No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living, you will inevitably find people who don’t like you.
That sounds a bit tough, doesn’t it? And if you’re a fellow people-pleaser, the very idea that someone may not like you is liking grinding a dagger into your stomach. What I would give to be one of those people who can shrug off the idea that someone is mad at them or simply doesn’t like them… but this is reality and we cannot snap our fingers and be content with something that irks us to our core.
But this point is true: You will meet people who will not like you.
The question you must answer: How will I respond to that?
So, here is my open letter to the people who knew me but decided that they would rather not know me.
In the beginning, I grieved. Once I realized that you no longer desired to speak to me, I was (obviously) upset. Some people drift slowly, but others pull the plug before you even have a chance to catch your breath. No matter which person you are, the pain of your absence was still present.
As days turned into months and months turned into years, I wondered what your life looked like. I wondered if you ever thought about what mine looked like. I considered what my life would look like if you hadn’t walked away.
There were moments when my mind would venture off into darker places. I would begin to question if you would show up to the hospital if I were in a car accident or if I had gotten ill. Although I always shrugged the thought away quickly, in the back of my mind I couldn’t fight that little voice that whispered “No”.
During the good moments of my life and during the bad moments, I wished that I would be able to one day share my stories with you. I wondered if there would come a time when we would be able to sit down and catch up.
For one person in particular, I even wrote a letter. But I wrote the letter years after you had decided you didn’t want to know me. The letter that I wrote had been written and re-written so many times before I actually had a decent enough copy to slip into your mailbox. And that letter honestly wasn’t even meant to help you; the letter was meant to help me. The letter was meant to provide me with closure.
After I had quickly left that letter in an empty mailbox, I wondered if you had even cared to open and read it.
But eventually, all of that changed.
Eventually, I found that my identity and my self-worth did not stem from the idea that someone may not want to know me. I realized that my identity and self-worth was not based on anyone else’s opinion except for mine and God’s.
Do you want to know what else I realized?
And right now you are probably waiting for the moment where I come in like “Boom! I don’t care about you either”, but that’s totally not where this is going.
I realized that it is okay that you don’t want to know me. I realized that it’s okay that you don’t like me. I realized that there are going to be people in this world who are not going to like me, and that’s okay.
I also realized that although you may not like me and although you may not want to know me, I will always still care. And I will always still be there for you, if ever needed.
For years, I thought the idea of having a kind heart made me weak. I thought that forgiving people easily was a bad quality, but I have learned to embrace that part of myself. I have found that a forgiving heart is actually a blessing, and I am prepared to extend that forgiveness to anyone who has ever hurt me or who will ever hurt me.
A forgiving heart does not make you weak — it makes you strong.
God didn’t create us to live in a world where we hold onto our anger and bitterness. He created us to live in a world of forgiveness.
And I forgive you for the pain you caused me.
And if you ever need me, I’m there.