How would you describe yourself?
Our own feelings can lead us astray. I don’t know about you, but I am sometimes surprised by how people see me.
Back in high school, I worked at a local restaurant. One of the servers liked me, and we often talked about ourselves and our families during downtimes. Then one night, he asked me about my boyfriend.
He gave me a look—the one with one eyebrow raised.
“I don’t have a boyfriend,” I sheepishly told him. Honestly, it was pretty clear that someone like me wouldn’t have a boyfriend. He must have been just trying to be nice.
And, once, at a youth group dance at church, a really cool guy asked me to dance. I laughed in his face. He’s probably forgotten all about it, but I haven’t.
I didn’t laugh at him because of him. I laughed because how could he not know I’d never set foot on a dance floor. Girls like me weren’t asked to dance because we’d look like fools out there, pretending to belong.
My reality should have been their reality.
Except I’d forgotten something. My feelings had led me astray. Sometimes my reality is skewed. It’s been forty years since those incidents, and they still rumble around in my brain. And if I’m being frank, other examples joined them over the years.
It’s easy to downplay our strong points and give too much life to our weaker ones. It’s too bad we don’t see our actual characteristics in the mirror.
Our vision can be fogged over by the lies we believe about ourselves.
People often say something they admire about me, and I still wonder if they know what they’re talking about. But I’ve learned to step back out of my shoes over the years. When I do that, I can see the truth. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth taking a moment to see ourselves as the world does.
So, these days, I’m likely to get out on the dance floor because girls like me do get asked to dance, and I’ve grown comfortable enough to not care that I can’t dance and will probably look like a duck having a seizure. My feelings don’t lead me astray as often these days.
Let’s chat: Where do you need to step away and look at yourself with new eyes?