Not Better Than You, Questions and Stories

I’m not better than you.

I’m not entitled to more.

I’m scared of the stupidest things, but that only shows me how to be brave.

I don’t know why I’m writing this, but I feel it needs to be said:

I’m not better than you. You’re not better than me. We are all in this together.

I have two talents: I can ask questions and I can tell stories.

I have a passion for God and a passion for people. Especially awkward, invisible and different people. People like me. The scorned, the dismissed, the depressed, the overwhelmed.

Because as much as I forgive, as much as I move on, as much as I learn from the experiences, my heart has been branded. I still feel stupid for thinking that I could ask for things like a safe place to be myself. I still feel like somehow I am wrong to be different.

I am not wrong to be different – it is not always a choice I consciously make. I do not choose to have epilepsy, I do not choose to be South African. I did choose to marry the man I love, which means living where he lives. (And I would do it again in a heartbeat.) But knowing and feeling are different.

I may be a bit exuberant, a bit too vibrant for your tastes, but don’t try to paint me grey.

I don’t try to make other people into me, so why insist on trying to make me into you?

There are so many things I don’t understand. Why people put their own position ahead of the needs of others. Why it seems to be more important to look good than actually make a difference. Why admitting your own struggles is not being honest, but being weak. Why being myself is the most horriblest, hurtful thing I could be.

No. I know that being me is my only choice. I know that there is something about that – my questions, my stories, my willingness to expose myself to hurt and ridicule if it will get the job done (I think some people call that foolishness, but I have heard it described another way: love) – that really gets up some people’s noses.

I know that people don’t like me. I know they think my questions arrogant and my stories pointless. Let them think that.

Because I am not better than them. I am not worse either. We need each other. Always and forever.

So I will tell my stories. I will ask my questions. I will keep doing it. And this time, I will not apologise. I will not back down. I will not walk away.

There are too many hurting and broken people in this world that need our help, need us to step outside of our looking-good and pretending-happy. They need us to cry when they cry, and hold their dirty, trembling hands. They need us to remember that we have been broken too, but we were blessed to have people around us to help us to our feet.

No, I’m not better than you. Whether you have nothing, or everything, I’m not better than you.

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