Every few months the clutter in my house becomes a frustration–stuff here, stuff there, tripping over this and tripping over that. And I start loading up bags for the thrift store with reckless abandon. If it’s not in its proper place, if I’ve tripped over it more than five times or if the dust on it is so thick that I can write my name on it, then it has to go. As I was rapidly gathering up all of the random stuff I started to think, “Who would want this and what in the world would they do with it?” The items I once loved had become junk in my eyes.
Sometimes I feel like junk in my own eyes. After surviving marital infidelity, there is a palpable desire to want to discard myself. After all, if being me didn’t keep my husband from straying, then how in the world could being me be a benefit now? Although I know in my head that it’s not true, some days my heart believes that I had become everyday ordinary, random and useless. Although I’ve come a long way (and by long way, I mean almost unrecognizable transformation) in self-acceptance, I can sense a sliver of fear within that still says that who I am, inside and out, is somehow not okay.
As I was questioning the value of all of these random things around my house I was really trying to read the minds of people who might come across these potential thrift store finds. Who would want this and what would they want it for. I realize too that I often question the value of myself. The self-talk usually sounds like, “who in the world would want to be with someone with three kids; who can be full-on chaos and withdrawn in solitude; who has a serious desire for connection; who likes to tell fart jokes, who doesn’t like cooking; who isn’t a size 6; who hates scary movies; who gets anxious; who freaks out just before starting anything new; who is prone to over-reacting; who can be super chatty; who openly shares her deepest darkest secrets with the world and did I mention the three kids?” And then it hit me. It wasn’t for me to figure out for whom and for what purpose this “stuff” I was giving to the thrift store was for. I didn’t need to figure out who and how one might enjoy this box of Velcro curlers. It was my job to give—as is. And it is my job to give myself—as is.
I do see the limitations of this thrift-store analogy. You are not sitting on a shelf-waiting to be worthy in the eyes of Mr. or Mrs. Right. You are not a thing to be purchased. You get a choice in the relationships you get involved in. And ponder for a moment; are you looking for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect? I am not. For starters he cannot be prettier than I am and if he happens to have baggage then I’m thankful because it means he’s done some traveling through life. Honesty, integrity, loyalty a desire to follow God—are all attractive qualities to me. A large bank account, an impressive resume, six pack abs or a fancy car—anyone can possess those things, with or without character.
Friends, it’s not our job to read the minds of those we might have potential relationships with. To one person you might be ordinary and random and to another, you are a gem. There is someone out there who thinks you are a gem and they will treasure you as such. Actually there are a lot of people that think that you are worthy of a relationship. The question is, do you? Do you know that you are a gem—perfectly created in all of your imperfections? Sure, you may need a good polishing or there are areas that you would like to improve in, we all have room to grow. Don’t discount yourself by trying to read the minds of every person on planet earth. Your job is to accept yourself, live your life and to give of yourself as-is. You, my friend, are a gem.
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