And if I asked you to name all of the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
She sat down on the sofa across from the counselor. It wouldn't be the first time she's sat in this setting. Life had a funny way of bringing her back here, and she hated it. She wanted freedom but was never told how to fly with broken wings. In fact, the act of flying scared her so much that she had convinced herself that she'd never heal. She had convinced herself that opening up her wings meant everyone seeing her fail over and over again. These were the thoughts that occupied her brain as she sat in that sofa. These were the thoughts that swarmed her mind in silence, and she wasn't sure how she'd fix them. That's when the woman looked the young girl in the eyes and said, "How do you think God sees you? What do you think He would say to you right now?"
The young girl didn't respond immediately. She felt a large amount of frustration and guilt from the truthful answer she knew she'd say, but didn't believe. She had to answer none the less, and maybe this would be her moment of freedom. Maybe today was the day thoughts in her head would realize how stupid they were for believing the opposite of the truth, to think her unlovable. She spoke. "I think it breaks the heart of God to look down on me and to see me, his precious daughter in so much pain. I think it breaks his heart to see that I don't see myself the way he sees me. I think it makes him sad."
The counselor looked the girl straight in the eyes as tears began to run down the girl's face and nodded. Signs of empathy were present, as she asked, "Anaya, do you hate yourself?"
It was a heavy question no-one had asked her. It would've been easier if she was asked if she loved herself. That was a question she had an answer to, and she'd probably respond by saying how much she loved certain aspects of herself, not realizing that most of those aspects were ways she loved others, not ways she loved herself. So once the word HATE rolled off the tongue of a stranger, it was like a flashlight had illuminated her past hurts and traumas. Suddenly all the things she wished she could've done differently or been careless about in her life resurfaced. It was true. She didn't love herself. She wasn't even sure if anyone did. Tears streamlined down her face, black from makeup but seemingly symbolic of sin and shame exiting her soul, and she muffled up any bit of courage she had left, and answered, "Yes. Yes. I guess I do. I guess I do hate myself".
The counselor sat there gazing at the young girl, smiled, and said without any doubt or hesitation, "You're much further than you think Anaya. You are much further in all of this, than you think. And this is where the healing begins. This is where it can start. There is hope, and you will find it, you've already found it. Now to just trust and believe it".
Uncertain of such certainty, Anaya grabbed the box of kleenex, wiped the tears from her eyes, took a deep breathe as if releasing the weight of this new realization and said, "I hope so. I sure do hope so".
"If you want to SOAR in life, you must first learn to