Have you ever been told something and although you knew it was true you couldn’t act on it or believe it? For instance, maybe your best friend told you that you deserved better than the guy you were with? Or maybe you were in an abusive relationship and everyone you loved was begging you to leave. But you didn’t.
This is because words are arrows. They whiz by you, missing you over and over, occasionally flying close enough that your soul whispers, “There it is” but yet, it doesn’t land so it continues to fly by. Other times, the words hit their mark which is why some words sting. They hit you with their full velocity and almost rob you of breath. But your soul still says, “There it is.” AND That’s when we act. When the words hit home, that’s when we start to change.
Sometimes we have to hear the same advice, tough love and thoughts over and over before they meet the heart bull’s eye. They hit you right in the feels and you finally hear what’s being said.
We always listen when were in the throes of a deep, emotional conversation but it only takes one arrow, sometimes launched 100 times by 10 different people, to hit the mark.
For years I believed I wasn’t good enough as I was. I always felt like I needed to be thinner, darker, prettier, smarter, funnier and more to be enough for the people in my world and in my society. When my parents were still together, we were a middle class family. We didn’t have a lot but Christmas was good to us, we had clothes every school year and our fridge was always stocked. When my parents split and I moved with my mom at the impressionable age of 12, we were so poor. My mom and step dad tried their best but on grocery store worker’s wages, there was never enough. We lived in a dark, shitty apartment above a bar and I was horrifically embarrassed to live there. Food was scarce and dinner was the only meal we had each day and it wasn’t ate until 8-9pm after my mom and step dad got home from work with said meal in tow. Because of my shame and embarrassment, especially being the poorest out of my friends, I felt I needed to compensate for my “poorness” by using my looks to get by in a new school. I became a people pleaser, afraid to say no for fear of losing friends and reputation. I became meek, especially to boys, because I wanted to be liked/loved. I became resentful because I wanted to go on the school trips that I couldn’t afford. I became terrible with money because I never learned how to use it properly. Any money I got, either through work or parents, was squandered away immediately out of excitement or wants/needs. I leaned heavily on friends to help me out if it was needed and spent years regretting the help, always feeling like a burden. The arrows of acceptance and love constantly whizzed by me, never landing where I needed them too.
Needless to say, I felt weak. My frame of mind was jagged and rough. I had no self worth, confidence or love. I believed I had nothing to offer people beyond a pretty face. The wrong arrows were piercing my body, riddling me with wounds and pain.
Many times I would hear “You’re too good for that guy.” Or “You’re worth more than that.” Or “You need to learn how to save money for your future.” Or “You can do better than this.” Or “You could go to university if you wanted.”
All arrows. All whizzing by.
It took a long time of family and friends reminding me and loving me through the hard times. When I sabotaged something out of fear or guilt or shame, they still loved me. When I made a mistake, they still loved me. My friends were my family during those teen years and despite all the BS we put each other through, they are my best friends turned family by choice. They shaped who I am now and helped shape my frame of mind to one of compassion, grace and responsibility. Their arrows launched repeatedly. Often, they didn’t land. That had to be frustrating but love kept them reaching for their quivers. Then and today.
That’s what love is about. The constant arrows to bring us to our fullest potential.
When I was distraught over my love for writing but my lack of discipline my friend Nancy told me, “If only you could see yourself through my eyes.” That was an arrow that hit hard.
My husband also cocked a good arrow. Once while we were still dating, I believed myself so unworthy death felt like my only option, he cried and begged me to love myself as he loved me. That arrow pierced me so hard, my life changed forever that day.
Starting this blog has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing to follow my passion and purpose to write and connect with others but it’s a curse to be vulnerable, caring what others think and receiving criticisms: sometimes the worst criticism of all is silence.
Then I wonder, did any arrows hit their mark?
But many times throughout these years I have been pierced with arrows of grace and love and connection. My soul has whispers many times, “There it is.” So I continue on, hoping my arrows land on the bull’s eyes of my readers and their soul whispers back, “There it is.” That’s where my passion and purpose lie: in launching arrows at people so they heal, grow, survive and thrive.