There is a secret wondering behind our eyes. A mind-decaying ponder. A thought-life that at first glance can seem real or righteous but in reality is a dull ache that slowly chips away at our spirits. We pretend to be solid or strong or unbreakable but in the end we all want to know “How do we really look to the people we love?”
I am constantly re-evaluating who I am, what I believe, what is morally courageous and upright. I wonder: Do I fit in? Am I unique enough? Is the person I see in the mirror the person everyone else sees? What do I project? Does my brain lie about the man in the mirror? I think about that every day.
I find myself trying to change for the better. I dig for compliments in conversations – a secret questionnaire. I am compiling a list of things I do not need to change, and the list is short. I have almost convinced myself that my constant need to check my own physical reflection is because I dislike the way I look, certainly not because I need to see how perfect I am. For some reason I find self-hatred a virtue. I continuously forget that my quest for self-improvement is both hopelessly vain and immensely insecure.
The clothing I wear, the music I listen to, the leisure I live for and the pursuit of the image I try to project cost more money than I’d like to admit. In fact I think the ratio of money I spend on myself:people (including close friends) would be close to 100:1. Sometimes just the thought of a potential relationship or ensuing heartbreak has stopped my brain from even wanting to think about other people for months on end.
I guess what I am trying to say is that although I strive for a multitude of honourable virtues, this quiet questioning indicates that I’m incredibly self-absorbed. I am certainly not the humble servant I make a lame effort to project.
My hope however, is that as I bring this all to the surface and confess the things in my life that I just do not feel right about, that God (yes, God) will deal with my inadequacies. I’m on a journey. Life is an adventure. Our stories involve such complicated plot twists but through it all we are promised a counsellor with whom to place our trust, and we have to.
I have only recently had the revelation of how much people truly need their friends and community. Love is everything. To put it plainly, friends desperately need your love...and they need it despite your hang ups. So this year my new year’s resolution was to “be more compassionate”. A noble but completely unmeasurable goal, I admit – but it was something to work on all the same. I think that if I’m ever to achieve my goal I have to stop wondering what other people think and just be the person I’m called to be.
Maybe a first impression is not everything. A person can completely change once you have spoken to them, as opposed to just sighting them from across the room. I am learning more everyday that people do not love me because of the way I look, the way I dress, the car I drive, the music I listen to, the brands I endorse or the community in which I live. At the end of the day people simply love me because I love them... and the source of that love? Well that’s another conversation...