I Know What You Said, But That’s Not What I Heard
The words were like pulling the pin out of the grenade that set me off. They were a trigger to set off the internal bomb of my emotions.
I could hear you talking but somehow the words that fell so effortlessly from your lips didn’t flow as easily through my ears. They were painful. And internally it set off a ball of emotions that took me back to a place I never wanted to be.
Like when you said to me, “You dropped the ball one too many times,” all I heard was “you’re unqualified” and “you’re not good enough.” It told me that all the times I sacrificed and went above and beyond didn’t matter because in your eyes I was my mistakes and not my success.
At least that’s what I heard…
Or that time when you said to me, “you’ve just got to get over it,” all I heard was “your feelings don’t matter.” You wanted me to walk in your shoes not realizing those weren’t meant to fit me, they were only meant to fit you. So while “just get over it” was your coping mechanism, for me it just reaffirmed that my opinion wasn’t meant to be heard.
And I tried to just get past it but then there was the time when you said to me, “You just need some time but I’m sure you’ll go back,” all I heard was “You’re too weak to really stand by the decision you made.” It was as if you were sent to shatter the little bit of confidence that I had and to keep me in the cycle of catering to the wants and needs of other people while leaving myself unfulfilled.
But I pressed past those words only to be hit with the time when you said to me, “I’m not really upset about what happened but it bothered the people I’m with so I had to say something,” but all I heard was, “I care more about these people’s feelings than I do about yours.” It was something I should have been used to but those words stung a little bit more this time than they did other times. Maybe because I never expected you to say them, maybe I felt like we were better than that, maybe it was a harsh reminder that I’ve always felt like other people’s opinions mattered more than mine.
But that's what I heard.
And I know some are reading this and saying, “Well Jasmine, you just misinterpreted what they were saying. You can’t blame them.”
And I don’t. Because when I look back, I now realize that their words were sent on divine assignment. To the deepest places of rejection, low self-esteem and confidence, the need to please others, and the lack of value and worth I had placed in myself. I needed you to say those words because instead of sparking an emotional response, they started an emotional healing. So even when I hear those words or something similar to them, I don’t bow down in fear, self-pity, and doubt, but I stand confidently in knowing who I am and whose I am.
I know what you said, but what I heard was, “Jasmine, you are who I say you are and not who others think you should be.”
I heard Him and His words were the only words that mattered.