I just left a conversation that told me so much about myself, without that even being the intention.
I was sitting with two friends of mine at a dining hall after leaving church service. Conversation was flowing, full of laughter and all the things that make you enjoy company. My mind was racing with things I learned from the sermon earlier, and somehow the conversation switched from one of laughter to one of seriousness. It was as if something came over my friend, to where she knew what she was about to say was exactly what I needed to hear.
We sat for about an hour after everyone had left and discussed self-worth. How much it’s needed, and how much we tend to neglect it for the sake of others, especially men. I sat and listened, wondering how it could be that everything that she was saying was related to me. She was telling me about my situation, and about how I was giving to someone who only had enough power to take from me, rather than give me something back. She told me all of this. And the sad thing about it? Deep down beyond my feelings of deserving more from the situation, of thinking that that if I held out a little bit longer I would win it over, and of bypassing every single sign that told me to stop, I knew. I knew that I was doing the most for someone who didn’t have even half of that to give toward me.
But all of that isn’t even what affected me the most from that conversation. At one moment, she looked me dead in my eyes and said “You are Important.” And at that very moment, I almost burst into tears.
Why? Because I had kept myself from feeling important for so long that I had forgotten that I was. I had spent so much time making everyone else feel special, feel as if they mattered to somebody, and reminding them that they were loved that I had forgotten to do the same for myself. Everything I needed for myself was out there with everyone else but me. And here I was, with a cup that was less than half empty because I had given everyone I felt that needed a sip, a gulp of everything that was mine. My Time. My Effort. My Joy. My Patience. My Love. My Care. My Adoration. I no longer had enough of it left to give to myself.
And what did I do when I realized this? Did I stop giving? No. I just waited for someone who had no business filling in where I could not cover to come in and do it. To love me, to give back to me. I was waiting for my turn from someone who didn’t even know I was in line. And all this time, I have been waiting for someone to come and do what I can do for myself.
We all have had our times when we do this. We are waiting on something. We think if we wait long enough, our dreams will fall right into our lap. If we stay patient, we will become as beautiful to everyone else as we desire to be. If we hang around just a little while longer, that boy will see that he needs to be with us, and we can’t leave, because what if he finally wants us and we aren’t there? We wait and wait and wait. We put our personal hourglass into the hands of so many other people and things, when we have the strength and power to hold it ourselves. And when this happens too often, we make the common mistake of forgetting that we are important. That we matter in this world. That we deserve the world and everything we are trying to give everyone else, yet wait for someone to give us.
I am challenging myself this year, in 2016, to do better for myself. What if everything that I poured into everyone around me, I spilled into myself? What if, instead of thinking about how much a man has troubled me, I wake up every morning and reminded myself that I am blessed? I have so much that I could be crying about; why is it that the one thing that causes tears to erupt from my body is another human being who God hasn’t destined to bring me joy? What if I reminded myself that I am beautiful from the time I open my eyes until I close them? How powerful of a person would I be then? Would I believe the greatness that people see in me then?
As you are reading this, I hope that you challenge yourself to do the same. All of us are waiting on something that can easily be attained ourselves. We can build our own dreams. We can hype our own natural beauty. We can make ourselves smarter. We can love ourselves for all that we are. Everything that we are giving to someone else, yet waiting on someone else to give us, are things that we already own. Claim it. Take it back and give it to yourself. What are you waiting for?