In case you missed it, read Part One of Erin’s blog here.
Whether you turn towards or away matters. Whether you look me in the eyes or away in disgust matters. Whether you hear my words or my heart matters. Whether you hear the curse words or the feeling behind the words matters. Whether you see my shorts or bikinis and tell me the “should’s” or whether you tell me I am beautiful matters. What you say and do and who you are to me matters.
When you turn away you tell me I don’t matter and what is happening in my world is not important to you. When you turn away you make me question my own worth, value, my decisions, my confidence, and my world but when you turn towards, even if just for a split second, you remind me that someone is paying attention and maybe that means I am worth paying attention to. You help me think that maybe someone will see and somehow that brings some peace and safety to my world. When I know your watching you make me know that I’m not alone and make me want to do better and be better for you. Because someone is seeing my actions and I am hoping that if someone can see maybe they will say something.
You say something and when you offer those encouraging words, you teach me that I can tell myself those same words and that maybe, just maybe they are true. When you shoot hoops with me or kick a soccer ball with me you make me wonder if you find me fun or interesting rather than just a burden. It makes me wonder if maybe I might actually be fun to hang out with. When you take an interest in the things that you clearly care nothing about it and then remember them it makes me think that you might love me enough to stick around. When you invest time and resources and I wonder how I will ever pay you back or say “thank you” enough it reminds me that love actually doesn’t have a price tag, an “I owe you” or a rule attached but it is out of selflessness. When you walk through your life and you let me tag along it lets me know that I can learn and be like you. When you mess up and say your sorry or when you disappoint me and still show up it reminds me that I can be imperfect too and that I will still be worthy of love.
When you fight for me it lets me know you value me more than your own comfort, platform, or advancement. When you will move mountains for me and I wonder why you would even care it tells me that you see the mountains in my world and that you believe if you move mountains for me then I can face those mountains too.
When you know nothing about me but still care it makes me think that maybe good people do exist. When you hug me and it feels safe and innocent it makes me wonder if touch can be okay. When you are real with me it helps me take off the thick makeup I am wearing to cover up the real me.
When you don’t know me and are just “doing your job” but you offer a kind word, gesture, or an act of kindness it makes me think that you might care. When you encounter me and see that my walls are up but you keep knocking at the door of my heart, it makes me wonder if I can maybe let you in.
When you see me respond to something whether it be the needle you are sticking in my arm, the ball you are throwing at me, how I pull back from your touch, or the occasional tears that fill my eyes and you look at me with eyes that say I see you and I don’t know but I know, the tears that were inside come spilling out. And when you are frustrated because you cannot take the tears away or empty the reservoir of pain, know that I needed to let those tears out and you allowed me that. When you are tempted to walk past me out of fear that you cannot fix it or help me feel better know that you stopping and feeling with me is the fix I need. When you wonder if you are capable of making a difference in my world know that I need someone in my world that will try. When you are imperfect know that I need presence not perfection. When you can’t be my father, mother, brother, or sister know that I just need human.
When you smile at me even though you don’t know me, I can see that you care and this allows me to let you in a little closer. When you stick up for me against the negativity, you tell me that I am worth fighting for and you haven’t given up on me yet. When you ask me questions about my future it makes me believe that I have a future worth fighting for. When you believe the best in me, I want to be the best version of me. When you raise the bar for me and coach me every step of the way it makes me wonder if you see more in me than I see in myself.
When you don’t give up on me, that tells me I have another option. When you believe in me, I realize I can believe in myself. When you stick with me for as long as it takes you remind me that not everyone leaves and that love does not have a time stamp. And one day when I move on and I can get through the day to day on my own it’s because you were there on that fateful day. Rest assured that day will never be erased from memory. Because it is that day that allowed me to get to this one.