I’ve always considered it a burden and a blessing. The part of me that is so authentic, genuine, and loud. I spent years when I was younger trying to hush it. I spent my teens and early twenties learning how to embrace and deal with it. And today was spent realizing something my mind has known, but my heart finally understands. We all have our things that make us who we are. And a huge part of me is the way I live alongside people. I’m not one you have to question what I’m thinking. I am. As a kid I was often told I was to loud or outgoing. Children are taught to be quiet and listen. Children are rarely taught to embrace the part of them that gets people speaking to each other, the part that asks the hard questions, the part that challenges the negatives. So I learned. Society told me that it wasn’t ok. And I fought with who I was supposed to be and who I felt I was made to be.
Naturally, as I learned in my teens that their are other ways to live- I rebelled. I did a complete 180. I tried to embrace the part of my soul that had been stomped on, but in all the wrong ways. You live and you learn.
I then spent my early twenties learning how to embrace that deep pitted part of me and combining it with the truth of the Gospel. Loving others and myself well exactly as I am.
And quite honestly life started to feel amazing. But I accepted this part of me as a blessing and a burden. A burden because you often can’t quite understand me and my sincerity until you know me well. But, getting there is hard. I knew the blessing was the level of trust and love I had in my relationships. The burden being the way others who didn’t live the same way, or understand me reacted. And it was hard. But I knew it’s who I am. How I was made. So I accepted that “you can be the juiciest peach, and there will still be people who don’t like peaches.”
Meeting Fareed was one of the best things that ever happened to me. He loved who I was. And day by day understood more and more of this “quirk.” And appreciated it more and more. He lived in such truth and could encourage me when the world felt discouraging. When a person would reject me, he could remind me of what I already know. And the blessing of who I am. In the greatest possible way, he brought my strengths to life. His words and actions helped me become a better version of myself.
And then- in the blink of an eye, he was gone. He was my bridge for so many people. He talked through the burden with me. He reminded me of who I am. And I’ve never quite had anyone understand it AND speak truth into me the way he did. His absence created a huge hole. And not only was I dealing with his loss, I lost the compliment to myself, like a flower losing the sunlight. I still knew I was a flower, but I lost the person that was helping me grow.
I started to feel the burden even more. The voice saying you’re to loud, you’re too open with your grief, these people won’t want friendship with you. But I kept blogging, because I had spent so many of those years learning that this way of living is my biggest blessing. But with it, I held that heavy burden. The burden of being not enough. The burden of living in the truth, but still caring what other people think. Knowing that I can’t change how authentic I love, but maybe I can change the way they feel about me.
And as a thousand bricks built up, today they came crashing down.
That isn’t my burden to carry. It’s theirs.
Something people have told me, but I didn’t get until this.
What if that burden was your child? What if the world kept telling your child they were to loud, to blunt, to authentic.
I would tell them to surround themselves with people who understand the blessing. I would tell them how beautiful this quirk is. I would tell them many may not understand, but the few who do, will love you so deeply. I would tell them to keep living in the truth and keep loving with all your heart.
And just like that, I was no longer talking to my “child” but myself.
And Who I am, is no longer a blessing and a burden…
But just a blessing.
The burden isn’t mine to carry.
And today I choose to live in the freedom of who I am, exactly as I am.
A truth that I’ve known my whole life.
But a truth that took finding someone to speak that truth over me, and the sorrow of losing him, to fully understand.
What would you tell your child if they felt just like you do today?