Today I experienced a playground moment. Two of them actually – one taking place on an actual playground and the other playing out among women in much the same way.
This is the last week of school here in Alabama. It’s a time of fun and excitement for kids and parents. Lots going on in a short period.
My preschool darling has themed days all week and today was ‘Wacky Hat & Shoe Day’. She had more than a few ideas of what to wear and was excited to get to school and share in the fun with her friends this morning. As we went out to the playground, she ran to a group of girls with anticipation.
And then it happened. I looked around from talking to the teachers to see her sweet eyes full of tears and her spirit deflated. The girls didn’t want to be her friend or share the hats she had brought for them. They ran off playing & laughing & whispering about her, leaving her to wonder why and what she had done wrong.
You see, what they didn’t know was that it wasn’t easy for her to share her things. She didn’t want to. After all, these were her hats. So I let it be her choice as to whether to share them or not. After several talks about what it means to give things to other people, she decided on her own that she wanted to make her friends happy.
But I knew it wasn’t easy for her. I knew it all too well. Because, even as grown women, that want to belong and be accepted is so strong. Even very recently, I’ve reluctantly shared of myself, only to have it turned on me. I’ve put my truth and story out there (just like I’m doing now) and others have judged & exploited it. Yet, here I sit… fingers typing away.
Because the truth inside us all is bigger than me. Bigger than you. It’s louder than any whispers and hecklers.
As much as I know the hurt that Sophia felt this morning, I know another truth as well. That I am, she is, we are accepted and loved beyond what we can ever humanly comprehend. Fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose. Dreamed up and created to be imperfectly fallible. And so are you.
People will hurt you and leave you broken-hearted on the playground – love them anyway. Give of yourself anyway. Don’t let anyone take away the joy of sharing your hats.
People will break down your spirit and belittle your story, your truth – tell it anyway.
People across this nation are seeing right now that what you pour yourself into & spend your lifetime building can be taken away & torn down in moments – build it anyway. Pour yourself into it anyway.