Do I Measure Up?
by Mandy Hale
“When you lose yourself, you find yourself.” Seven words, spoken to me in passing by a smiling man on a sidewalk during my daily walk.
He wasn’t really dressed for exercising . . . or even for the heat. He wore street clothes, not workout gear, and a wool stocking cap in the eighty-something-degree weather. He had the biggest smile on his face.
I took a walk almost every single day down beautiful tree-lined Main Street . . . and I’d never seen the man before.
When you lose yourself, you find yourself.
I’m not saying the man was an angel . . . but I’m not saying he wasn’t.
All I know is, he was sent across my path to deliver a message that had already been formulating in my mind and my heart for quite some time. I just hadn’t found a way to put it into words.
And I think, friends, he might have even helped me find my way. Or “unfind” my way, as the case may be.
Because over the next year and a half of my life, I would lose myself and my way completely. I would lose friends and loved ones and ideals I held dear, and idealistic notions about life and parts of myself I would never get back . . . but I would also lose fear and self-doubt and pretense, and any need I ever had to be anything other than exactly who and what I was.
And I would find myself again. Not the same version of me that I was looking for, but a stronger version. A wiser version. A woman who knew that she was enough, just as she was. A woman who had been tried in the fire but, instead of being burned by it, came out gold.
A woman who, finally, after doubting and questioning and striving and hustling for her worth for years . . . finally, finally came to the realization that she was and is and always has been . . .
And every moment of every struggle and success and high and low and heartbreak and healing I would experience for the next year and a half was designed to bring me one step closer to that understanding.
All of that was coming. Not on this day, but it was coming.
And the man in the stocking cap on Main Street seemed to kick it all off. With a grin, and a knowing lope, he went about his way, and I went about mine.
A few moments later, when I turned to look back at him over my shoulder, he was gone.
And a few weeks later, the life I had come to know was gone, too.
Courtesy of FaithWords, an imprint of Hachette Book Group
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