New Perspective

What do I struggle with? Self-worth.

My fear was always that I would be a nuisance.

I would walk up to friends only to be greeted with a false smile and a fabricated “Hey, how are you?” As the conversation would develop and I would begin to describe what makes me happy and what makes me ache and they’d roll their eyes in annoyance.

That is when it started, the questioning thoughts. “Why would they care about me?” My happiness would be irritating and my problems would simply be a bothersome friend-repellent. So what was I to do to avoid becoming this annoying person to others?

Stay silent.

Speak when spoken to. Be like a machine that shows no emotion and simply delivers objective data. Listen to other people’s problems because it is courteous, but never bring up your own. It’ll simply be a bother. Congratulate others on their achievements, but never bring up your own. It’ll simply be a bother. Listen to other people’s interests because it is polite, but never bring up your own. It’ll simply be a bother.

This was my struggle with self-worth until I attended Beauty for Ashes.

I was always afraid to attend. I was afraid I would be treated as a patient, as a psychology student’s guinea pig. However, an honor society I was a part of required attending school functions and I thought why not try a single B4A session and if I didn’t like it I can simply leave.

Safe to say I liked it a lot because I began to attend regularly and noticed my progress.

I remember one of the most impactful conversations of my entire life took place because of B4A and every word of it still rings in my ears. “Understand that you are not a burden, Jason. You are a blessing to anybody and you need to see that, because I see that. Your friendship is a very big blessing to me. You need to see that when you want to speak about your problems, whatever is on your mind, that you are not burdening anyone. If anything, you are giving them the privilege to let them into your mind, giving them insight into who you are, how you feel, what you think.”

Now that is a perspective I had never thought of before. A small shift in paradigm that caused a chain reaction throughout my entire being.

I have learned that others truly do care about me as a friend and as a person. That people want to hear about my talents, my achievements, my interests, and my problems. That people care to know me and my quirky intricacies.

I have learned that I am loved.

– Jason, 19

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