“We all want to be loved, yeah
We all want just a little respect
We all want to be loved
Tell me what’s wrong with that” – dc Talk
This quote has been playing in my head for a while now. The older I get, the more I find this statement is really accurate. Everything boils down to love & respect. You need or want one or the other (or both). I’ve mentally gone through every heartache I could remember. I either felt unloved or disrespected. As you know, it’s a terrible feeling. You feel empty, worthless, invisible. As if your feelings aren’t validated. It’s a deep abyss that no one should have to face.
For the past few years, I’ve made it my mission to show love & respect to everyone I meet. I try to live my life simply – love God & love others. Of course, I have days where I’m less than stellar but that’s just part of being human. I had decided I didn’t want anyone to come across me & feel unimportant. I have vivid memories of being dismissed by others even when I was a little girl. Whether intentional or not, the damage was done. Again, no one should feel that way.
Knowing my heart in this matter, you can imagine how much pain I feel when others hurt me, verbally or emotionally. I’ve been called everything in the book. You’d think I’d brush it off but that’s not who I am. I take criticism very personally. I’ve spent countless hours reaching out to others, trying to heal my wounds, & understand theirs. I’ve had metaphorical & literal doors slammed in my face. I don’t understand it. What have I done wrong? It’s taking me a while to learn that there are situations where I haven’t done anything wrong. There are just some people out there who are cold, bitter, & vindictive. Let them stew in their poison & don’t stop loving others. I’m learning to shift my attention on those who deserve it, which is really anybody else. Put my energy to good use, right?
Regardless of age, I want anyone who approaches me to feel comfortable being themselves. I love when a young student tells me about their day in kindergarten. Or a total stranger saying, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this but I feel like you’re safe.” Or an elderly & handicapped couple thanks me for opening the door for them when everyone else pushed by them. There are little opportunities every day to show love & respect to others. It doesn’t have to be a grand, orchestrated ordeal. Even something small, like a Facebook message or a post-it note on your coworker’s desk, can make someone’s day.
Give someone a genuine compliment. Watch what happens. Like a flower in the sun, you keep shining love on them & they’ll bloom. 🙂