From very young we all have the desire to be seen and chosen, to be accepted and loved.
Initially we may not have had as many fears regarding our likability; as I remember being boldly able to go up to another child my age on the playground asking, “Wanna be my friend and play?”
I didn’t wait for someone to approach or choose me, I went fearlessly forward. I wanted a friend, someone to play with, to talk to, and to share my secrets with. I never anticipated at that age that I could possibly receive a no.
The first time I really remember having the fear of NOT being chosen, liked, or accepted was when team captains were selected for dodge ball in PE. Each subsequent selection where we waited, anxiously, to see if our name would or would not be called.
This desire to be chosen doesn’t dim as we get older, yet it does get exceedingly more difficult to make ourselves vulnerable and to ask for this need to be met, as we have experienced the pain of rejection.
We’ve asked and someone has said no.
We’ve shown up and someone has not liked what they’ve seen.
We’ve opened up and watched someone grimace at what we’ve revealed.
We’ve shared a desire and been laughed at or mocked.
Yet, we still want that same thing. We still want to be chosen.
To have someone who loves us as we are, has seen the flaws and weaknesses, and wants us because these nuances are part of what make us beautiful and wonderful and delightful.
To truly have someone see all the parts that make us uniquely us. To take the time to peal back the layers and say yes.
Yes, I see you, all of you, I see the parts you try to hide away in dark corners, the supposed flaws and idiosyncrasies.
I see the way you get grumpy when you’re tired or hungry, and that it’s a lethal combination when both of these things occur at once.
I see how you take on too much, having a hard time saying no, because you feel that you need to do it all.
I see how your deep desire to be liked drives you to ensure that you earn the respect and appreciation from those that surround you.
I see these things, and more, and I choose you.
To have someone who we can relax with.
Let our bellies hang out with.
Pick our noses with.
Snort laugh with.
A safe place to belong, home in a person.
So often, though, we fear the closeness that would result in this kind of love and acceptance.
Holding back our hearts because we are frightened of being too vulnerable, of risking damage to that precious part of us.
As delightful as this image is, this unfaltering support of another, it is even more essential that we offer this kind of grace, acceptance, and love for ourselves.
To not fear viewing and taking stock of who we are, and finding that person acceptable and pleasing.
For once we choose ourselves, we can then more freely give the genuine version of ourselves to others in order to truly have the opportunity to be embraced.
Though, friend, be warned not everyone will like what they see, and that’s okay.
When the genuine version of you is chosen it will mean so much more, for there was nothing you had to hide and no pretending that took place.
For now, though, know that I choose you.
Your Trusted Friend ❤