She was aware of everyone’s eyes as they moved up and down noticing everything about her. The way her hair was washed and curled or how it was thrown lazily into a knot. Her outfit of the day which would have almost never been purchased “new.” The way her teeth were obviously straight at one point but were beginning to crowd again. As the eyes passed by each part of her assembled display, her mind quickly calculated the impression she was making. She knew when the person, attached to the judging eyes, was satisfied or not. The dissatisfaction was almost inevitable.
Her outward appearance was just the beginning of the daunting experience being around people. Unfortunately, there were a few “extra” doses of energy and passion tossed into her mold when she left Heaven to make her place on Earth. Those doses developed into an overbearing personality that caused others to visibly squirm during a conversation. She winced as they shut down and moved on to meet other people. So, she learned to tame her tongue, but the passion inside still insisted on spilling out, drowning the masses.
She not only noticed when people around her changed their body language or tone of voice, but she would meditate on it for days afterward. Analyzing people’s responses, attitudes, and unspoken offenses were her gifts. She could always figure out how someone else misinterpreted her words or her actions. The guilt would set in quickly, and she’d ponder how to fix the situation as she tossed during normal sleeping hours. She knew she was on everyone’s mind, and she wanted to ensure that she did all she could to make herself appealing.
In her pursuit of appeasing the general public, she created different versions of herself for various crowds. Like costumes at a masquerade, she learned to change her mask to fit her audience. She got better at “fitting in” when she emerged as the quieter, somewhat passive version. Her spunkier self was only unleashed in a few specific places. Her outfits were chosen based on where she was going and who would see her. She knew what certain people were accustomed to, and she knew they’d be more comfortable if she dressed, looked, acted, and spoke a certain way.
Her biggest problem, however, was that almost everything she experienced and meditated on was imaginary. She was the sole inhabitant of her own made up planet, of which she was also the only enemy. Everything she did and said was ammunition against herself. Unfortunately, no other real person had access to her alternate reality, so she lived cluelessly. She lived in assumptions about what everyone else thought while truly believing she knew everything.
But one day, keeping up with everyone’s opinion about her grew to be an unbearable burden. After having a few kids and watching things unravel out of her control on a daily basis, she realized she would never keep up with herself. Her desire to appeal to everyone had led her down a path of self-centeredness (even though she thought she was selfless). She had become a slave to her own thoughts and imaginary situations. The judging eyes were only hers, and she was the one drowning. Therefore, the only logical solution was to get free from herself.
It took courage (and time), but the target on her mind that had attracted all the insane thoughts about herself morphed into a bull’s eye of self-love. Every day, she began to speak life over herself, and every day, she found the strength to say yes to the authentic version of who she was. The piles of clothes in her “multi-version” closet dwindled to a few outfits she really loved. She steered her mind away from herself as much as possible and realized how often other people thought about her (it was almost never). The imaginary planet she lived on where she was the world’s favorite topic and the greatest offense finally vanished into the nothing that it always was.
She was emancipated from herself, truly free to be real.
I am her. I am the girl who thought too long and too hard about what everyone else did or didn’t think about me. I am the girl who lived on an imaginary planet full of made up conversations and offenses toward myself. I am the girl who tried everything to be the best version of myself without ever consulting with the authentic parts of me.
It was a waste of time and energy. I eventually ran out of both. I allowed too much abuse (from myself) before declaring my freedom. I believed the lies in my head and even a few lies from actual people about who I wasn’t. It was costly, and it got me nowhere.
If you are her (or him), make the decision today to liberate yourself. No one can do it for you.
- Make the decision to free yourself!
- Find out who you really are!
- Ask yourself basic questions and answer them honestly. Do you even know what your actual favorite color or food is (there was a point when I didn’t)?
- Ask yourself the tough, big, life-altering questions. What do you really want to be when you grow up (no matter how old you currently are)?
- Never change your mind about the authentic version of yourself again. The major key to never going back is moving closer and closer to your Creator.
Nothing went wrong with your design. The first and greatest Creator of all time knows your name and your DNA. He delights in you discovering the intricacies of who He created. The truth is you deserve to be free, even free from yourself. And the world deserves to know the real version of you!
Featured Image by Taylor Smith