Seen and Known
I don't care who you are. Every single one of us desires to be fully seen and fully known.
A conversation I had yesterday reminded me of just how important it is to truly love and know someone as they are, and encourage them to be their best selves and to continue to grow while also embracing all of the parts that make them, them.
To be fully seen and to be fully known means a great deal to so many of us. It especially means a great deal to those of us who have felt like we have had to hide who we truly are in order so that people would not walk away from us, or to avoid conflict and tension.
I am someone who often wrestles with feeling like she is just too much for people. Emotionally, I can pass up the people I love several times a day. I have a ton of energy, and I am usually the first person to say good morning to anyone that walks by my desk at work. Just ask my co-workers who prefer to wait until their coffee has been consumed before they offer a cheerful greeting. I love who they are though, so it doesn't stop me from being miss chipper.
I saw this quote on the motivation app today and I shared it in my stories. You can find the app here:
I agree with parts of it, but not all of it. Allow me to explain.
We are a culture obsessed with self-preservation and cutting those off who we no longer vibe with. I fully agree with setting boundaries and not allowing every individual to have access to you. Not everyone who says they care for you and love you truly do. Harsh, perhaps, but that is the reality. Discernment is necessary as we walk through relationship building in our work spaces, businesses, marriages, dating, parenting, family and friendships. As one who has had to work through a lot of feelings of distrust and the fear of being taken advantage of, I pay close attention to who I share my heart with. I am especially cautious now, and I still moments that trigger my default response of assume the worst and ditch before they can hurt me.
Can I be frank with you? No one wants a relationship with that kind of person. That is my tendency as of late, but that is not who I am.
So no, I don't expect someone to love me exactly how I am in this manner. I do not expect or demand anyone to stick around if I constantly project my fears and insecurities on an unsuspecting soul, especially if my desire is to be in some sort of relationship with them. For those of you who are dating....yeah....you went through crap and it sucks that that individual treated you that way. But stop projecting. If you are wrestling with any sort of response based on a painful experience, I pray that you have someone trustworthy in your corner whom you can share your hurting heart with without fear of judgment.
My whole point? It is okay to discover your people and make room for those people. It is also okay to not allow everyone to have access to you and to your heart. Some friendships and relationships are simply meant to be temporary or easy going at best. Not every encounter with every individual is going to be one of intensity, and life meaning. I have said it before, superficial relationships are hard for me, but I have also re-learned the art of navigating friendships. My people are my people. I have about 10 people in my life who know 100% of what is going on with me and what is transpiring in my life. Yes, I post updates on social media, mostly because I am a creator and a writer and I love to engage with all of you. The fact that any of you choose to read the words I write is not lost on me and I am so grateful. This platform, right now, is small, but every single one of you here creates a community I long to share, inspire and empower through each post. So thank you for being here.
All that to say is, I don't share every details. I can't. I won't. Privacy is incredibly important, especially now, after being married to someone in vocational ministry for over 10 years and while we definitely were not on the scale of celebrity status.....the truth is the demise of that marriage was painful and it pained others whom we were in ministry with.
Take the journey to discover those who will love you and see you and allow you to be fully known. It will not be every single person. That is okay. My best friends know all of me. The greatest parts of me and even some of the not so great parts. They encourage me daily to be and do my very best and to leave a mark on this world. They have empowered me greatly as I walked through the hardest valley in my 40 years, and when I experienced victory along the way, they did not grumble as to why it wasn't their turn.
They broke out the champagne and the balloons. Because I am loved and I am seen and I am known. All I have ever prayed for when it comes to friendships.
It is what I yearn for in a relationship as well. The freedom to be fully me, and encouraged to grow and be better, and be known completely. Something I never had was a champion for my dreams. When I was married, I had a health and fitness business that I enjoyed so much. Be a Size You was the messaging and I loved encouraging and helping women from all walks of life reach their health and wellness goals, along with reaching their financial dreams for their businesses. The problem was, it felt lonely. I would reach a milestone, and while my teammates cheered me on and my friends cheered me on, the one person I really wanted to cheer me on didn't. He wouldn't travel with me to business events or Super Saturdays. I would feel so jealous because I would see other husbands with their wives....and I was often attending those events alone.
I don't want to be alone when I reach my dreams. Sure, I can. And maybe that might be the way it goes. I don't know. Maybe I will end up alone. I don't want to be, but I will be okay if that is the case. My dreams will come true regardless of whether or not anyone chooses to be a part of the journey.
Even more so for you to understand my point. For those who cannot love you, period. Maybe it is because they can't. Maybe they don't know how. Maybe they just really don't love you. It is okay to let them go and allow room for someone else to do so. You don't have to Bye Felicia them. You can let them go with absolutely no bitterness or malice on your part. Your response is incredibly important here. You can lovingly release someone while you recognize your worth and recognize that you deserve to be with people who love you and care for you as you are. As God created you. Your friends and your community and your partnerships should be beautiful additions into your life. They should not zap your energy or force you to close yourself off for fear that they won't like the "real" you. Sister, let the real you be known.
I know they will absolutely love you. Your people will absolutely love you.