They didn’t show you love, so you grew walls. They ignored your needs, so you decided yours didn’t matter They dismissed your presence, so you grew smaller. They criticized certain qualities in you, so you hid them.
You wanted and needed their time, attention, and approval, but never got, so you stopped expecting it from anybody.
We spend our lives trying to make up for the shortcomings we felt were ours, still searching for approval, love, and feeling good enough for the world. We look for these things in our relationships with our partners, co-workers, bosses, clients, children, and even acquaintances. The fact is we are searching for a love that we can never get. The person from our past whom we longed to feel wanted by was incapable of giving us that love.
And it wasn’t your fault. They couldn’t do it. You just happen to be there. But we took on the belief it was our fault, an innate flaw within us that we need to somehow make up for or be different from, and that belief has shaped all our relationships, activities, and motivation to act in this world.
Or rather, react.
That’s what we do when we continue to grasp at something or for someone else’s pant leg, dragging behind them, crying, “Please, please, love me. Show me I matter to you. Make me feel special!”
You can’t make someone else’s love your Higher Power. You can’t expect needs to be met by people who can’t meet their own. You can’t depend on anyone outside of you to make you feel loveable and valued for who you are.
But what you can do is recognize it wasn’t your fault. You had a lot of love to give that someone else could not receive because their heart was closed. Your love was not wrong or bad. Your gifts were not wrong or bad. YOU were not wrong or bad. It was beautiful. You were beautiful.
Just as you are beautiful now.
You don’t need to be different. You only need to be more of what’s inside of you – whether that’s quiet and introverted, outgoing and boisterous, gracious or direct, compassionate or comedic, leader or supporter. You are the way you are because the world needs more of that – more of you.
We can never be like someone else without feeling less-than inside. Why? Because that’s not you, it never was. It’s not painful being yourself, it’s painful not being yourself.
Trust God had plan when He made you a certain way. Radically trust that when you dare to shine as you are, with your own qualities, interests, humor, and abilities, you grow stronger in your strengths and self-love. Your gifts naturally expand in a way that impacts others.
This is what it means to connect to Love, to your heart. This is your greatness. And it was never meant to be anything else. And neither were you.