Empty on the inside

Have you ever felt empty on the inside, as if you are just going through the motions instead of living your life?

Have you ever felt like you pale in comparison to your peers?

Have you ever been rejected from something that you worked hard for, as if your efforts were in vain?

I have been through both positive and negative things that have changed my perspective on life. As my perspective changes, I have found myself asking these three questions to myself. I have found myself questioning my worth as an individual and I have thought deeply about the things that I am currently involved in. I have questioned my core beliefs and thought about the direction that my life is going in. I often feel as if I am trapped in a cycle that does not bring me joy and is draining my energy. A cycle that my environment facilitates and that is not conducive to my growth.  Over the last couple of months, I have reflected on these feelings and have sought answers to these questions. My search for answers has led me to face some truths about myself and my growth as an individual.

My search for answers has also led to acknowledge that my interests are not the same but yet my activities are. I realize that I have been busy but not purposeful in my involvements; that my activities did not reflect the person that I am or the person that I am trying to be. I realized that I can’t keep chasing after accolades and validation from the people around me. I have been blessed over the last couple of months but my desire for validation and the rejections from others has left me feeling empty.

“But whoever drinks the water that I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”

John 4:14

I have done everything that I said I wanted to do when I came to TCNJ but yet I was more concerned about the validation instead of the impact. I am set to graduate with honors but yet I felt lesser than because I didn’t get into a prestigious honor society. I helped to start an organization that will support historically marginalized men, assisted with the establishment of a new office dedicated to improving the campus climate and served as a resource to my community but I let a couple dissenting voices make me feel like a horrible person. I will be attending graduate school in the fall on a full scholarship but yet I feel disappointed in myself because my peers are going to more prestigious schools. And the most interesting thing about the last point is that I did get into my top choice, but I made the decision not to attend because I got a better deal.

After much reflection, I can acknowledge that I still somewhat dependent on the opinions and validation of others. I prefer not to own that fact, but it is the truth and I can’t change that which I refuse to acknowledge. I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Dharius Daniels and he stated the devil seeks to steal our confidence through his attacks. He asserted that rejection is a thief that wants to rob you of your confidence, and I refuse to allow rejection or the validation from others to dictate my confidence. I am not there yet but I am committed to working on myself and being better in the next phase of life. The people and/or rejections that left me feeling empty and questioning my decisions are not going to change so I must evolve into a better person instead. It will not happen overnight, but I know the pain that is associated with relying on others to applaud you and I know that the alternative will be worth it despite the journey. In order to rise up and soar, I must first discard the negative patterns that keep disorienting my vision in order to grow. I might not get it right at first, but I believe in myself and I believe in my GOD!!!!

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