It becomes ever so clear the weight and status of your relationship with "Charlie Brown" or "Susie Q." You once told people in the streets, "Yeah! I know them too, we're practically best friends." And you would smile cockily to yourself, because everyone wants to be friends with Charlie and Susie, but you were one of the special few.
Status and friendship. What an interesting combination.
I think it highlights our insecurities. You know, our constant struggle with our self worth. But when we see someone shining bright like a diamond, we want to bask in the glow. We want to at least catch a ray or two. Because perhaps we too shall be transformed.
And that's what we really want. To shine. To feel worthy, to feel beautiful, to feel talented.
And we try to squeeze our way into the inner circle of the popular, the shiny and the talented ones.
Because for some reason, the dirt around our eyes has caused us to believe, that all we are and ever will be is just dirt. Forgetting that once the dirt is removed--the pain, the past, the disappointment, the fear of starting over again, that there's a diamond so closely underneath.
All that time spent together with Charlie and Susie.
Cookouts, parties, church, prayer times, family times, and even gifts.
But why wouldn't you, Charlie and Susie be friends? You clearly are.
There's all this documented history. It must count towards some unseen friend report card.
Then comes the moment of announcements and celebrations.
You leave quirky, fun and cute comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, reinforcing to the general public, "Yes, I told you, we are besties. Bask in my Almost-Diamond radiance."
And then you notice, the date of their wedding is just about a week away and somehow your wedding invitation was hijacked. It had to be hijacked. The Post Office is probably on strike. And you picture the airplane carrying your Golden Ticket wedding invitation, having some weird malfunction and the belly of the plane opens unexpectedly dropping all of the mail over the Pacific Ocean, even though the wedding invitation would have been coming from the same state as yours. But these things can get complicated.
It's now the day of the wedding, and the photos and comments regarding how beautiful the bride looks and how epic the reception is start streaming on all your social media newsfeeds. You're bombarded with the hard reality. Not just the clear fact that your friendship with these people was somewhat a facade, and mainly to yourself. But now you know without a shadow of a doubt that you weren't as brightly shining as you thought you were. You made no lasting impact and impression, so much so you were forgotten about. Which is probably worse than being cussed out to your face.
And so it goes. Emotions.
You know that you will eventually see Charlie and Susie again. Will you handle with grace, anger, confusion, disdain, bitterness, forgiveness, embarrassment, sadness, a pity-party, avoidance, denial... ? Clearly I've thought long and hard regarding this list.
Well I experienced all, yes every single one of those emotions.
It was a jarring wake-up call to say the least. Thinking you were doing things quite well, only to find out that you weren't. Not at all. Not in the way that mattered.
And then I had to take a long hard look at my dashed expectations. My choices in friends. My motivation for certain friendships.
Soon the spotlight turned on me. And I was definitely found with some fault. In certain conscious and even unconscious ways, I used my friendship with Charlie and Susie to make myself feel better, to feel important--to feel talented.
I did have my genuine moments in those friendships, and they were lovely indeed.
But now it was the time to truly be a friend to myself.
Because once I'm a better friend to myself, I knew I would be a better friend to others, a much more authentic lover in all areas of my life.
And what was preventing me from shining?
I began to search this out through the writings of this blog in years past.
And in the midst of this journey memories started to come to me, like:
My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Fry, telling me that I shined like no other in my class when it came to my year long English journal assignment. She was the first person who I remember telling me there was a need and an appreciation for my written words.
So maybe I was forgotten about in that moment with Charlie and Susie, but that's okay, it was time to grow. It's not about sucking the shine out of someone else or finding self worth in someone else's shine, but it's about sharing the shine, collectively, and even contributing to it yourself.
And for me the fruit of not being afraid to shine is now seen in the evidence of this blog and in those matters that I am passionate about of which I have the privilege of sharing with and speaking to young men and women on a regular basis.
So when you feel forgotten about or left out, know that you are still worthy, you are still full of such potential, you are still capable of shining, shining bright like a diamond.
Yes, the golden ticket can often lead you to unexpected and wonderful places.
But often, when you don't receive that golden ticket, another invitation awaits.