JUST THE WAY I AM

By Elisabeth Corcoran: Confession #1: I am sarcastic, sometimes cruel with my words, and I hurt others. My sarcasm isn't intentional, but that almost makes it worse, as if I don’t realize how cruel I can be.

Confession #2: There are – as far as I know – four people who explicitly dislike me and/or have placed a boundary up to protect themselves from me.

I'm reminded of that reality every day of my life. Even if I don’t see these people or talk about these people or hear their name mentioned in passing, I remember each one of them and what I’ve done. Every single day, I sit with the truth that there are people who do not like me and that there is nothing more I can do to fix it.

This is one of my biggest shames, and easily my biggest area of guilt. It is the one thing I would change if I could change anything in my life with the wave of a wand. I would change circumstances so that these four people didn’t feel about me the way they feel about me. But I can’t. And they do.

So here is what I do with that. On bad days, I cry. I write fake emails. And I don’t eat much because I’m sick to my stomach with the shame.

But on good days, I write. I read texts from friends that tell me I am loved. I go for a walk. I do something nice for a friend. I pray for one of those who don’t like me. I read my Bible. I remind myself, usually in whispers, that I am a child of God. That my heart is actually good. That the unliking of four people does not define who I am, should not hold me back from living my life, and cannot change who I belong to.

I am God’s. And he likes me. Just the way I am.

Elisabeth Klein Corcoran is the author of Unraveling: Hanging Onto Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage, and writes at www.elisabethcorcoran.com.

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