In all honesty, most of us do care what others think of us. Even when we say we don’t. I do try to convince myself. My lips are moving, I hear the words. I want to believe me. Rats. I do care.
It still hurts when someone finds fault with me or something I’ve done.
|Looks like they’ve got “being yourself” covered.|
If I can pass anything along to my grandchildren, it would be this: Be yourself. Love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love others. And this too: It really doesn’t matter what others think of you. Really.
Too thin, too fat, too slow, too fast, too pimply, lips too fat, nose too big. Talk too much, don’t talk enough, too smart, too dumb, wrong skin color, wrong clothes. I suffered anxiety over all these things in my adolescence. I just knew I was ugly and dumb and fat. I said those things to my reflection in the mirror. My older brother confirmed it. I was convinced that everyone saw what I saw.
It wasn’t true.
I look at the pictures of my younger self and I’m amazed. Why could I not enjoy those years? There was nothing wrong with the way I looked. Everyone looked like that. We were all in the throes of adolescence. Sure, some endured it better than others. One of my friends seemed completely infatuated with himself and he had a lot of others convinced too. I thought he was handsome, but I wasn’t so fond of his ego.
We all know, because we’ve seen it happen––beauty fades. Hair turns gray or falls out. Skin sags and wrinkles. The pounds pile on and refuse to budge. It happens to almost everyone. All of those beautiful young people are now entering their sixties, right alongside me. It doesn’t seem to matter as much what we look like. We laugh it off and deep inside, we’re just happy to be around to kid each other about it.
And as we grow older, we learn the truth. What others say, what they think of you, doesn’t matter. The one thing that really matters, is what you think of yourself. Who you are is important. What you’ve done with your life is important. What you’re doing now is important, along with where you’re headed. Whether your ten or sixty, you need a goal, a destination. That’s important, too. And if all these things are in place, you can feel pretty good about yourself.
Important Note: Loving yourself shows your children that it’s possible. If you constantly criticize yourself in front of your children and grandchildren, they’re going to learn to do the same thing. If you’re overly concerned about what others think of you, your children will do the same.
So here’s another opportunity to make a difference and pass a universal truth along to the next generations. God wants us to love ourselves. Love your neighbor as well as you do yourself (Luke 10:27 TMB). How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? How can you truly love God if you don’t love what He’s created in you?
I thank God for you. Now, look in your mirror and repeat that until you believe it.
My dad was a funny guy. He was the youngest child of four and his father died when he was only two, so he got away with a lot of stuff. Sometimes he would get this mischievous look in his eye and I’d know he had something up his sleeve. I especially loved to watch him interact with his sisters, when he’d tease them or startle them with a silly noise. They’d laugh and often launch into a quick dance. Yes, a dance––usually swing steps.
Dad’s been gone for nearly seven years, but I still see him occasionally, in the smiles and antics of my sons as they carry on the humor and mischief. They’re fully grown and two of them are dads now. I know for certain they cut up with their kids. Sometimes becoming a kid themselves for a brief moment, enjoying the luxury of a full-on belly laugh or just a knowing smile.
My husband was only twelve when he lost his father. He didn’t really know how to be a dad, but some things just come natural. He put forth his best effort and as all dads do, he has a few regrets about those years. He often wishes he’d spent more time with them or hadn’t taken everything so seriously. We’ve got three fine sons these days. All of them living good lives and serving God. No complaints here.
This Father’s Day, we plan to spend time together. I’m sure there’ll be those moments of reminiscing. One thing I know, there will be laughter. If you have a father in your life to celebrate, do it. Celebrate the good things, the shining moments, the best times. Those are the ones worth remembering. All the other stuff, well, you can set them out at the curb and let the trash pick them up. Time is precious––life is precious––don’t waste it on regrets.
There’s still time to drop me a note if you’re interested in a free ebook. Fay Lamb is giving away a copy of Stalking Willow. If you read romantic suspense, you’ll love this one. And it could be free! Comment here or find me on Facebook.
As always, thanks for reading!
Some of our most precious memories revolve around our mothers. They are usually our biggest fans. Their love is unconditional. Unless you really screw up, they never give up on you.
Why is there a picture of people picking cotton on my blogpost?
My current work-in-progress is set in the rural south. One of the hardest jobs I have ever done (with the possible exception of giving birth) is picking cotton. Yes, I am old enough to have picked cotton.
My grandparents were tenant farmers and their main crop was cotton. Even as late as the mid-60’s, they were hand-picking the crop. They usually hired locals to help them. The days were long and hot, and the work was back-breaking.
If you’ve seen Places in the Heart (Sally Field) or even Gone With the Wind, you have an idea what I’m talking about. The only thing worse was chopping the cotton earlier in the season. Same deal: long hours, hot, pesky insects, dirt in your shoes…
I’m not complaining, it was good for me. You know, what doesn’t kill you…right. How did they survive such a difficult life? The work was hard and constant, but they didn’t give up. Year after year, they planted the cotton. It is beautiful in full bloom, by the way. And the sound of the wind through the leaves is so peaceful. The green plants made a wonderful playground for energetic children. I spent many happy hours there.
I’m enjoying writing this book, because it is so close to my heart. I feel I know the characters. Many of them sprang from memories of long ago. People who passed through my life during the sunny days of my youth. I hope the end product will be something you’ll want to read. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
Thanks for reading!