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Monthly Archives: October 2014

If You Really Knew Me

MTV used to have a series on called, “If You Really Knew Me.”  I never watched it and didn’t cry.  As Wikipedia describes it, “If You Really Knew Me is an American reality television series which aired on MTV that focuses on youth subculture and different cliques in high schools. Students from each clique participate in Challenge Day,[1] which is a program designed to break down stereotypes and unite students in schools. At Challenge Day, students from all walks of life gather together in one room. Then each student is assigned to a group where they must reveal something personal about themselves. It’s at this point where each student begins their dialogue with the words “If you really knew me…” The goal of Challenge Day is to demonstrate to students the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.”

It only aired for one season before MTV decided it wasn’t good enough to continue airing.  (Biggest eye roll ever!)  As a therapist, I use it now as part of my processing groups where I work.  It is mostly successful.  There are some who just completely refuse to participate.  There are some who cannot wait until it is their turn to speak.  I do not make anyone do anything they feel unsafe doing.  I do, however, strongly encourage everyone to participate.  I do this with adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and senior citizens.  Someone is always moved to tears.  Sometimes, that someone is me.  I know that each of us show the world exactly what we want the world to see.  It’s a protection against hate, judgment, embarrassment, shame, guilt, and fear.  I give strict instructions that there will be no disrespect, nor will there be any judgments passed on anyone who chooses to speak.  Anyone who feels they cannot follow those rules is given permission to leave before the activity starts.  No one has ever left.  I believe this activity gives individuals permission to be honest with others.  I think more importantly, it gives them a chance to be honest with themselves.  That’s when healing can begin.  If you, to yourself, began a sentence with, “If you really knew me….,” how would it end?  How would you fill in those blanks?  Now, I’m not asking you to share that with the world, but I do challenge you to bring that in to your conscious mind.  We all have a dark, ugly, sludge-filled place within us.  Some are just more willing to share that than others.  There is nothing wrong with it.  There is nothing right with it.  It just is.  Without further ado, I will take my turn.

If you really knew me, you’d know that I love sports.  I love the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Lakers, and the New York Rangers.  If you really knew me, you would know that I love soccer.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I played soccer for three years in high school, and I was co-MVP with two of my good friends.  If you really knew me, you’d know I played goalie.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I was a very big tomboy.  I liked to climb trees, play football in the street, and play baseball in an empty field.  I also did those things with all boys because I was pretty much the only girl on my block my age.  If you really knew me, you’d know my favorite color is black.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I love scary movies, but I also love sappy movies just as much.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m a 1980’s fanatic!  The music, the movies, the television shows.  They were all pretty great.  Cheesy…but great.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I was sexually abused at a very early age.  If you really knew me, you’d know that physical and verbal abuse was also involved.  If you really knew me, you’d know I was considered either a slut or a lesbian in high school.  I was neither, by the way.  If you really knew me, you’d know I was a very angry person for a very long time.  I would want to fight someone just because they blinked in my direction.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I have had depression and anxiety my entire life.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I also struggle intensely with body image.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I sometimes binge eat.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I deal with chronic pain every single day of my life.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I wasn’t always a believer of God.  If you really knew me, you’d know that there are only three men in my entire life who never hurt me.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I have self-medicated.  If you really knew me, you’d know that sometimes I eat my emotions.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I was not always a good mom.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I have apologized for that and asked forgiveness.  If you really knew me, you’d know that when I love, I do it with all my heart and soul.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I am so in love with my kids, husband, son-in-law, and grandkids.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I believe there is only one God.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m pretty much in love with Him, too.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I work very hard to be a good friend.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I would never hurt someone on purpose.  If you really knew me, you’d know I would have never shared any of this with the world just a few years ago.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I am a happily married woman of twenty-two years.  If you really knew me, you’d know that water calms my soul.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I love hugs.  If you really knew me, you’d know that I believe that you are important and nothing, nor anybody, can make your level of importance any less or any more.  You are important because you breathe, because you were placed on this earth to exist.  If you really knew me.

