“Norm!” everyone at the bar would exclaim, when he walked into Cheers. I remember watching this show as a kid thinking how cool it was that everyone always greeted Norm. Announcing his arrival; validating his existence.
I have searched for this similar belonging, wanting to “go where everybody knows my name,” only to but up my own boundaries when others got too close.
I have adapted myself to meet the expectations of others, or my own perceived expectations they had, only to realize that I still could not measure up.
I have thrown myself into countless good deeds, because it was the right thing to do.
I have given what I thought was needed; realizing I never truly listened to the need.
I have loved conditionally.
I have…. And my list could go on and on.
The truth is I have done some great things, but not always with the right heart motive. Only until I started to love myself as God does, albeit a fraction of how He does, was I able to truly grasp the belonging. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Designed in His image. My quirks, my imperfections, often magnified as faults, were merely how I chose to view myself and my response to those often belittled who I was.
Embracing the journey of becoming me has resulted in recognizing the simple joy moments of each day. Finding that blessings abound and open to receiving the love that comes from seeing that there really are others who are truly “always glad you came.”