The prompt for today asks me to write about two words or phrases that make me laugh. Truthfully, I cannot think of very many that I find that funny but I can think of several that are very profound and have stuck with me over the years.
One of them is one by Eleanor Roosevelt: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” It might seem a little pessimistic but, honestly, it turned the tide of my mental talk in many ways. I cannot tell you where I first hear or read this quote, but it stuck with me, even if the proper words were lost and all that remained with me was the idea.
I spent a most of the first half of my life living in fear or people’s bad opinion, especially in my community. I truly and honestly believed that if people, including my parents, ever found out that I wasn’t the perfect girl they believed me to be, my life would be over. In a way, I think that fear was compounded by the thought that, if I didn’t ever leave the island and something happened that proved me painfully human, I would be stuck there. Stuck in the disappointment, stuck in the embarrassment, stuck in the whispers, stuck in all of it. Leaving for college afforded me the opportunity to forge my own life, my own path, my own reasons for believing as I believe and living as I live. Not for someone else’s approval but for God’s and, honestly, my own.
Another quote that has stuck with me is one by C.S. Lewis: “Do not shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him [God].” I have a ministry and purpose in life and I have been given the gifts to accomplish that purpose. I want to reach out to the heart that is lonely or lost, that needs encouragement, that needs to know that someone is there and cares about them, regardless of sex, creed, belief system, skin color, whatever (theirs or mine). But I don’t do it because I want people to admire me. No. I do what I do because I want people to see God and His love for them. If I can be a vehicle for such love, I am all for that.