Recently I went through something that no one had much advice on. Everyone asked for my story and was in tune with the information that I could offer them. With what started as a warning, quickly came the stress of being in the spotlight for something I wished never happened. To be honest, I don’t think that my life will ever go back to “normal” because how do you find “normal” again when you are put through something that makes you face the true evil of this world. Attempting to explain to your eight year old daughter that some people just enjoy tormenting other people is a conversation that wasn’t included in my parenting handbook (if anyone has it in their manual, please feel free to send a copy my way). We are all so very different, yet very much the same in so many ways. I connected with so many people who reassured me that I was doing the right thing, and others who couldn’t see past a minor untrue detail to even read my story. I realized something about myself during this time that has kept me holding on to the faith that one day I will find a new normal. I’m a talker. I don’t see black and white at all. Everything is a bright, sparkly, spinning rainbow. When I believe that something is wrong, I can’t just “let it go”. I don’t have a filter, and I don’t sugar coat things. I’ve been held back for a long time because of my choice to let other people’s opinions silence mine. At the end of the day, I am who I am. Take it or leave it, I’m exactly who God designed me to be and I won’t feel sorry for that.
1. Not everyone will agree with you. Let’s be real. Most people won’t even take the time to know all the facts before they judge you. But that’s okay. It takes all kinds of kinds. Remain open minded and take the hateful comments as reassurance that there needs to be more awareness. To elaborate on this just a little, you may be surprised to find out that people who you thought were in your corner never really were. It’s sad, but it’s also liberating. When you stop caring about the opinion of those who never really cared about your well being, you can literally change the world.
2. People don’t always know how to respond. Finding your voice can be empowering, but it can also be terrifying. I’ve found that it’s alot easier to respond to someone’s weaknesses than their strengths. We naturally respond best to people we relate to. Sometimes taking a different path inspires others, but before you can inspire anyone you have to realize that being different isn’t always a bad thing. Someone’s negative response doesn’t change the facts, and it shouldn’t change your mind or your heart either. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tune in to those that are listening to you and make sure that you are wording your message correctly. But don’t let a response stop you from doing something important. Throw glitter all over that negativity, and keep on sparkling.
3. You can’t only be passionate when you’re winning. If you’re going to express who you are, do just that. If you believe in something, believe in it wholeheartedly. No one said that it would be easy all the time. If something is important to you, any time you hit a road block can be disheartening, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Quite the opposite actually. *Insert cheesy quote about how everything in life is worth fighting for here*
4. Sometimes what you don’t say says a lot. Know when to engage and when to ride it out. The moment I realized that not everything deserved commentary, I became a whole lot stronger. I like to talk. A lot. But there’s a time and a place for that and you can learn so much by listening.
5. It’s worth it. Finding my voice was the scariest thing that I’ve ever done, and that says a lot considering I’ve given birth to four girls (ha!). Sometimes I still want to just throw in the towel, go off the grid, and not comment anymore. But at the end of the day I have to remember why I spoke out in the first place and you should too.