Because of, not in spite of, yourself

by Kat

“You are known and loved — because of, not in spite of, yourself. You have people who care about you.” These are the reminders running though my brain and eventually a list of names fills the page.

I’ve often wondered what to do in the midst of uncertainties, and I keep coming back to this phrase: “You are known and loved.” By whom? I feel like I’m leaving my faith behind; sometimes it’s leaving me and yet these words stay — perhaps known by the people I’ve let in via shared stories, acknowledgment of emotional states.

I grew up reminded that I was loved and yet feeling known as well was harder. My pen knew me; my journal knew those lines that forced themselves from my brain onto the page. To be known is to be acknowledged, seen for who you’re afraid to be — as it no longer matters what you’ve been expected to express.

I’m trying to come up with a dialogue beyond these scripted lines. This is hard, finding the words amongst the pressure of okay to come — not knowing how to express these thoughts and ideas. “How are you actually doing?” “Is ‘I don’t know’ an acceptable response?”

I’d like to know — drawn in to a place where the words expressed and the reverberations in my brain match. You are known and loved — by yourself perhaps. The others are a secondary, ongoing portion of this process.

In the sharing, in the telling, you are known. This is the closest thing to what’s actually going on for me now. Sometimes I fear I’m too much for you, so in the brief asides and references, the bypassed words said at twice the speed — to be noticed or retracted — maybe I’m waiting for permission.

In these roundabout ways, I come closer to acknowledging myself — the litany of concerns I’m wondering if I can transform into a narrative. In longing to be heard, I wonder where to start — you are known and loved — in the metaphor and pasted together phrases This is what is, and I know it’s frightening and overwhelming at times, but this is where you are.

Found in the knowing; seen in the monologue that hopes to be shared; loved in what is — even when it’s a list of worries. Because of, not in spite of, in the just is.