- You don't know what you mean to someone else.
- You don't know how much people care about you.
- You don't know how much you might like you later in life.
I’m sure you’ve maybe felt like this at some point. I think we all have. Like you aren’t worth a thing, you don’t do anything of value, like nobody cares. I’ve dealt with this a lot myself over the years. So let me share a story with you.
This weekend I was in L.A. with fellow interns and some pastors from my church, it was raining, it was cold, and I was not feeling well. We’re standing in the pouring rain, I’m cold, I’m soaked, I’m in pain, and I’m anxious. They all wanted to get coffee, I did not raise my hand in agreement. And then two people I barely talk to offered me their jacket, I said no, and they each offered again assuring me it was fine. We aren’t close, and I didn’t tell them how I was feeling, but the one went to the point of handing the jacket to me despite my refusal. We hardly talk, I said thank you, but I highly doubt this individual knows how much this meant to me.
Later another individual who I’ve actually been in school with for two years, but don’t talk to frequently just came up and asked me how I was holding up. I don’t think he knew how much this meant to me.
My whole weekend went like this, I was having a great time, but I was also facing great struggle and there were so many little things I will remember forever that they probably didn’t think much of. A cup of cocoa, a few cough drops, someone just checking in. One after another there was these simple moments with great value to me.
It was a church conference and the Pastor had people raise their hand who had someone to forgive. Oh boy did I have some people I needed to forgive. I lifted a shaky hand with tears streaming down my face. As he lead us in a prayer my friend put her arm around my back. I wept, this was hard, but I felt supported. I don’t know if she knew just how hard that was for me.
See, they were being nice and they knew that. They didn’t, however, know that that was a surprising thing for me. They didn’t know that they were helping me get to a place where I had the strength to deal with old wounds. They didn’t know how cared for I felt because I’ve been overlooked by people who were supposed to care, in worse situations than what I faced here. You do not know how much your words and actions mean to people. So, don’t say you are not valuable.
I also didn’t know. I didn’t know these people would do these things for me. I got a chance to talk to many of them more than usual, it was fun, but I didn’t know these people would actually want to talk to me. I didn’t know they cared, you can’t know what people think. So, do not believe that you are not cared about.
I’ve dealt with a lot of insecurity, anxiety depression, and rejection. At a point in my life, I hated myself. Over time things have gotten better, and recently I’m learning that I like me a lot more than I used to. I still don’t think I’m the greatest thing. But I enjoy that I like to talk about random things like books I read years ago, artichokes and whatever else I like. I like eating pizza with a fork and I like that I like that. I enjoy being me because it’s more fun than not being me and it’s especially fun when I’m not hard on myself for it. So learn to like you and you’ll find that it’s okay if you love to talk about serious statistics and marvel movies just the same. It’s okay if you like to dance to music and don’t feel like you’re any good. It’s okay if you love coffee shops and not coffee, if you find architecture fascinating and know nothing about it, if you have a million different dreams. It’s okay to be you, in fact, it’s more than okay, It’s wonderful.
To be clear, the people I work with are wonderful, this weekend is an example of that and not the only one. It just happens to be recent, and also one that really opened my eyes.