Until you get comfortable with yourself, and gain a firm foundation in you for all of you, you will never truly know if you are surrounding yourself, and loving people from the heart or, out of loneliness.
At some point in our journeys we will all discover that the people that we once thought were there for us are actually just in it for what they can gain from us.
The last year has quite honestly taught me so much. So much about myself, so much about other people, and so much about the struggles that I was having that I almost never said anything about. 3 years ago I said it to someone unfortunately in front of my ex, and their response was “Take that up with God.” Really? You’re a pastor, and that is all you have to say? But, the 2nd person that knew (my ex isn’t even worth entertaining in this) took a different approach because, at that point the damage had cut so deep that I was no longer myself at all. I didn’t know me, I didn’t like me, I didn’t love me, I was self conscious, insecure, couldn’t open up, couldn’t let anyone in, and lived in a never ending state of anxiety because, my life centered around pleasing everyone around me that had set unrealistic expectations, and rules that only added to my inner state of brokenness that did nothing but destroy me for who it is that I really am, and just when the opportunity presented itself person #3 that knew sent me into the fire but, because I am me, and he knows me better than anyone he didn’t just send me into the fire what he did was he bound me to whatever it is that he tied me to, and didn’t give me a chance to escape, and a year later I fully understand why he did it, and maybe more than anything else that I want to do right now, and maybe more than any other point in time that I want to find myself in the middle of is the moment when I can finally wrap my arms around that man again, and say “Thank you”.
I had been hurt before but, nothing compares to the hurt that I felt when he made the choice that he did, and other choices that caused even more hurt that followed, and yet he saw, and knew the damage, he saw, and knew the truth, and he saw and knew that unless he played the role of the jerk that would break the cycle, the cycle itself would only continue. Who wants half a person? Who wants someone broken? We’re all looking for our compliment, and a broken, hurting person is only going to break, and hurt another – why set yourself up for hurt.
He set me on fire, I burned into a pile of ashes – I turned into a real life version of humpty dumpty and even though all of the kings court took it upon themselves to try to put me back together again in their way which included a lot of selfishness on their parts, the only success to be found was when I made the choice to put myself back together again but, it never happened until I made the choice to do it, and took the actions that backed up that choice.
When I made that choice though what I’m realizing is that I burned a lot of bridges. I burned a lot of bridges because, I won’t settle or, tolerate being used, I won’t settle for or, tolerate being undervalued, and I won’t settle for or, tolerate being told what to do, and how to do it by anyone who has an alternative agenda that is based on selfishness rather than my own best interest. I’ve fought to hard, I’ve been through to much, I have healed myself, and filled that void that only the two of them, and my ex knew about. 2 of them used that void to keep secrets, and create destruction, and the 3rd used it to set me on fire and rebuild me into the real me.
The real me though – the real me is a woman of power. The real me is full of strength. The real me doesn’t have to have the last word but, has finally re-found my voice after being told by that same pastor 3 years ago that “I will humble, and silence myself.” Hmmmm no wonder why he is no longer a pastor (at least not there) if you are going to tear someone down, if you are going to hold them down, if you are going to cage them, break them, and mentally, and emotionally hurt them – it had better be for the reason that, that 3rd person did it because, any other reason is just wrong, and more than damaging, and yet I was so lost when my ex, and that pastor did it together along with many others who didn’t even realize what it was that they were enabling that I didn’t even realize that I had a choice to just walk away from it. I didn’t realize that I had a choice to make that would in return bring me peace. For a moment I lost my own intelligence, and for a moment I became more concerned about pleasing people that don’t deserve me, and my heart than I was concerned about myself.
As I have healed, and put myself back together though what I have realized is that as I have put myself back together, and found myself back in “Leadership” not inside of the church but, as a way of life, and general path there have been 4 sets of people surrounding me 1) The ones that want to take advantage, and use me until the resources and energy dry out, 2) The ones that believe in a false sense of leadership, and therefore keep themselves at a distance, and basically just watch me all over social media. 3) The ones that truly need, want, and desire guidance for the right reasons, and then there is 4) with only 2 people in that category which is the category of true friends that want to see me succeed, encourage me to grow, encourage me to learn how to dance in the rain, and are true friends.
The last year has taught me who my true friends are. The last year has included a lot of loneliness, isolation, and abandonment by people that I once placed first in my life, and did more for than anyone else even though I have spent most of my life constantly serving the general community through volunteering in some way. That is okay with me though, and the reason why is because, it has taught me that as we grow into our true selves loneliness will come but, the true test of leadership is in how we choose to respond. Doing what is right isn’t always easy but, it is worth it even if that means moving forward without some of the people that you always thought would be there for you, and with you. Sometimes being a leader means being lonely but, maybe the strength that it takes to live life lonely is another of many qualities that a leader needs to lead by example on. Who are you when no one is around? Who are you when no one is watching?
There is always someone watching a Leader – what show are you giving them? What example are you setting for them?