Saturday, 18 May 2013

Waiting For The But

Complements. They're difficult things to accept. You can smile and say "thank you," but do you ever really take them to heart? Do you ever really believe the encouragement you get given? Sometimes, you meet people who genuinely believe you are wonderful, they start to tell you this and you begin to shrink away and feel uneasy (or is that just me?). I think it's because we see ourselves in the times when no one else does. We know ourselves better than anyone else, or at least we think we do. We know every single lump and bump, and every single imperfection. We know the thoughts we have and I bet we'd be truly scared if people could see inside our heads sometimes. So when we meet someone whose opinion we value and care about, the "getting to know you" process becomes that much more terrifying. They scratch the surface, and explore your heart, and the more they see, the more you worry that they will find something they don't like. For every "you're amazing" there's a voice saying "but you don't know what I have done, how I feel about this, or that." Something within you wrestles with the complement because you feel that you know different. You see all of the mistakes which make up your past, and all of the flaws which diminish your character. You see all of the bad habits you've formed over the years and you see all the ways you could mess up. Thus, accepting a complement becomes very difficult. On the surface I smile and accept it, but underneath there are a thousand questions spinning around in my head, and a thousand counter arguments to whatever positive thing has been said.

When the person/people are important to you, your own flaws become luminous. For me, it's like someone has gone over them with a fluorescent hi-lighter and said here: look. This is why getting close is a bad idea, because yes they think you're amazing now, but what about when they know about those crisps you ate or the chocolate you had last night because you felt anxious? What about that tendency to get snappy when you're tired, or how pale & drained you look when ill? What about the days when your bed seems like the only safe place? Or the ones where you could just cry endlessly for no reason? Or the days when you won't believe a single positive word about you? What about the people you hurt  growing up? Or those people you mistreated? Or the times you've relapsed? When those special people see these parts of you, what if you don't seem like a viable choice any more? What if it falls apart?

This is a very real fear, and no relationship is without risk. Whether it be friends, family, or a significant other, every single deep bond comes with a risk. And that risk never gets any less terrifying to take. Someone (I think it was in a song) once described it as a long walk off a short cliff, and you had no idea what awaited you upon landing: loving arms, or the unforgiving ground. But unless you take that risk, you never find out.

At this point the important thing to remember is that Jesus, already has an opinion of you. And it isn't just "Yeah, you're cool," it's "You are incredible, I love, value and treasure you." Again the voice of doubt pops up and says "Yes, but, did you know what I did?" And do you know something incredible? Jesus knows everything about us. He knows all of our mistakes, he's seen those thoughts, yet he loves us the same. The perfect creator knows exactly who you are and he says that you are worth it. He loves you fiercely and completely. He is the centre point in a world where validation and acceptance can seem impossible, and he accepts and loves you. 

So when you take that leap into the dark, remember that the one who is at the centre of it all has already chosen and loved you. And he will continue to do so forever and always.

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