We see what we see and we don't know what we don't know.
Everyone has a story.
My dad died when I was 11. As a small child I was actually rather quiet and bashful. Surrounded by violent alcoholics I never trusted anyone.
The day my father died we all went back to my Aunt Marys house. I remember feeling so small. Minisule. Unnoticed. Irrelevant. Confused.
"My father died, does anyone care I am without a father the REST of my life?"
It didn't seem fare. Everyone was grieving and I was alone, fatherless.
This tall Mexican gal walks up to me with the most beautiful smile. Her long dark hair falling around her face as she knelt down and looked me in the eyes.
"ANITA! I am your sister....."
WHAT? WHAT? I have a sister? I had no idea. I thought I was my daddys one and only.
I felt betrayed.
The reality was my daddy was a good man, he loved me, he cared for me but he really wasn't around me that much in those 11 years.
He never rescued me from the abusive drunken evenings. He never saved me from the foster homes I was in. Or took my mom away from that nasty boyfriend.
But he came back to my mother to have her care for him when he was dying.
I remembered that. I remember the last 6 months. I loved my daddy.
Some of our stories start very very early. They rob us of our innocence. They steal away our childhood. They hurt us.
We make mistakes in our teens. Some of us recover and some of us continue to make mistakes.
Some of us were never given the tools to make good choices. And some of are so damaged we just continue to self destruct because all we know is pain. We don't even know how to feel Joy, Happiness or Contentment. We even subconsciously sabotage happiness because it is so foreign to us.
Warm tears streamed down my face as "JOYCE" gave her testimony of her abuse as a child. She spoke at our addiction group on Tuesday night to hundreds of addicts, family members, friends and staff.
"I LOOKED for VALIDATION..." She cried out.
"Call ME a WHORE, Call me a Bi#@%, Call me a Murderer, Call me a CRACKHEAD....."
She cried and screamed.
She explained she was fatherless. Her mother was an alcoholic. She was just a innocent girl at one time. Full of life, curiosity, love, adventure....Until someone robbed her of her innocence.
"I was always looking for VALIDATION...."
Oh, the tears rolled down my cheeks. My tears. I felt my throat tightening up.
Yes, yes. That's what I do. I hate that I do that. The need to be loved. The need to be validated.
The need to be someone's something.
I buy gifts, I encourage people to a default, I go out of my way to help others, I do so many things for people to just LOVE me.
And they don't.
And I get hurt. I get confused.
They still gossip about you, make fun of you, so you know what I do...TRY HARDER...
because that makes perfect sense right?!
I cook and I bake and I text and I call....
And most of the time they just go on with their lives..
But I am the one broken.
And I cried some more.
People see a layer of me. They see me at face value. They see what I want them to see because at the end of the day most people have their own stories and their own issues.
And that's OK.
Where am I going with this...?
Reminding you to be KIND. Reminding you to look at someone's story.
Don't be soo quick to judge.
Don't be so quick to respond, react and reject.
If someone has a BEAUTIFUL story, embrace it, enjoy it but don't judge that with comments like "Must be NICE!"
"She never had a care in the world..."
YOU don't know their story. Be KIND.
And if you see someone who has struggles don't be so quick to judge and give your two cents worth. NO ONE asked YOU!
"She made her Bed..."
"That's what she gets, what goes around..."
"That's the life she chose..."
And as for me. I know God has a purpose for my story. I will continue to be who I am. I will win some of you over and I will never win some of you over.
I am getting so much better with knowing that not everyone is going to like you.
I NEED to continue to be kind, loving, affectionate and compassionate.
Some of you may not believe in GOD. But for ME...I cant imagine a life without Jesus. It is only through HIM that I am where I am.
His words, His love, His death, His resurrection, His compassion is what has healed me and has taught me to overcome.
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh"
I don't want a stony heart. I would rather have it broken a hundred times and continue to love and forgive then be cold and embittered.
I was talking to a client about addiction. She responded "You cant help those people.."
It hurt me. Those people were my mother, my father...They are someone's brother, their sister...
Their outward addiction doesn't show their inward battles.
Learn to Love.