I received my first official Anonymous hater letter yesterday.
It made me cry.
I cried for a number of reasons, all of which were valid on their own.
- I cried for the hurtful words this reader took the time to type out to me. Did she know me in real life? Were my words hurtful to her? Why?
- I cried at the thought that my work that I am doing on here is missing the mark. Do you really view me as a whiny brat? Is that what I’m really conveying? Or do you hear my heart behind the long, hard days? Can you see that I’m just one mom, trying to struggle well and do my best job with the tools that I’ve been given. I want the same thing as you do – for my work, my kids, and my life to mean something in the world at the end of the day.
- I cried having one more person tell me I’m not doing a good job. Even though the rational part of my brain knows that every day, the little people that tell me I’m mean, they don’t love me anymore, or I suck don’t actually mean it – those words start to sink in after awhile when that becomes the primary soundtrack of your day. So couple that with real live adults who want to let me know the job that I’m doing is not approved in their eyes, and I can’t help but start to believe it on some level.
Until I don’t.
Until I choose not to listen to those un-truths for one more second.
Until I’m forced to the end of my rope and my only refuge is the One who unconditionally chooses to love me, despite the job that I’m doing, the day that I’m having, or my current approval list from various readers.
Our words have so much weight. But they do not have to be the end-all truth about you.
You are loved.
You are chosen.
You are free from condemnation.
You have not been given a spirit of fear, but rather one of power, love and a sound mind.
You can find grace and mercy in your greatest time of need.
Let these words rock your world. Let THESE words be the ones that send you into a tizzy.
Recklessly loved. Each of us. With wasteful abandon.
It sounds so much catchier, and light hearted when Taylor sings about it, but truly I think that the haters are just going to hate, hate, hate.
So let’s be a tribe of truth that build one another up. If you don’t approve of the job that someone is doing, just shut up and find something else to talk about. Live from the vantage point that you, and THEM, are fully loved and fully doing the best that they can.
I want to be responsible for speaking life into people’s lives, not hurt.
So with that…
Dear Miss Anonymous,
Your words hurt me. But they don’t define me. And I know they aren’t true. You do not see the whole story. You do not know the depths of my heart, and the work that I do in silence and behind the scenes. You don’t know the prayers that I pray and the struggles I struggle with. You don’t see the continual nights I have rocking a sick child back to sleep over and over again. Your words carry weight, but today, they don’t have a place in my space. I hope you find what you’re looking for too.