the need to be known

I have so much I want to write, and so little time to write it. I guess that’s a good problem to have.

It’s really difficult to understand myself. (Laugh) I’ve come to see myself as a parent would a child, as if I have this secret part of me that even I don’t understand that’s been entrusted to my care. All that is to say, I’m still – and forever will be – getting to know myself. I realized a lot of my frustrations came from the need to be known, and feeling that those closest to me did not understand me.

I vividly remember this one occasion, something like this happened
guy (to group):          “ya, Chelsea was just at (some city I wasn’t at) and … ”
Me:       “actually, I was at (another place)”
guy:     “well, we’ll all having a hard time keeping track of everything, never mind keeping track with Chelsea”

Through that, I recognized how preoccupied people were. There’s constantly dozens of things demanding their attention. It’s a hassle to include me in their thoughts, especially when I’m some foreign agent in their lives. It might even be unrealistic and unfair to ask people to understand me (I feel sad for humanity just writing about this. Human connection is something so basic to being human, and I lack it once in a while). Sometimes (often times) people can’t be what I need them to be, and I just have to accept it, and forgive them.

After getting hurt and disappointed a few times, here’s what I’ve learned:

1. It’s my responsibility to allow myself to be known by others, if that’s what I want. If I want them in my life, then, you know, things work both ways. I can take some initiative and stop handing over all the controls to someone else.

2. Only some can see my value. It’s pointless to try to convince someone to change his or her views – about anything. Dialogues are awesome, but people only change when they want it for themselves. And so trying to convince someone I’m worthy of their time, or that they should be more engaged, etc. is close to a waste of my time, and theirs.

3. What I can’t compromise on is what others make me believe about myself. It’s completely fine to just tell me “I can’t be what you need me to be”, but to say something against my character is not fine. There will always be people to meet and friends to make, but what I can’t so easily restore is the way I see myself. It influences all my interactions and that’s too valuable to risk.

4. No one has to understand me. I’m already fully accepted, as I am, by God. Of course there’s always room for growth, but I’m not alone in that. What others might think of me does not change my substance or who I am. Even more, I’m still getting to know myself, and will be for the rest of my life. And there’s so much to life than just me, I really have to snap out of it sometimes. My life might revolve around me, but there’s things happening out there. I’m not the center.

5. I can point to something better and more lasting than myself. I can communicate greater truth to people through our interactions. I can focus on what I’m communicating to them about themselves instead of what they need to know about me. For example, through my interactions, I can try to show them that they’re worth my attention and that they have valuable things to say. There are greater things than myself that people should know about.

Laying this out in writing really demonstrates how egocentric we all can be sometimes, because I know this “needing to be known” thing is common to many people. Know that we all feel detached from others sometime, and we DO need to be known. But there is one who knows us better than we know ourselves. He seeks to be our comfort and show us our true worth, if we are willing to reach out and work with him. WHO IS THIS GREAT MYSTERY BEING!?

Jesus. No joke

– Chelsea


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