Well, there you go.  Now, you really know me.  You are free to do what you will with that information.  I couldn’t stop you even if I wanted to.  What you should know, though, is that I share those things to let others know that they are not alone.  That someone cares.  That someone is here.

I hope that if you are still reading this that this blog post has challenged you to start healing from whatever pain you suffer with.  I hope you know that things can, and do, get better.  I hope you know that I love you in the purest way possible.  May God bless you with an abundance of grace and mercy.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

P.S. GO COWBOYS! DC4L!  🙂

Click here for help regarding suicidal feelings.

Click here for help in dealing with sexual abuse.

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Universal Responses

Racism, sexism, ageism, feminism, legalism, religionism, and a number of other sets we could place people in exist.  While many people live by certain or multiple of these -isms, there is one thing that makes us virtually the same.  Reactions to kindness.  Not all of these reactions are kind, themselves, but I have found in the few places I have recently traveled and shared kindness, that the responses are just the same thousands of miles away.  From Pennsylvania to Texas, I have found these responses to be similar to each other across the board.  Some of the responses I have received most frequently include smiles, the thumbs up gesture, a nod, an unsure stare, and a seemingly intentional “I’m not looking at you because you want money” stare straight ahead.  I’ve actually had people offer me money (Which is very sweet) in many circumstances in Pennsylvania and Texas.  I never ask for it, and I never take it.  I explain that I am only here to share the message that was so heavily placed on my heart in August of 2014.  I have experienced tears from others being so grateful to see those three words, and I have gotten some really great hugs from people I do not even know.  Those things are seen in every part of the city of Amarillo that I have been to, so far.  They have been seen and experienced in Plano, Texas.  I have witnessed those things in Silverdale, Pennsylvania.  I have witnessed some unpleasant things and words, but those will not get airtime.  It makes my heart sing when people see my signs and smile so big, wave, give a thumbs up, or give me a hug.  Folks are not required to do such things, so that makes them more valuable to me when they do them.  I get responses from all levels of socioeconomic, racial, gender, political, and religious areas.  I have found this to be true from Amarillo, Plano, and Silverdale.

What I do know is that each of us is broken in so many ways by so many different things.  There’s not a soul on this earth who does not have a nick or two on his or hear heart.  It doesn’t matter why that nick is there.  It is.  That nick can be painful, scary, and unknown.  But, if we understand that everyone has them, maybe we wouldn’t be in such a hurry to judge others with harsh words that only worsen the brokenness.  I’ve been guilty of that, and I am not proud of that fact.  I’m ashamed I have done so, but I do know that I have come down on people because of MY brokenness.  Those aforementioned folks who have done some not-so-nice things have very broken pieces in them.  Those who do the nicer things have some very broken pieces in them.  WE ALL DO!  Some of us have the guidance, awareness, or direction to look inside of ourselves to see and work on that brokenness.  Even when we do take a look at it, we often try to put a band-aid on a hatchet wound.  We have to look at that stuff in order to grow even more.  It’s ugly.  It’s painful.  It’s dark.  If we don’t uncover it, however, it continues to get buried and build on top of the grudge already there.  I believe that’s what happens to those who have the unkind responses.  Even those with the kindest responses have those, too, but I believe they are somewhat more aware.  I could be wrong, and I am totally open to that fact.  I just think those who do not give the most universal responses see everything else as dark and entangled as their souls are.  How can anyone be doing something for nothing, right?

I never knew what was in store for me, or my heart, when I began doing this sign thing.  I never know what will happen from day-to-day or even with each passing vehicle.  I just don’t know, but I do know that I AM supposed to be doing this.  I am so grateful for all those I have attempted to make eye contact with every single time I am on the street.  I am so grateful that I continue to obey what was put on my heart to do.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to bring a smile to someone.  Or a tear to someone’s eye.  I don’t do it for me.  I do it to let others know that they are, indeed, important.  I do this because God put this on my heart, and He continues to do so.

I will continue to do this until it is put on my heart to do otherwise.

Love is a universal need.  Give it freely and see what responses you get back in return without the expectation of getting any response back.  

It can change your life.

It’s changed mine.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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