I know what it’s like; that feeling you get off and on when you survey the life you never thought you’d have, the one you didn’t ask for, the one you definitely didn’t deserve.
I know how it feels to look behind you at the mountains of mistakes you’ve made and wonder how you climbed down the other side so free, no longer gasping for breath. You are, after all, damaged goods. You were at the rotting bottom of others’ “can do without” pile and you were discarded, abandoned, left for lonely.
Or maybe you did some deserting yourself. Maybe you pushed so many people away that you thought for certain there must now be a permanent and impenetrable force field around you that warns future lovers and friends alike that tangling with you will almost certainly result in pain or disaster. You have hurt others deeply, and out of all of those people, you have done the most harm to yourself. You have let yourself down, done things you told yourself you’d never do, you’ve eluded numerous expectations and squandered so many good things, you wonder how the universe could possibly send more good your way.
So then how, if you really are as unpleasant and unlovable as you often feel, do you wake to a life where someone chooses you, intentionally, every day? How do you, unmanageable and messy you, have a love so real and committed and permanent that others see your happiness and envy you? How is all of this possible when only a few short years ago you found yourself so broken and unhappy that you cried yourself to sleep every night, so caught up in the chaos you created that you didn’t think you would ever find a consistent or real happiness because you were beyond repair?
How? Because you, as hurt and as hurtful, as messy and as unmanageable as you have been, are still worthy of love and happiness. Please believe that no matter how far you think you have fallen or how many parts of you feel like they are broken beyond repair, you are still so incredibly and tangibly loveable. I know what it’s like to hold this beautiful and precious life in your hands like a glistening diamond and feel with every ounce of who you are that you do not deserve for it to be yours.
But it is. So cherish it. Instead of wasting time thinking about all the ways in which you will never outrun your past or the worst parts of yourself, spend it loving the people who do love you in your brokenness, who know you have been ugly and still choose to see you as beautiful. It is okay to feel like you don’t deserve your happiness, but it’s not okay to accept that feeling.
When the guilt creeps in, when the self-hate begins to brew, look around at this life that you very well may not deserve, and feel grace, this undeserved favor, seep into your bones and let gratitude radiate from you like sunshine. Know and believe that you are healed enough to be here. So be here.