I was scarred in elementary school. I think many of us were. There you are, six years old and feeling pretty good about yourself and you go to school. I have no clue when picking teams at recess started, but I believe it may have been that year. It really doesn’t matter when. At some point during those early school years I remember first feeling that panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach when teams were being picked and my name wasn’t called. Little did I know that that feeling would follow me far into adulthood.
I’ve got a relatively healthy self esteem. Most days I like me. I like that I’m a woman of opinions and convictions. I believe we have a responsibility to not just float through life. I like that I usually live my life consistent with my beliefs. I’m OK with most of the choices I’ve made in life. Oh, not all….not even close. I’m not someone who will tell you that I wouldn’t change a thing if I were given the chance, because “then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.” Pshhhh! No….there is much I would change. I’d like to be a different person, an even better person. I’d like to have been more adventurous…to not have played it so safe. I’d like to be less petty, less envious, less sensitive to the opinions of others. A better champion for others. More sensitive to feelings….or rather more active upon my sensitivities. I’d like to be even more reactive to the God-breath that blows through me. Too often I don’t let it carry me. I hold myself back.
But that “pitty” feeling. Or maybe I should call it that pity feeling. Because really, isn’t that what it is? A dose of self pity? Instead of having the esteem of a child of God, letting perfectly flawed people ruin it for us? Instead of going through life in an uninhibited dance, we instead get weighted down by the opinions of others. Or instead of feeling like a masterpiece of the Creator, we feel like….less!
We’re imperfect. So are the others around us. Sometimes I feel shut out, but sometimes I get a glimpse of how I shut other people out. How I don’t notice them because I am too wrapped up in me. I need to stop the focus on me and make it about someone else. Because really…..if the focus is not on us that feeling in the pit of our stomach seems to mysteriously stay away. At least in my case it does.
I’m an introvert who loves people. I’m someone who loves community. But I think sometimes I naturally put up barriers that isolate me. I think sometimes I still wait to get picked for a team….and walk away if it doesn’t seem to be happening. That’s no one else’s fault, really. Who am I to think others are responsible for engaging me and planning my life? For some of us there is probably always going to be the natural fear of rejection when we try to engage with others. I have a few friends that seem to prefer to be the planners. When I have tried to initiate an activity, they aren’t interested. When that happens several times, I tend to fade in the background. Is that wrong? I don’t know.