Here I am in the local coffee shop (it’s amazing by the way) and I realize that I have to write a letter of encouragement to my grandmother. Before I really get into this, let’s do some background
In my years (all twenty and a half of them), my grandmother has always been there. My mom had me at 17 so we lived with my grandparents for the first 5 years of my life. Since the beginning, I was installed with the hardware marked “perfectionist.” There’s no way out of it, in my family, you are perfectionist, hounded until you become one, or are labeled a “person who wandered off the path.” So I conformed as any child under two would. I was potty trained by the time I was 2 so that I could go to preschool and get a head start on the learning curve. A’s were the goal, B’s were acceptable if the class was incredibly hard, and C’s where absolutely unacceptable. D’s and F’s weren’t even discussed.
Not only were smarts something to be envied, but also physicality. Which still humors me since a majority of my family is overweight. I always heard, “suck in your stomach,” “are you sure you want to eat that much,” “you should be my personal trainer so I can get in shape,” (when really the goal was to get ME in shape). I’ve never been a small person, weight is something I’ve struggled with since I was 6, which lead to eating disordered thoughts by 8 and an actual eating disorder by 16.
Jesus was also at the forefront of everything. If you didn’t go to church you were looked down upon. Never a word was said, but the looks said enough. Those looks were enough to cut through the clouds and look upon God himself and they always made me uncomfortable and want to hide.
Because of all these thing (all presented from my grandmother), writing a letter to her of encouragement is very hard for me. Sure, she’s a good person to others and loves people. But everything comes on a condition. Scratch your back, and I’ll scratch yours. The love of Jesus right?
So I wrote anyway, it was fluffy and all about how much she loves others, but as selfish as it sounds, I wanted to say, but what about me? How is everyone else good enough for you but your family is not? I have shed blood and skipped meals in hopes of becoming the perfect that you wanted but here I am, still not enough. But instead of shedding blood and skipping meals. I am doing something so much more radical. I am loving myself. I am showing myself the love that you and “Jesus” never once showed me before. I am loving myself unconditionally.