Over the last several years I really started to look back at who I was before I moved to my community. Something just felt off, and honestly, I wasn’t liking who I was becoming.
It felt as if something was drastically missing in my world and this last year I actually intentionally withdrew from a lot of things I did… So I could focus on finding the happiness I once had.
What was it? How did I have it? and where did it go?
I remember laughing a lot more then I currently did. I remember the jokes I used to throw around and the funny quirks I used to say. How I would dance for no other reason then to dance.. Anywhere.
But most of all, I remember smiling! A lot!
So, what happened?
It brings back a song by casting crowns….
This video depicts the slow fade as infidelity and the loss of a marriage… But stick with me for a minute… Is there really a difference when you are looking at the fade of one’s happiness? Look at the lyrics:
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings Be careful little feet where you go For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid When you give yourself away People never crumble in a day It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
What if the slow fade of giving myself away was the moment I started hiding my happiness and changing the way I dressed in my attempt to fit in?
What if I slowly started changing myself in an attempt to be liked, or accepted?
What if this darkness I feel pulling the strings is really that… an evil that has pulled others into its web and has come for me?
What if I admit I actually hate fleece! And the only reason I wear it is because it keeps me warm.
I didn’t crumble in a day. It took a decade of me, trying to fit in, till I realized I missed me!
I miss the true form of happiness that comes from the inside. I miss the authentic version of me that brings on the laughter that is followed by a nose snort. I miss being real and the not holding back me.
I miss me!
So this is what I did this last year. I Looked back at who I was and where and when the happiness left. Covid actually made it really easy to disengage from society.
It wasn’t all at once. It was literally a slow fading… piece by piece. Me giving myself away to the pressure to fit in.
People would comment on how I wore makeup. And to fit in I stopped! Not many wear make up in my area. I used to love to go into town and have someone do my makeup and show me the new products on the market. I loved samples! But I don’t know anyone here that’s actually gone and had their makeup done by a professional! So I gave up trying. Slow Fade….
People would say I was overdressed or comment on my clothing and I literally changed the way I dressed. I loved my high heels and my cute pants all dressed to the 9’s! I now have a closet full of jeans and t-shirts and I miss my Ralph Lauren clothing. Slow Fade….
People actually said I was too happy when I talked. And you guessed it, I toned it down! Slow Fade…
I changed myself because I wanted to fit in. I was told simply by wearing the clothes I was wearing I was bragging! I was a show off. So I turned the dial on me down, in an effort to fit in. Slow Fade…
By doing so, I changed the person that God made me to be.
The only thing I didn’t change was my hair! Not for a lack of them trying however. The first 2 years of living here I couldn’t find a stylist that could create the hair I had to save my life. The photo’s prove it! I now drive 90 minutes to a town that has this amazing lady that not only does my hair perfectly as the real me desires… but she is awesome! Well worth the drive!
God made us in His image. He made some of us to stand out and some of us to melt into the wallpaper. I’m not a wallpaper kind of gal! Far from it. And I know, I’m not for everyone. In fact, very few people in my area understand me. And even some that think they do…. honestly, don’t. But if God made me and wearing a cute necklace while doing farm chores makes me happy…. then darn it, I’m wearing that necklace!
I don’t have the right to change who God made me to be!
But neither do the people that made all those comments about me and who I was. It was my fault for changing myself. But I can’t help but wonder why people would judge me so harshly for who I was and not just accept me for simply being me?
Or what about me made them set out to tell me to tone it down? Yes, there words. I was told in many ‘confidential’ conversations that I needed to change who I was. That my friends is not Godly, but evil!
Years before I realized, that evil people took great joy out of sucking the happiness from joyful people. Now, here me out. I am not saying that these people that said these things were evil in anyway. I am saying somewhere in this community are people that have evil tendencies that take immense joy in causing happy people to also be miserable.
This I know for a fact. I have seen it. The conversations that lead to putting someone else down for simply being their real authentic self has got to stop!
No one has the right to change you. No one!
And we have got to be bold enough to embrace the version of us that God made us to be and not back down from it. Don’t try to be someone that ‘fits in’. Be someone that is unique and different and embrace that about yourself. Even if it means you will never fit in.
I allowed people to change me by the judgement they placed on me. Judgement that was not Godly at all! That was my mistake!
God doesn’t care if I wear make up or jeans. He doesn’t care if I have short hair or long hair. He doesn’t care if I wear flip flops or Bandolino’s!
What God care’s about is my character and how I shine Jesus for other’s to see. He cares about my walk with Him and how I love others. And I can not love others effectively if I don’t love myself in the way He made me to be.
Which brings me to my new year… Because loving others doesn’t mean I allow myself to be used by others. It means I value myself to be used by God!
There is a huge difference in that!