Are you for real?

As I was reading a friend’s post recently, I was amazed at her honesty. She was being very transparent about a struggle that she was dealing with in her life. Of course, then I read well-meaning comments that if you didn’t know the people they could make you think they were trying to “condemn” her for thinking about making a particular choice. I believe her friends were trying to encourage her to hang in there….but “perceived condemnation” is one of my personal fears about opening up to others.I am a genuine person. If I like you, you know it. If I don’t, you should. LOL! BUT, I am also one of the “mask-wearers”. I put on my happy face sometimes when I need to be willing to talk to someone about something that is a very real struggle. I can smile and say I’m fine with the best of them. And honestly, most people believe it. You know why? Because they are doing the exact same thing! The bad thing is, I pretty much know WHY, but opening myself up to change is one of those things that seems too hard to do.

So, here’s a little self-reflecting. When I was a child, I had some men in my life that I wanted desperately to love me! My dad, 2 step-dads and a couple other men that meant a lot to me. I pretended to be this “perfect” child who was smart and funny and I loved performing to get positive attention. The problem is, I didn’t get enough attention. They were happy at the time, but then I felt neglected. {I will tell you now that if you have a little girl and you are a male role model in her life (dad, grandpa, uncle, friend, etc.) PLEASE show her love and affection!!! Girls seek the approval of those around them, but especially males. They need to know (from men who don’t expect anything more out of them) that they are beautiful, smart, funny and loved unconditionally.} I felt like anything I did got me a temporary response, but then it was over. I needed more.

Unfortunately, I had 2 step-fathers who not only gave up on my mom, they gave up on me. They would say they loved me as their own and they would keep in touch, but neither did! I spent many a day crying when they were there (because they were not good people) but also many days crying because they left.  I wanted their love even though they weren’t good for my mom or me. That affected me so much in that when I became a step-mom — I actually dislike even using that word. I call myself Mom and he is my son (or bonus son if someone doesn’t understand that I didn’t actually give birth to him) — I promised myself I would love him and treat him as my own. And I believe I have done that. I would sure hope he would say that. 🙂

Now, I became a Christian at 8 (right after my 1st step-dad left us) and I have always loved God, but trusting Him has been a process that I continue to work on. It is amazing how your life experiences can so invade your world as an adult. I have grown and become more dependent on the Lord for my approval. That is a positive! But, we are human. We all still want the approval of those around us.

So, I said all that to say this–baring my soul and telling people when I am struggling with something is not something that comes naturally to me. I have a genuine distrust for people. I don’t want to say something that is important to me and have it blasted all over to other people, nor do I want people to think that I am not able to deal with things with God’s help! I WANT to trust God to heal me and listen to me, but having others say things about me would really hurt. In most ways I don’t care what people say about me, but there is that little part in me who desires to be loved, accepted, wanted, etc. I just have learned that God is the person who has to fulfill me. He is the only person who can fill the void in my heart.

That’s about as real as I can be. I am honest when I say that I wear a mask sometimes. You would probably be honest by saying that too. If not, I applaud you! But, if you are like me, I leave you with this quote.  you-are-enough-e1384619767723

Rebecca

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