Everytime I travel and experience a new culture, I'm overcome, that despite language, tradition, and daily routines, we connect through basic human emotion and experience. Just two weeks ago, I was in Kenya, sitting in homes much different than my own. I talked with many people that, on the surface, it would be hard to say I shared anything in common.
One conversation stuck out most during my time there though. A connection that I won't ever forget. I was talking with a young mother of a two year old. She was a single mother, carrying the weight of raising this child and navigating parenthood on her own. But, when we talked about her lover, this baby's father, she referenced the pain of being left. She spoke of the hurt of not knowing why, and of learning to accept it. She said, "Sometimes I wonder if I'm just too tall. Is that why he didn't love me?"
She was joking. It crossed language and cultural barriers. But, underneath, there was a doubting of worth. And, when she asked the question, I felt it. Because I feel it. I have asked, "Would they love me if....?"Smarter, shorter, skinnier, prettier, funnier, ...it goes on"
We, especially women, do this everyday, regardless of our age, race, ethnicity, or economic status. We worry if who we are, our appearance, or our personality, or our essence...is it lovable? Is it worth holding onto?
This woman I met is strong. It requires such strength to be yourself. To be wholly human, and believe in your ability to be loved. Even after you may have been hurt, bruised, and left. The sun will rise tomorrow.
Hold on. Wherever you go.