The other day Matt had to sit me down and I've just now found the words (hopefully) and the will to write it out.
For those of you who don't know, I suffered from depression for a while and I still suffer from the effects of it. Senior year has been especially hard because the girl friends that I was close to stopped hanging out with me and I really felt abandoned. You need to have close girl friends around to support you and I was missing that.
It had gotten so bad and my disdain was so great that it was really having a negative affect on me and those around me. Finally Matt, and I thank God every day for him, sat me down and really got to the heart of the situation. It was really hard for the both of us, but I am so thankful for him and everything he does for me. He made me come face to face with the lies I had been believing and even just a few days later I am feeling so much better about life.
1. You are not weird.
The lie I was believing was that me not having many friends meant I was a loser. But that is absolutely not true. Not only does the amount of friends you have have nothing to do with whether you're a loser or not, but for me, I actually do have a lot of friends. Are they close friends? Not all of them. But the few people that I was focusing on made me blind to all the people that actually cared about me. Don't let a few people who you wish you could be friends with or who just rub you the wrong way keep you from seeing all the people that truly love you for who you are.
2. You are not selfish.
Okay, this one may actually not be true for some people because let's face it, there will always be selfish people in the world. I am the person who believes that there is always room for improvement, but it gets out of hand when I begin to believe that I am a horrible selfish person whose motive for everything is to please myself. While a lot of times that's true (because let's also face that humans in general are self-centered), you can't beat yourself up every single time you do or think a selfish thought. The right thing to do is to fix it, not think you're the worst person on the face of the earth. Though us humans have some bad in us, there is still a lot of good.
3. You are not ugly.
The most beautiful people are the ones with the genuine smiles. I am discovering every day that real beauty is held in the way the sun hits the mountains or the sound of water trickling through the woods or tickling a baby or a nice warm shower. Beauty is not the outward appearance. Beauty is joy. When I am joyful, I feel beautiful. When I'm not joyful, I don't feel beautiful, and when I'm not joyful and don't feel beautiful, I have a bad day. That's the way girls are wired. If we have a bad hair day, we have a bad everything day. But I shouldn't let something as silly as my hair ruin my outlook. What else I'm discovering is that no one else really cares what you look like. I don't notice when other people's hair is greasy or not curled right or whatever, mostly because I'm too focused on myself. Which goes back to the selfish lie. When we focus on others, we should focus on their true beauty, their joy. And if a person doesn't have beauty, it's our job to give them some. Just today in psychology we learned that those people who are kind and compassionate to others have lower health risks and are less stressed. If everyone focuses on putting out true beauty, we in turn become what we give.
4. You are amazing.
When Matt asked me if I liked myself, before I could stop it, I said, "No." This was at the end of the conversation and after realizing I had been lying to myself about all these things and I had allowed it to take over my life, I really couldn't believe what I had done. Negative thought is so self-destructive and it took a lot of tears for me to realize that. I encourage you to ask yourself if you like yourself, and if the answer is no, then ask yourself why. Then when you know why, stop believing the whys! I don't like myself because I'm weird, I'm selfish, I'm ugly, I'm just ordinary ... those are all big fat lies. The truth of the matter is that we all have been blessed with gifts and talents and strengths and weaknesses alike. We should use them to our advantage! And not only to our advantage, but to bless others.
You know the metaphor that we are all like snowflakes--not one of us is alike, and then the rebuttal is that since everyone is unique then no one is unique. While it is true that every single person is unique and special in our own way, the other cool thing is that we're not that much different from each other. At the end of the day, we're all human and we all need and want to give love. We all have fears, hopes, dreams, worries--we are all united.
This conversation I had with Matt really had a profound impact on me and I'm already feeling so much better about life in general. I know there will always be off days, but really I cannot explain enough how much better I've been feeling.
So if you ever feel that you are alone or that what you are feeling is something no one else can relate to, stop believing that lie as well. Don't let a couple negative things blind you from the people that love you and from the beauty of the world. Don't ever let anything steal your joy or make you feel anything less than amazing. Because, let's also be honest with this, you are a beautiful, amazing, talented individual, and no one in the world can tell you otherwise.
And that's the truth.