Here’s a story…
Once upon a time there was this guy. He was not very smart, but he tried his best to be good. All his life he was weak and scared. Felt rejected and never quite good enough.
Well, as this guy grew up he began to notice things about the world that seemed to bring him joy. Music, and theater, and movies, and reading, and friends and laughing. Oh the joys he discovered. Yet, still, there was always this thing missing from his life that kept him feeling weak and scared. Feeling rejected and never quite good enough.
Then, one day, he met this girl. Her name was Emily. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and she was kind and good. They became fast friends.
Emily had a boyfriend who was not very nice to her. Whenever Emily was unhappy, she would call this guy and they would talk and talk on the phone for hours and hours. He would make Emily forget that her boyfriend was not very nice to her. They would laugh and talk and soon they were the best of friends.
One day, Emily called this guy and told him that she had left her boyfriend because she was unhappy. The guy was sad for Emily, until she said, “I realized that I was happier with you.”
Oh happy day, callooh callay.
Emily was the first person in this guys life, outside of his family, to ever tell him they loved him.
Three months later, it was over.
Our guy felt rejected and not quite good enough.
Time passed, and life went on. A myriad of experiences happened to the guy. He fell in love, fell out of love. Performed on stages around the world. Learned to play music and write songs. Wrote short stories and read them to crowds. Was interviewed on the radio and TV. Made love in Central Park, and was kissed by angels.
Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough. So much so, he became afraid of the feeling. So afraid, he began setting out to sabotage and destroy anything that seemed like it was good because he was afraid of being hurt.
Then, one day, he met a girl who was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. They become friends. She was seeing other people at the time, so he kept her at a distance. Eventually, his kindness and respect won her over and they fell in love.
Years later, he comes home to an announcement. “I’m pregnant!” Oh happy day, callooh callay. “Holy crap!”
They decided to have the child, and nine months later our guy was presented with what was, truly, the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. His child.
Fear and selfishness gripped our guy. He had lived his entire life with no commitments having ever lasted. Not one job. Not one relationship. Nothing. Yet, here he was with a child. Something he couldn’t deny or run away from. He would have to step up and be a man. He finally, for the first time in his life, had something to lose.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t do this. It broke him, and he divorced his wife and split custody of his child. He then left the raising of his child to his mother and father while he continued to party and play and run from his responsibilities.
He did this because he felt rejected and never quite good enough. He needed to sabotage it before it hurt him.
But, something happened. His overwhelming love for the child broke through. He stepped up and began to act like a father. Taught the child right from wrong. Held the child. Read stories to the child. Spent time just talking with his child. He showered the child with love, love, love.
Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough.
Years go by, and the guy has not let anybody into his heart in a long time. He made attempts, but they always fell apart.
Then, one day, he met a girl. And, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was small and pretty and sweet and kind. An angel and devil all rolled up in one. He befriended the girl and they became fast friends. She, like Emily, had a boyfriend at the time.
Soon, as time went on, the girl began to realize she wasn’t happy in her life. She left her life to start a new one, and invited the guy to start it with her. In no time, they were madly in love.
He looked at her with eyes of love and she looked at him the same. They shared thoughts and wine and food and movies and laughs. Made beautiful, sweet, sexy, passionate love. All was wonderful.
Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough.
Years into their relationship, he received terrible news. It broke his heart and his spirit. Then he got more bad news. And more. And more. And it just kept coming. Finally, one night, despite his belief that it wasn’t going to happen – his father died.
He was broken. He didn’t know what to do. He began to act out. Sabotaging the good things in his life so that he could just get the pain over with. He made drastic choices which led to his doing hurtful selfish things.
This girl, the love of his life, unable to take it any longer – left him.
This guy was a mess. No matter how hard he tried to find happiness, it always seemed to elude him. He didn’t know where to go, who to turn to, what to do. He tried prescription drugs, illegal drugs, drinking and sex. Nothing helped.
He felt rejected and horrible. He had proven, once and for all, that he was the horrible man he had always believed himself to be.
Yet, he still had his friends. He still had his art. And, above all else, he still had his child – who loved him more than he ever imagined possible. And, as time went on, the wounds began to heal and the pain began to subside and life began to look beautiful again.
Our guy is still not very smart, but he tries his best to be good. He smiles more and is an amazing friend and father. And even though he still feels the fear of rejection and unworthy of love – he is better equipped to accept it from those who truly offer it. He stands at the top of the mountain with his head held high and his heart open to all the possibilities it can handle.
The guy took a good long look at who he truly is and realized that in the end – he is a father and a friend. And this realization helped him to no longer feel weak and scared. To no longer fear rejection and to believe that he is, in fact, deserving of love and happiness.
Just the beginning.