated and unwarranted, and I pretty much said so.
Being a curator of thoughts, I have been dwelling on that Facebook conversation. The words written about me don’t quite seem to resemble me, not when I look at myself or when I look at others. This warrior, this amazing person worth knowing sounds like someone I would love to meet, but it doesn’t sound like me. However, in thinking about the comment and the source from which it came, I have had to pause and reconsider my position. The person who made this claim about me is not the sort of person who would throw out artificial praise. In fact, given what I know about this friend’s values and integrity, if he told me that Jane Doe was someone amazing and worth knowing, then I would believe him and want to know her. So why do I doubt his sincerity when I’m put in the spotlight?
Am I a warrior? Am I amazing? As much as I’d like to think so at times, the truth is that I am no better than anyone else and my struggles are no worse than anyone else’s. Everyone has a story that is uniquely their own. There will always be someone with a story either happier or uglier than the next person, and I dare say that a person’s story can be both happy and ugly, even at the same time. We are all stories. I think the lesson here, at least for me, is that stories draw people in. In the same way that I will always return to those books I love, people with interesting stories will always capture my attention and work their into my heart. And if I can look at others this way, then it shouldn’t be so surprising if others take interest in my story.