Growing up, I was always bigger than other kids. I've never been a smaller size and I used to wish that I was. I thought people would like me if I were different, smaller or taller, etc. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I finally started to feel content with who I was and love the shape I have. We are all unique- how boring would it be if we were all the same? I have this conversation with my son a lot and remind him of how we are each special and individually made. I always had self confidence issues growing up and I don't want him to go through what I did. I even did a post last year that was published on The Awkward Years blog that talks about this very issue. I'll even show you all the picture that I used when telling my story.
Why this post today? Yesterday, I received very hurtful and rude words from some random person on Instagram. I don't know why people think they can hide behind their keyboard or phone and write nasty things about people but sadly, they do. I read what that person wrote and at first, I thought it was a joke or something but then I couldn't believe my eyes. Someone who doesn't even know me wrote such nasty things and then is hiding behind a private profile where no one can even see their pictures!
I took a screenshot and then made a picture and commented on the picture on my Instagram profile- I don't know why- I was mad probably more than anything else. I wanted people to see that this creeper out there was rude. I don't normally broadcast or publicize things that people write but for some reason, this time I did. I wasn't asking for sympathy and I wasn't looking for anything other than to show people how nasty someone was.
What happened next shocked me.
One word. Kindness. Respect. Encouragement. Love. Compliments. Compassion. I could go on. I was humbly surprised by the outpouring of love that I received. People who really don't know me in real life but are followers on Instagram started commenting. Hundreds of comments I received from so many people who wanted to lift me up. I received texts and emails and direct messages. What could have brought me to tears and made me so upset turned into an opportunity for others to share one word with me.
I know that being on Instagram and writing a blog puts myself out there. I expect to get negative comments at times but I think I am still shocked when someone spews such hatred out on social media. I realize that every outfit that I post might not be someone's favorite. I don't expect hundreds of likes or comments every day but I do try my best to look put together and give people ideas of how they can dress themselves too.
I used this as an opportunity to share with my son the dangers of cyber bullying. He is all too familiar with bullying in real life, but this was a first for him to see how mean that people can be on the Internet. He read it and shook his head that someone would write that about me.
I've said this all along that my goal is to show women how to dress for the bodies that they have and to be proud of who they are. I share my outfits and tips with everyone because it took me so long to feel good about myself and I want others to feel confidence that it took me years to find. I don't do this for attention or to make money. I do this because I truly want to be an example and a role model to others.
I am so humbled by the outpouring of love that I received. I cannot thank each person individually for the love and support that I received. Sometimes I feel like I could quit, but judging by the comments I received yesterday, I am making a difference and that is what I want.
So Jane, I pray for you that you will find peace and love and contentment like I have found in my life. But I have to thank you for your remarks because you made my one word that hurts me the most turn into thousands of beautiful encouraging words that lifted me up. Your intent to hurt me turned into an opportunity for others to help me.
Sometimes all it takes is one word. We never know what saying something to someone will do to them. Will it build them up so they can accomplish even greater things or it will tear them down and send them into a spiral? Make your one word a positive one instead of a negative one and see what a difference that you can make in someone else's life.
Do me a favor and share this post- I would love to see it all over social media so others can learn from this. I have never asked for this before but if you read this, please find a way to share it so that people can remember that all it take is one word. Kindness.
Thanks for reading and following along with me!