Hey sister. Let’s get this one thing out of the way. I need you to lock this truth deep down in your heart. Tuck this one in tight. Put it in the spot you return to when you need to remind yourself that you are okay, magnificent in fact. Here it is-
YOU ARE NO-ONE’S ‘OTHER’.
I can vaguely remember the butterflies that flipped and flopped in my stomach riding in his car. He a senior, I a sophomore, everything about him was exciting. It was also equally terrifying. I had no idea how to BE around a boy. My nerves reminded me of the awkwardness of my body, and my know-how. I knew nothing. As many young crushes do, we drove up and down the strip of my hometown. Up and down, and with each pass of the red-light that marked the spot to turn around, I felt more comfortable. Sometime in that car ride he reached over to hold my hand and I knew it then; I knew I HAD ARRIVED.
The trouble with my arrival was that this boy of excitement and mystery had an on-again, off-again girlfriend. They were more on than off, but this night, I was the girl. I WAS ON. For like five minutes.
So began my first role call as “the other girl.” I knew when he and she were having problems, because I would get a phone call. I had been waiting for the phone call, waiting for her to exit stage left and my lines to begin. Waiting for the seat I sat in on those drives up and down the strip to once again be mine. Waiting to catch his gaze in the hallway at school. Waiting for him to choose me as the leading role. Waiting. Always waiting. That was one of the first times I remember letting a guy define my lovability. Even though I didn’t know I was giving him that power. It wouldn’t be the last.
He was such a good guy. That is the problem sometimes with the guys. Some really are good guys. He graduated, and moved on, and the years to follow I had two other significant relationships before meeting my husband.
In between those relationships, I took the belief that I was loved when (enter name) loved me. I believed that my value, my worth, my happiness was directly linked to the tenacity and certainty in which those guys wanted and loved me. I positioned myself in ways to win their affections over other girls. Girls who were just like me. Girls that I hated. Girls that in another situation, would probably be my good friends. Girls, like me. During those days I figured out how to start pretending to be what someone wanted me to be in order to win their love. And when I didn’t succeed, my identity would fall apart. Crisis after crisis. Again and again. I was loosely held together by lies and make-believe, so my constant unraveling was par for the course.
And then, there was my husband. I was not the ‘other’ girl for him, but one of many girls trying to lock-him up. I followed suit however with my old patterns. Be what he wants. Compete. Out perform the other girls. Get what you want.
It worked. So I thought. Until during our first year of marriage, when he knew with clarity that the girl he dated was not the chic he married. For the past 10 years, we have been undoing the damage of those early days.
So here is the thing, beautiful girl, you are no one’s ‘other’ girl. If you are pining away waiting for a text or phone call so you can breathe and know you are okay, stop waiting. If you are pulling out your psycho, (cause every girl can dig it up) to be seen or noticed by a guy who isn’t feeling it, stop trying. If he is a smooth talking, woman loving, romeo-rico-suave-bruno-mars-sweet talking piece of something else that is talking up and whispering in the ears of a group of girls, step yourself out of the group. If you are strictly the ‘other’ girl, the side piece, the back-up plan, and all the other degrading and repulsive names for that role, YOU-YOU PICK ANOTHER NAME FOR YOURSELF.
Here are a few to choose from to get you started. Mighty. Talented. Eccentric. Funny. SMART. BEAUTIFUL. WANTED. LOVED. OKAY. CONFIDENT. SEEN. VALUABLE.
You are not someone’s other choice. You make your own choices. You love yourself. You value yourself. You create your own happiness. You know your worth. You re-write the story-line that girls have been chained in for centuries, the story that we matter when someone says we matter. That we are as good as those who choose us.
YOU, AMAZING GIRL, ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. Let that sink in.
When you get a hold of this, and know this, the love you want will find you. You will be irresistible. You will give other people permission to be free in their skin. You will no longer be waiting to be found, you will be expectant and excited to love from a place of already being found.
And that seat, in his car, well, it stays open.
And your marriage, one day, starts from a place of honesty.
And you know, you have always been, good enough.
You are love. You are good enough. You are enough.
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