This combination is an oxymoron with which I continue to wrestle .
Why is it that a lack of response from one friend can send me into tears and yet another friend’s lack of response leads to eye-rolling criticism?
As a 26-year-old, I was surprised when a recent incident drew out my teenage insecurities. After this incident, I cried and later even dreamt I was abandoned by all my friends. This morning I couldn’t shake the underlying question about who actually likes me as a friend.
It is me. I am terribly insecure – a habit tucked deeply and firmly away. It originated from my brace-face, head-in-a-book middle school, and (yes, let’s be honest) high school years. I have never been instantly popular. I am the kind girl-next-door, hide-in-the-shadows, find the other outcasts, make alliances, and build each others’ confidence until we break out one day and become the EDITOR-in-CHIEF!
Yep. That basically sums up high school and college for me.
I wonder, if everyone could just show more love, use kinder words, give more hugs, wouldn’t we all be happier, more confident people? Why is there not more of this among friends? Why is there not more empathy? What is friendship if not empathy, after all?
Why are there so many secrets? Why so much body language to read, so many small comments, so many actions, reactions, and interpersonal dynamics to analyze?
Do these questions consume you, too?
I have no answer.
Sometimes, I just want to hide in a hole and not answer to any texts, calls, or social events. Why go out if you think underneath it all these people are judging your clothes, tone of voice, drink choice, and haircut as different from theirs?
I am still fighting against these assumptions which have little evidence beyond the ghosts of my (though very real) lockered hallway memories.
I am thankful for those who listen and tell me I am ridiculous.
I quickly pass judgment on the state of another’s heart based on their outward actions. It takes me but a moment to snidely judge their tone of voice, their preferences, their criticisms spewing from their mouths. What a complainer! What a hypocrite! They have no forgiveness. I whisper to myself.
(Please, feel free to snort in derisive laughter along with me).
Where is my grace, you ask?
It is not in me. I do the things I do not want to do. I desire to show grace, to love others. I fail to do those things.
I forgive myself. I start again. I repeat. I repeat. I repeat. I repeat.
(God, why have you not tired of me yet? Thank you for not tiring of me).
I need grace for myself first. It is only as a whole and loved person (clean, honest, open – this not of my own doing, but the grace of God in me) that I have the space, the freedom, the patience, the privilege to show it to others.
And this, only sometimes.
PS: Fall is almost over, so I give you Foster’s Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Cannot say more to recommend it.