Berly and I watched regarding henry last night.  I was very moved by the frailty and vulnerability of henry (harrison ford).  I could identify with him so much better because before his accident he was ‘normal.’  I am realizing more and more these days how fearful I have always been of not being accepted by others.  I covered it up so well that I was not even aware of it myself.  I would tell myself that his opinion didn’t matter because he was ignorant, that she dismissed my views because her values were screwed up, that I didn’t want to be their friends anyway because they were not worthy of me. 

I was so good and so quick at reacting to rejection… or perceived rejection… or even lukewarm acceptance that I didn’t realize how scared I was, afraid to face my real feelings.  The rejection of others made me feel worthless, and if I admitted those feelings, it seemed I was agreeing with them… that I really wasn’t of value.  So I convinced myself that I really didn’t care what others thought.  Instead of being okay with who I was, I tried zealously to be someone better, to increase my self-worth by working hard to be smarter, more successful, more popular (at least with my chosen crowd).  But deep down I knew that I really did care, deeply, about what others thought of me… even the approval of little kids and the socially marginal and mentally handicapped… those folks whose opinions shouldn’t really matter (as I thought).

It is amazing how frail I am, how scared of not measuring up, of not being welcomed or heard or appreciated.  Just imagining people thinking badly of me makes me clutch inside like I was being pushed out the 10th story window.  But here is the truth: my sense of frailty as I accept my own fears and inadequacies is actually a new courage.  I was far more fragile and cowardly when I felt ‘strong’ and ‘successful’ and ‘didn’t care’ what people thought.  Now I don’t need to take desperate measures to protect myself from others’ opinions of me.  It is scary, but liberating.  I am slowly learning who I really am… and to respect and appreciate who I am, with all my faults and failings.

We are all wounded, and out of self-protection we snap at those who touch our wounds… or we jump away.  It is such a long, slow, scary process of healing, and we need each other to fully heal.  So let us all encourage one another on to more courage and honesty and gracious thoughts about ourselves and others.


Posted March 19, 2006 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

2 responses to “

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  1. Word. By the way, I’m really enjoying the book you recommended (about half-way through).

  2. Glad you like the book, Ben.  Both my brother and I got about halfway through and stopped for some reason.  I later went on to finish it, of course.

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