I think sometimes we desperately want others to understand our life-decisions and we want to explain our side of the story and make sure others understand why we are set on these dreams: and we feel that even if they really believed in us, they are still looking down on us somehow and that maybe fate or God or the universe will catch up to our subpar choices and pay us back.
I wish others could see we are conflicted, that certain decisions are not easy, that nothing is as ideal as we hope, that we don’t always know if this is right or wrong, that we often decide what we feel is best at the time and that we really are trying our hardest while trying to make everyone happy. But there is no pleasing everyone, and probably not even fully ourselves, and some decisions are bound to make others angry.
We are bound to accrue enemies over a lifetime for the decisions we make — and we can’t control that. We can only control how we respond.
It does not help our case to be rude to our “enemies.” But it also does not help to constantly apologize for our life-choices and act sorry about the path we chose when it’s already so hard to figure out our one life on this earth.
I’m trying to find the balance between recognizing the truth of others’ criticisms and the conviction of my own judgment.
I want to know that I’m not picking the opposite of something to prove to someone else that I’m doing the right thing.
I’m tired of anxiously twitching every time I invest my heart into something you don’t approve.
I know everyone else has a vision for my life, and if I’m making a mistake, maybe I want the chance to find out on my own.
I would hope you could cheer on my dream, no matter how silly it sounds or how you’ve made up your mind or how you think you’d do it differently. You might despise writing or dancing or music or ministry or charity or the arts — but that could be resentment for something you didn’t even try to understand.
I want a fair chance to pursue my passions without extra discouragement and distraction and division: because you are making a hard thing even harder.
Maybe you can encourage my already difficult decision.
Maybe you can extend a hand instead of shaking a fist.
Maybe you could explain exactly why you think this is a bad idea, or tell me a better one.
Maybe you could ask me all the facts instead of presuming your version of the narrative of my life.
Probably you’re just jealous or insecure or being petty or you have an agenda for holding me back.
Maybe you just don’t know how much I’ve really thought about this. I have certainly thought about it more than you ever, ever, ever will.
Maybe you think my dream is stupid or wrong or misguided: but maybe I feel just as stupid, wrong, and misguided — and following dreams is always more complicated than our easy labels.
Probably you think you know what’s better for me, when even I don’t know what’s better for me, when I’m doing this because I believe God Himself has called me to it.
It’s okay if I fail. I would rather fail at what I love than succeed at what I don’t.
You can either be the voice that fuels my self-doubt and fear, and I’ll have to overcome you, or you can be the voice that grows a deeper thoughtfulness about my own direction and creates forward momentum, and I’ll thank you later.
I need you to be life for me.
It’s okay if you don’t agree. It’s okay if you’re mad at me. But time is short and there are a million voices pulling me every which way — so amidst the confusion: inspire me, challenge me, breathe in me. Whatever I choose, please be life.