Once upon a time, I had some issues with myself, beating myself up over an incident involving a friendship that had taken some strange and unexpected turns. On a particularly sweltering day in January of 2017, I happened to actually say out loud how I felt about what happened.
It was then that my good friend (who also happens to be a fellow Bahamian and citizen of the world), Kendrick D said something very powerful to me.
"You should never discount yourself based on other people's behaviour."
It's absolutely true: there comes a time when introspection is necessary after the same behaviour is repeated towards you by multiple people around you. But when you know that you've been a positive influence (or at the very least, a source of support) to those people around you and the pattern is the same, there's no need to hurt yourself and believe that you are the problem anymore. Only you know your true worth and when you are your genuine self, sometimes people will take advantage of that and still mistreat you because of various reasons that usually have nothing to do with you.
It is extremely unfortunate that our current society has so blurred the lines between genuine and counterfeit, perfect and real. But you can't lose sight of your true you, your true value, the realness that you give to your world around you and the greater world out there. In gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's words, "After you've done all you can... just stand."
This was originally posted on 7 February, 2017.