Good morning lovelies!
This is a brutally honest, tough-love kind of post. I hope you are ready!
I see you – yes YOU – and you have so much value to add. We have these big, GIGANTIC hearts full of love, compassion and empathy.
We see hurt and we want to soothe it.
We see hunger and we want to feed it.
We see broken hearts and we want to love them back together.
We see people without homes and we want to shelter them.
We see cancer and we want to fix it.
We want to do so much good and yet we don’t. Why?
We Feel Inadequate
Maybe you look in the mirror and see someone not quite good enough.
Or perhaps it’s that you are always tired. You never have enough energy to get up and going, and your to-do list is never done.
Maybe, like me, you just never feel like you are measuring up to what other people expect of you.
And so we hide. We close our shades and lines of communication and we hide. Because that is what is comfortable – okay – safe.
We Play the Comparison Game
Wonder Woman herself lives right next door.
Every time we walk into her home, we see immaculately clean floors, an empty sink, and kids with unwrinkled clothes and perfect manners.
There are no fingerprints on her windows, or muddy paw prints on her floor.
And she is beautiful and gracious and kind… ALL OF THE TIME. (And by the way… How is that possible?)
Our eyes gaze down instead of up as we walk home. We feel like we fall short in simply having a good attitude, not to mention being a good mom, wife and friend.
We retreat to our comfort zone. Safe, warm and protected by four walls.
We are Afraid
We have it in us. That passion and drive to contribute to a cause greater than ourselves.
We are even brave enough to admit it is there!
But we don’t do anything with that passion.
Why? Because we are afraid.
We worry, even if at some tiny subconscious level, that our feelings of not being good enough will be proven true.
Instead, then, we put our hearts – our TRUE passions and purpose – behind a thick wall where no one can see them and those believers in us can’t draw them back out.
Because our hearts are THAT well hidden.
We Know Doubters and Criticizers
So let’s say we have a burst of courage and step out on a limb to try something new.
And someone we love – respect, even – brings up all the reasons why it is not a good or wise or well-thought out idea.
So we doubt ourselves, and yes – we hide. Again, we hide.
That hanging head is feeling awfully heavy these days and we purposely shield the world from what we now believe must have been a bad idea to begin with.
We Are Too “Busy”
You know what is easier than facing our sense of inadequacy?
Yep – you guessed it. Keeping ourselves busy.
We turn the TV on whenever there is silence, say YES to every invitation, and always… ALWAYS find something to organize if all else fails to keep us busy.
What would happen if we all just paused? Would tears flood our eyes? Would our hearts skip a beat in appreciation of all that we have been missing? Would we realize just how beat down we are or how many gifts we are neglecting to share?
We don’t do that though, do we? We don’t pause. We are too busy hiding behind our “busy” to acknowledge what dreams we have hidden deep in our hearts.
We Don’t Like the Way We Look
Body image in our culture is powerful, and is something I have struggled with.
There are magazines with picture perfect people. Apps to beautify our posts. Diet pills created with who knows what in a lab who knows where. The under-their-breath whispers from teenage boys. The flat-out mean comments we hear about our appearance. And let’s not forget the judgment or sideways glances some of us receive when eating “bad” foods.
How can those things NOT make us want to hide?
Ladies. I want to SEE you. I want to KNOW of your gifts to influence the world. And I want YOU to give YOUR BEST to your kids and all their friends who may need your encouragement today, not to mention your spouse, friends, neighbors and those people with broken hearts you want to help!
You see, I led a 5-day clean eating group for the very first time this week and you know what I found out? Every single woman there was kind, encouraging and empathetic. Not only that, but the value they added to each other was so needed.
They went from feeling a little depressed to full-out optimistic. From feeling drained to energized.
I am convinced – so utterly convinced – that it is not just eating clean that helps. It is finding support in COMMUNITY with others who have a common goal – and then accomplishing that goal together.
These women – all 12 of them – had so much to give and it warmed my heart every single day to see them offer their support.
But perhaps what was even more special was that these women, most of whom spend their days serving others as nurses, teachers, pastors, moms and wives, were on the receiving end of that support too. Perhaps for the first time in months.
Do you know how a woman responds when she is encouraged?
Watch out because there are 12 women ready to conquer the world!
Well… maybe that is an exaggeration. But, I did see some of these beautiful souls begin to express themselves more authentically and confidently as the week went on, and it was SUCH a joy to witness.
Who in your circle needs encouragement today? Can we do that for one another? Can we be the ones to bring out the joy and authenticity in others?
I genuinely believe this: We were ALL created for a plan and a purpose.
It is an injustice to let our feelings of inadequacy, comparisons to others, fear, criticism from others or busy schedules keep us down.
WE HAVE TOO MUCH TO GIVE! YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TO GIVE!
I dare you – that’s right – I DARE you to encourage another person today.
Catch them doing something great and say something like:
- “Gosh… I love how kind you are to your neighbors!”
- “You are an amazing mom; you always find time to do the special things with your kids”
- “Listen, my friend, I know you are going through a rough patch but you do have me to lean on. What can I do to help you today?”
Just say or do something encouraging. One time. Notice not only how it brightens the eyes of the person you encouraged, but also enlivens a little something in your heart.
The world needs OUR best, my friends. Let’s lift each other up to give the world our best. Can we do that today?