In this blog I will be sharing part of my story on meeting the real me. In the next blog I will be sharing a bit more about how I learned to love myself and see my worth.
I used to be so afraid that I hadn’t lived up to the expectations of others. Their opinions of me where like the law – it either made me or broke me. I let it affect some of my decisions. I let the words sink in and become my predominant thoughts. I worried that people wouldn’t like me because I was or wasn’t pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, sporty enough, or “whatever” enough.
I am privileged to come from an awesome family – where being yourself is 100% accepted. This doesn’t mean my parents allowed any of us to run rampant or be rebellious. But we were never forced to fit in to “the box” of perfect.
However, there were people who spoke, whether in jest or were being serious, and their words caused some internal conflict. Here are a few examples:
1. I was told my knees looked like a camel’s knees when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I pretty much gave up wearing shorts and skirts. I started to question if I was pretty.
2. I was teased about my glasses quite publicly amongst a group of people I thought were my friends. I remember coming home from that event where this was said to me and bawling my eyes out. I got contact lenses as soon as I left school.
3. The worst was a comment about me not being thin enough and compared me to my sister (who is 6 years my junior). I made sure I got thin. The numbers on the scale determined if I ate lunch or not.
4. My family was going through a difficult time. My gran was ill. My dad took our family on a trip to get away for a day and get out the situation. Some people joined us on this trip. I totally “let my hair down” and had fun – I was about 19 or 20 years old. On the drive home, the person driving commented how I had “lost it” and tried to fit in – they thought I was asleep in the backseat. From that day…I determined to be emotionless and serious.
Each of these situations had a negative effect on me. There were other situations which made me question my worth, my value and my abilities. I used to get so worked up about failing and not meeting other people’s expectations. Soon I became a person who rarely said “no”. I tried to be perfect all the time. I learned how to be numb emotionally. I learned that art of wearing a mask. The fear of rejection or failure kept me from attempting many things. I even became afraid that God wouldn’t love me or that I would do something that would make him angry (lies…all lies…but in the moment, my feelings and thoughts were real).
It was only after I started dating my now husband (some 8 years ago) that I realized I had better figure out who I am. (Finding out who you are before a relationship and developing yourself is a whole blog on its on.)
It is a journey and a process that is ongoing. I had to learn to be transparent. I had to learn to trust people enough to let them in. I can count on my one hand just how many people I have trusted. I had to learn how not to worrying I had to learn to love and forgive myself. I had to meet the real me.I am so glad that I have a family who loves me and a few friends who walked the road with me where I learned to love and be myself. My family is AWESOME! They tease, they laugh and the know how to love you – they know how to make you feel accepted. My husband, Jeremy has also played a big role in me becoming me – he just showed me love and this means he challenged me to get my act together in a gentle yet firm way.
Spiritually, the breakthrough came when I was at my lowest. I had actually thought of suicide…yes, I did. I had helped so many young people through things yet I found myself in a place where I felt alone, afraid and hopeless. I felt how could I help others and yet be in such a deep pit. I had not shared my feelings of despair with anyone. A pastor and his wife came to see me. I, through a series of events, ended up breaking down and blurting out how I felt. I cried that ugly cry. I was surprised they could make out what I was saying. The pastor’s wife grabbed my face. I got such a fright that I stopped crying and actually lost my breath for a moment. She stared straight into my eyes and said these words, “You are worth loving”. I broke down. Over the next 90 minutes, they loved me and prayed, spoke and ministered the life changing love of God with and to me. When they left, I knew I was worth loving.
As far as me meeting the real me, I just decided to love myself. Easy as it sounds, it’s not. I had to let go of a way of thinking which was totally engrained into my mind and heart. I started by speaking out to people who I regarded as mentors. In this case, I knew friends couldn’t pull me out of something that they themselves had yet to conquer. I choose two people I knew could walk me through. The more I shared, the more they shared. The more I listened, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more I had to put into action. It often helps to go and speak to someone who is mature and not in the situation and let them speak into your life – the perspective they have will not be the same as your own. They will be able to tell you both what you can and cannot see.
I started to celebrate myself. I started to set goals – not because I wanted to make someone else happy. I started to learn what I liked, disliked and wanted to do. I learned to say “no” and “yes” and not feel guilty for it. I started to be me slowly.
One day I wrote in my diary…”Would the real me please stand up”…here is who I met:
My name is Taryn. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I love that I am bold and courageous. I take on what comes my way through the strength which Christ has given me. I am deeply loved by family, friends and Jesus. I am 100% forgiven, accepted and loved by Jesus. I enjoy everyday life. I smile, I laugh and I enjoy walking around on my socks. I like my own company but enjoy a good time with my friends. I take wise counsel to heart but anyone who is not a mentor in my life, I shelve their opinion if it is negative. I am a leader. I am a problem solver. I am good enough. I am smart enough. I am pretty enough. I am worth loving. I am me.
You were made to be unique and all the God made you to be! Celebrate who you are while on the road to becoming who God made you to be!
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:13-14 NKJV
You are enough! You are worth loving!
Do not let your self worth or self esteem be determined by cicumstances or the unwise words of others. You were created to be the best at what you were made to be – so be the best you!
Live courageously. Live fearlessly. Live authentically.
From my heart to yours