To you…the afterthought



I’ve had this blog post on my heart for awhile: ever since I heard my daughter be rejected by her school friends while trying to stifle back tears. 

I’ve had this on my heart ever since someone said, “oh, I should have invited you!” 

You know how that feels? 

We all have times when we feel like an afterthought. Times when we feel like everyone else is at the forefront of everyone else’s thoughts and invites, but not us. Then there are those of us who feel more than other people that we really are the ones that reach out more than we are reached. 

Which person are you? 

Lately, I’ve felt an undercurrent of this theme run through people I speak to and encounter. A few weeks ago I saw a woman struggling with her wheelchair in the street. I saw from the other side of the crosswalk and decided that when I crossed the road I would ask her if I could help in any way. 

I crossed the road and bee-lined for her. I asked if I could help her and she visibly shrank away from me, quickly shaking her head. My heart hurt – obviously not because she refused my help but because she must have truly been an afterthought for so many years that receiving help has become an uncomfortable and foreign idea. 

Those of us who are in the position of feeling left out and feeling like the world is way more popular and has way more friends are actually in a great position. You who feel like you’re always thought of last are able to make others feel first because you know how the opposite feels. 

I used to be bad at friendships. I’ll just be honest about that. I backstabbed. I caused drama. I chose boys over my friends. I threw pity parties. I always struggled to be the friend I wanted to have and threw around the famous line, “I’m just better at being friends with boys.” I always wished others would see value in me and desire friendship with me. 

However, what I’ve realized is that we pretty much all feel that way. When I realized that, I stopped waiting and started doing. I started looking for those that were hurting and those that I simply just wanted to be friends with and I did the chasing. Does that sound weird? Maybe! I’ve pursued almost all of my friendships. If moving around has taught me one thing it’s that most people won’t come to you. And I’m okay with that! I believe that in doing the reaching out you are making people feel so much more loved and valued. 

So if you feel like an afterthought in most people’s lives, take that energy and pour into people that maybe feel the same way you do or just anybody! Not being invited first hurts. But you know how to make sure other people never feel like that. 

Arbroath Abbey

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