I love photography. I love art. I love taking pictures from unique angles and of random things. I also love photographing my kiddo, my friends, special events, flowers, weeds, the sky… I think you get the point. Beauty is all around us and I’d like to think that most of the time, I’m pretty good about taking the time to notice it.
Why a picture of a coffee maker/iced cappuccino/whipped foamy cream? Because it looked cool. To me. And it doesn’t have to look cool or interesting to anyone else. I like it. I love how the photo came out. I love the angles and colors and the adjustments I made to it.
And that’s enough to justify having taken the picture and sharing it.
Am I sounding defensive? I am feeling really defensive. Not about the coffee picture… I take pictures and share pictures that I love. I’m cool with that even if no one else thinks so.
So why can’t I apply that attitude to other parts of my life? Why do I feel like I need to explain why I am or am not doing something? Why do I feel like other people need to understand where I’m coming from?
They do not.
In fact, most people don’t have a right to know my story or my reasons.
Who does? The people I trust. The people who have been there for me. The ones who loved me through the story. I can share with them. But even then, I don’t have to.
Who else might I share with? The people who need to hear it. The ones going through similar things. The ones hurting a hurt that I understand. I might have good reason to share with them.
But the people that make me question myself? That make me feel guilty? That make me feel less than? Even if they don’t mean to make me feel that way, if that is the reason I’m sharing, it’s wrong. I don’t need to. It doesn’t matter what they think of me. Of what I’m doing. Or of the reasons they might make up for why I am the way I am.
It doesn’t matter what they think. Friends, enemies, frenemies. Strangers, future friends, whoever. It doesn’t matter and I do not owe them explanations, my story, or reasons for anything.
So why am I feeling defensive? Because I still struggle with this. I over-share in an attempt to make people understand that I’m not weak. Not stupid. Not whatever.
And then I get mad at myself for sharing.
And then I get mad at myself for feeling all those feelings in the first place.
Yes, I’m a hot mess sometimes.
That’s ok, too, though.
I’m learning and growing and still on my journey. So, I over-shared some things this past week to people who didn’t need to know. I also shared my story with people that I really wanted to know.
WHAT do I do with all of this?
I’m talking this out with you guys. Not even really knowing what I’m going to say before I say it.
So, here’s what I’m thinking.
Ok, that sounds pretty reasonable and like a good plan.
Number 2 is the difficult one. Forgiving myself and not allowing myself to feel embarrassed or ashamed because of what people might now think of me.
What they think doesn’t matter.
What Jesus think of me, does. And He loves me. He died for me. He lives for me.
I’m speaking to myself, friends.
But if you are in the same boat, if you live in the same mental world as I do, maybe it will help you, too.
What are some things we can speak out loud to stay focused on what God says about us? I borrowed some pictures and affirmations from my best friend at Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful. You can find more at this link here: Positive Affirmations
And here are some to get you started.
Happy Sunday, friends. Love you!!!