President Nelson extended an invitation for everyone to turn their social media account into a gratitude journal for the next 7 days. This is what I wrote for day 2:
ps. this was REALLY scary to write and REALLY scary to share… I’m so afraid of how this will make me look, or what people will think. But I know that exposing the shame is what brings the healing. I can feel inside of me that part of me believes and fears that someone will take this, my weakness, and slash me to shreds. My trauma is telling me that I am going to be murdered by putting this out there… death is eminent. But I don’t think that’s true. And my hope is that by surviving this, it’ll become easier to sit with this and it won’t be such a trigger or have so much control over me. Oh, the journey to healing is so hard. 🙁
As I’ve thought about what I’m grateful for today (which is something I’m truly grateful for every day), I don’t think I can express it aquatically enough without opening up and being vulnerable in deeper ways than I’ve ever let myself be… 😬 But in an effort to be true to myself, and lean into the scary, here it goes.
I have lived my whole life not feeling loved, worthy, or seen. While I’m sure my life looks great, and I am a seemingly positive person, underneath it all is an ocean of pain, loneliness, and longing. All I’ve ever wanted to was to be loved, accepted for who I am, valued, and to belong. Life circumstances from birth and just the unfolding of life events and choices have made that something always out of reach for me.
Over a year ago I finally hit rock bottom and completely shattered. The struggles and trauma of my life finally became too heavy to bare. Through therapy I found great healing and for the first time in my life the windows of heaven to Gods love came pouring down on me as I learned to love myself first. I realized that by rejecting to love myself I was automatically rejecting God’s love for me. As I began to have faith in myself and my own worth, God’s Spirit was able to confirm my worth to me, and that has started me on my journey of so much healing and strength.
I still struggle so much with looking past the belief I’ve carried with me my whole life – why am I worth loving?! If there is not one person in my life who feels I’m worthy of unconditional love, who’s willing to show up in my greatest times of need, then why would I even love myself? But thankfully the walls are coming down, and while I still sometimes don’t comprehend it, I’m learning.
What I am MOST grateful for are all of you.
For your love, for your encouragement, for your friendship. I’m pretty sure that every single day I have 2 or more people reach out to me personally – all different people every day. Some people do so frequently, some only once or twice. But they all reach out in love, they/you reach out in friendship, you reach out to help. Never, and I mean NEVER in my life have I been so seen, so loved, and so lifted by other people in my life than I have been these last 3 months.
Every day I am reminded that I am worthy. Every day it is confirmed to me that I am worth loving. You give that to me. You are pulling me through as I face my darkness and try to break out of these chains that have kept me bound my whole life.
I still have so much anger and resentment for all the hurt and all the disappointment from my past. But every kind word, every text of appreciation, every comment that shows me I’m seen and loved, and that I belong – with no expectation of anything in return, or any requirement that I must meet to be deserving, all this love chips away at that hate. I know I could never do this alone, and my gratitude for your help is incomprehensible.
So when I am really awkward about thanking you for your friendship, or for your love, and I say it way too many times that it becomes annoying, know that what you do for me is way more than the 5 seconds it took to send a text or leave a comment. I know that you are good people, and your kindness is probably given without a second thought because of who you are – but please know that it means EVERYTHING to me, and I could express my gratitude for the rest of my life and it still wouldn’t be equal to what I feel inside.
So thank you. <3 Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
It’s true, “no act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted”
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.”
Thank you for the kindness you give to me, even without knowing my battles. No matter how small or insignificant your kindness might seem to you, it is huge for me. <3