There are times that I have sat and asked myself—who am I. I'm sure that at one time or another, the same thought has crossed everyone's mind. You know, the times when someone may have asked you what makes you happy, and you had to stop and dedicate some thought to the question. The usual answer is money or something else material. But if you really, really, think about what makes you happy, you might realize that you have to know yourself well to answer that question. Do you KNOW who you are? Who do others think you are? Is what you believe and what they believe the same? If you're honest with yourself, they probably aren't.
This piece is intended to be very poignant. It's based on my life and experiences. In my case, I was my mother's daughter, my brother's sister, my husband's wife, and my children's mother. I was never just Sondra, so, therefore, I never really knew what it took to make me happy. It has taken me all my life to figure that out. I'm still a work in progress and will probably always be just that. In my pursuit of happiness, I realized I am a woman that loves to love and be loved. I am a writer of poetry, a gift that God has seen fit to bestow upon me. I am a very good friend to my friends. I am a confidant to many and the backbone to some. I am a thoughtful and insightful person who constantly strives to do better in her daily walk through life. I am a woman of peace and contentment, both of which make me extremely happy. I love being alone with myself and my thoughts, as well as being in a room full of people. I am quite adaptable to most surroundings. I adapt to some surroundings better than others.
Let's begin with my being a work in progress. God has made so many changes in my life over the past few years. He has taken me from being perceived by many as high and mighty and by some broken pieces of clay. He is slowly molding me into the vessel that He wants me to be. He has increased my faith in Him many times over. I know that I'll never be finished because He is constantly changing me to what I need to be at any given time.
Next, I am a woman who loves to love and be loved. This has been a downfall in my life. I love too easily and very hard. I know that sounds contradictory, but it's not. Please allow me to explain. When I fall in love with someone, I give him and the relationship my whole heart and soul, and I expect the same from him. But I've found in this life that others have agendas that aren't revealed right away, nor do they coincide with those I have or perceive. In reviewing my past experiences with love or the perception of it, men have all taken me for granted and cheated on me with other women. But they never completely lose touch with me. They always try to hold on to at least a friendship with me. Why is that necessary for them? If I was not what they wanted in the first place, why do they feel the need to maintain a friendship with me? God has healed my broken heart more times than I care to count. I pray that soon He'll see fit to bless me with a man of my own. One that will love me as much or more than I love him.
Thirdly, I am a writer of poetry. This gracious gift from God has helped me release a lot of pain from my past relationships. For me to put my feelings into words and then onto paper and have others read or hear them and relate to them is an awesome feeling. I take no credit for any of it. God gave me something that I never thought that I had in the first place. Even now, I don't believe that I write that well, but others do. My mother was the writer in the family. The words come out and form a scenario to which most people can relate. It's hard for me to read or perform my work because I am then reliving the pain that I felt when I wrote it in the first place. But when I'm writing, I am in another world. One in which I share the thoughts and emotions of my experiences with others. I am so thankful that God has given me an avenue to express my feelings without getting caught up in depression or, worse, a violent act.
Fourth, I consider myself a very good friend to others. If they ask, I will listen when they need someone to talk to or help in any way I can. Sometimes you just need an ear or a shoulder. I feel that's why I'm here, to help others, as we all should feel.
Lastly, but definitely not least, I am a child of God. He has bestowed upon me a peace that surpasses my understanding. There are things that He is doing in my life that I cannot explain, nor will I even try. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I felt it necessary to analyze everything going on in my life. I needed to know why certain things were happening, why people treated me a certain way, etc. I used to feel that I was not complete without a man in my life. God has shown me why the men in my life are no longer present, per se. They are not with me any longer because I put them before God. God is truly a jealous God, and He will not tolerate anything less than all eyes on Him. As I stated previously, I put all my focus on the men and the relationships and took my focus off God. This has been the most important lesson that I've learned in my whole life. It has become valuable to my sanity and my well-being. It has also come at a very high price paid with countless tears, heartaches, and pain. Although, had I not ignored the "red flags" my lesson would not have been so hard to learn. In retrospect, God was trying to teach me this lesson more than 28 years ago when I was dating my first husband. The ending of my last relationship had a more devastating effect on my life than my mother's death or the dissolution of my 20-year marriage. I knew that my mother was very sick and my marriage was already dead. I believe that the break-up was so hard on me because I thought he and I were so happy together. We had common interests as well as separate ones. We had a bond so strong that I never thought anything could break it. But I made a "fatal" mistake in putting him before God. Oh yes, it's true. It was the loss of this relationship that brought me to my knees. I was so broken that I had to bow down and humble myself to God to keep my sanity. Even now, while writing this, I remember the pain, and I can hardly type through the tears. I never had, in my entire life, loved anyone more than I loved this man. But God showed me that He would not tolerate me putting ANYONE before Him. Trust me when I say it was no fun realizing that I had no control over my life. As a matter of fact, this man told me that I had given him too much power and that it was too much for one man to handle. I didn't realize it at the time, but he was right. I had put all my trust in him. I couldn't or wouldn't do anything without him, and I believe because he felt overwhelmed, he began to stray. At this time, we are best friends, but that's as far as it goes. I can say for sure that God is serious when He wants to get your attention.
I have been thinking a lot about this man lately. I have been praying and asking God what I should be doing. If I should talk to him and tell him exactly how I feel or not, I don't know. I wrote him not long ago to try to tell him how I feel. We have not discussed the letter even though I know he has received it. What do I tell him, when do I tell him, how do I tell him? These are questions that are weighing very heavily on my heart right now. I'm depending on God to help me make the correct decisions concerning my life and whether this man will continue to be a part of it or not.
My goal in life is to find true happiness while being my authentic self. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" Go deep to discover your true identity and then strive to live your life with gratitude and happiness!
by Sondra Settles - a follower of "Thee Naked Truth"