Have you ever been in a place that you felt you weren’t wanted? I don’t know about you but I think it is the worst feeling in the world. Whether it be one person who makes you feel uncomfortable, a situation that makes you feel useless or you just feel disposable to those around you, it is not a fun feeling.
I was listening to a preacher this morning and he said a quote that I have heard before: Go where you are CELEBRATED, not tolerated. This phrase started rolling around in my brain as I thought about times when I have stayed in a position in which I was certainly not celebrated and often times, barely felt tolerated! And let me tell you what, being tolerated is almost worse than just being not liked at all. When you’re “tolerated”, it seems like someone feels obligated to be around you! They do not find your company enjoyable and it is OBVIOUS! You would think people could fake that a little better but it definitely is not a strong suit for most people. Reflecting back on times in my life when I have felt this way, I stuck around the individual or group of people because I was longing to have their approval. I so desperately wanted them to WANT to be my friend. Let’s just say, I was pretty unsuccessful at doing that.
Anyway, thinking on those times, I see that I was absolutely 110% wasting my time! Not only because my mission of them wanting to be my bff and plan my next birthday party failed miserably but because no person needs to stay in a place that makes them feel that way! Staying around negative people or people who simply “tolerate” your existence rather than appreciate you is a CHOICE (Read that sentence again and focus on the last word). It is a choice. Plain and simple. Do you know how many people there are in the world? Do you know how many would LOVE to be your friend? Well in case you don’t know, there are billions of people and in those billions, there are millions who would find you delightful and make you feel significant. Ah, significant. Such an important quality in a friendship worth having.
So, do me a favor. Think about people who celebrate the person you are (NOT those who celebrate who you try to impersonate). Jesus himself didn’t fit in everywhere! Neither will you! Do not try to conform your appearance to what others think you should look like. Do not try to conform your thoughts to what others think you should think. Do not base your feelings off what others feel is right. YOU are you and that person, the one who actually likes to read books on a friday night or the one who finds such joy in the quirkiest of adventures, deserves to be celebrated.
Now do yourself a favor. Keep in mind how it feels to be “tolerated” and don’t “tolerate” those around you. CELEBRATE them. Before you know it, everyone will be celebrating and it will be one heck of a party!