I attended a conference for the BYU Women in Business club and the keynote speaker said that "when you seek for validation from the world, it will never be enough."
The girls who bullied me between 5th and 8th grade told me horrible things about myself. The friend group that ditched me in 9th grade made me feel so incredibly insignificant. Yet again, in 10th grade, another group of people decided I wasn't worth their time. And last year, the person who I thought was incapable of hurting me, broke my heart.
All the while I was receiving praise and popularity for my hard work and success. I was the president of four clubs, a member of two more, on student council, a sterling scholar, the top of the class, a speaker at graduation, and the recipient of a full tuition scholarship to the most competitive school in the state.
The world has had such conflicting messages for me. In many ways, I have been rejected over and over again. When I've tried so hard to be kind and patient and friendly, people have stepped all over me. When I tried to fit in, I couldn't find a place. At the same time, the world has applauded my many successes. I've spent my whole life working as hard as possible to reach where I am. I don't think that anything has been handed to me. But still, what the world thinks of me is not enough, and it never will be.
Sometimes, I'm not even sure that I know what I think of myself.
I know what God thinks: He loves me, unconditionally and individually. He thinks I'm wonderful, regardless of the good and bad things the world has had to say about me. He thinks I'm beautiful and smart and kind. I am so important to Him. I know my Savior loves me. He "interposed his precious blood" to save me. He experienced the things that I've gone through so that he could succor me. I know my parents love me. My sisters and brother-in-law love me too. My grandparents, also, have been great, loving supports to me. I've found some truly wonderful friends here at BYU that genuinely care about me too.
I know those things, but it's harder to translate that into what I think and feel.
But I have hope.