I could feel her two dark eyes targeted on me. Her strong chin rested in her palm. It was possibly a look of pensive confusion. Maybe a bit bored. Or a tinge angry. She was sending me a message with voluminous force: you are stupid…times 10!
Up on stage, I was hitting point one. Then, point two. As I walked through my carefully prepared outline, my gaze continued to gravitate back towards her frowny one.
Did she not agree with me?
Was I acting too silly?
Was I not making any sense?
I felt distracted and deflated and discouraged. I could tell from her look that I was not communicating well…at all. I walked off the stage amidst many sweet encouragements solely focused on what I thought she thought of me.
A few weeks later, a beautiful note was delivered to my azalea surrounded black mailbox. My mouth and my heart dropped like a 100 pound weight to the floor. I noticed in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope…her name.
I hesitated, peeled apart the seal, and pulled out the folded card. Cautiously peering inside, I scanned the words, preparing myself for the blow of criticism. Instead, these beautifully scrawled words popped off the page…
God used you.
Mistaken Identity #2:
By what I think you think of me, I am what I am.
Here’s the ugly…
I am on a constant search for self-validation. And I look to you. Not only your spoken words but your unspoken communication as well. Body language, tone, receptivity all color who I think you think I am. My perceptions give you that much power. And I think I can read your mind.
1. Socially: When at church or a moms group or PTO or talking to your pretty and athletic neighbor and you begin to feel insecure and unnoticed, be brave and ask yourself, Are my perceptions framing a mistaken identity? If yes, declare quietly in your head “I’m a crazy person. I am what I am by Gods grace over me!”
2. With family: In those moments when you feel you are gathering evidence of disappointment and unmet expectations in their eyes, stop. Be brave. Admit that in truth you may never meet who they think you should be. But I promise, you won’t shrivel up like the Wicked Witch of the West! Instead, stand tall with your heart set and whisper, “I am what I am by Gods grace over me.”
Perceptions can be ugly little liars. Don’t listen to ’em!
This post is a part of a 31 day series. Find other 31 Dayers at The Nester’s.