I know a girl. Let's call her Tia, for anonymity sake. I would call her a friend, but she isn't always nice to me.
Tia was born with a hole in her heart.
A hole that she spent her life trying to fill by trying to please others, making others proud of her and trying to make them happy. It never filled.
She always had a feeling she was different. She felt like she never quite belonged... Or at least that is what the hole in her heart told her.
Every year, on her birthday, she made a wish:
"I want everyone to be happy."
She thought that the happiness of others would fill the hole. It didn't.
She tried to please her family, her friends, and even strangers. She tried to fit in as much as she could. She thought that it would fill the hole. It didn't.
She got married. She had kids. She did everything to try to make them happy. She thought it would fill the hole. It didn't.
With every attempt at becoming the "somebody" that everyone wanted her to be, the hole got bigger. It filled with the anxiety of imperfection, with an "if only" wanting for things to be different, to be better. It was never enough.
Until she found out what filled the hole. It was simple, yet so hard. It was hard to see because of all the stories that her gaping hole was telling her.
All it needed to be filled was one thing: Acceptance.
Acceptance of herself and her life, just as it was. A willingness to be herself even when it was displeasing to others. A trust in who she was with all her imperfections, and a self-assurance that everything was going to be O.K..
Slowly she let go of control of the way things should be and accepted them as she was. She let go of the reigns of needing and wanting more, and surrendered to who she was, and what she had, right here and right now.
The hole began to fill.
Once the hole began to fill with acceptance and love, she started to feel different. She could feel her connection to others in a different way. She began to feel her belonging and light shined into the whole in her heart.
She began to feel whole, even with all her imperfections.
But the story doesn't end there.
Sometimes the darkness still takes a hold of her. She feels the grasping and the need to please... But now that she knows about the hole in her heart, instead of tightening the grip, she lets go. She surrenders to what is, as it is, and light shines right into the dark spaces. The light comes in to fill the hole because she has finally learned to belong to her life that is right here.