“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” As a kid I fully believed this. I repeated it to myself when kids made fun of what I was wearing, when they called me “big boned” or a “tomboy,” or when they simply laughed in that condescending way they had. Words couldn’t hurt me, right?
The messages I got from my peers, so called “friends” who sometimes meant well but had their own personal issues, and my family became my reality. Their words became the words I told myself as I grew up. From these words I learned that I wasn’t as good as the other kids, I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, I wasn’t valuable, I didn’t matter.
Words can hurt as much as sticks and stones, the damage is just harder to see.
This morning both my daughters told me they have “fat fingers” (my oldest even said she has “man hands”). They think nothing of these kinds of comments. They hear similar ones all day long. But even if they say these things jokingly these words become their thoughts and feelings.
Today my oldest turned 13. I couldn’t just let her “man hands” comment go, but teenagers are not overly receptive to the things we tell them. What we show them is far more valuable, but since we were watching Mary Poppins* I didn’t want to interrupt everything for a lesson. I simply told her that over time we tend to believe the things we tell ourselves, even if we were “just kidding.”
In typical teenage fashion she sighed and told me to stop teaching. This is a personal joke of sorts because she’s been telling me to stop teaching her for years but I always tell her that it’s my job to teach her. I don’t lecture but I will say what’s on my mind.
Today though when she told me to stop teaching, her tone was a bit different than it usually is. Since I started this blog and working on the book I’m writing I think she sees me a little differently. I’ve read her some of my posts (she is welcome to read them all someday but since I am open about some things she’s not ready to know I have asked her not to read them all yet). Trying to appear unimpressed, she told me I should teach writing. I think she’s starting to realize I might know a thing or two.
For now, if she learns to be kind to herself I’ll have done my job.
Lets change our inefficient, hating self-talk to something better:
*I love that my kids enjoy the classic movies like Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Inefficient
Love people, not things
Today I was able to go kayaking for the first time this year. It didn’t work out quite as I’d planned as I was supposed to go with my wonderful friend Jill and a group she was leading, but I didn’t get free quite in time. Still, I went out by myself and it was fantastic, truly inspiring.
While I was out on the water ideas kept coming to mind that I wanted to write down. Among them was the following list of life lessons you can discover from kayaking. I decided to just post the list without expanding on them. They may mean something different to each person but there’s nothing wrong with that.
- Never care so much about your car that you’re afraid to get the seats wet.
- It’s okay to leave technology behind. It will be there when you get back.
- Sometimes it’s okay to drift, but if you don’t paddle enough the wind and current may move you off course.
- Going with the flow can make things easier, but it takes courage to paddle against the current.
- Paddling into the wind is hard. Just sayin’
- Look out for others, they may not be looking out for you.
- Use leverage.
- Sometimes slow is fast enough.
- The further from shore you paddle the rougher the seas, but you can get to great places if you’re not afraid to leave the shore and put in the effort.
- Sometimes it’s best to follow someone else’s trail. They know the way because they’ve been there before.
- Be grateful for the people and circumstances in life that allow you time out on the water, or wherever you choose to go.
Kayaking today would not have been possible without the love and support of my good friend Nancy, who is always there for me. Today was also sponsored by a fellow parent who was willing to help me out. I am truly grateful for all the people in my life.
Who are you grateful for?
This spoke to me so much because I’ve been trying so hard to learn to love myself! ❤️ I love this message.
Hello loves ❤
Fall for the person who isn’t just going to love you. But it is through their love you learn to love yourself. It is through their kindness you learn to be a little kinder to yourself. It is through their forgiveness you learn to forgive yourself for things.
Everyone says you are supposed to love yourself before you can love someone else. But sometimes I think it’s other people’s example we need to follow.
It’s someone else showing us, this isn’t just how I’m going to treat you and talk to you and be with you. This is how you should be with yourself.
Self-love is kind of tricky sometimes when we are all programmed to look at our flaws and the things we think we fall short of. We look at ourselves every single day and get used to all of that. But knowing ourselves so…
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When I was young I felt like I always needed to be right. I felt like I was a failure if I didn’t know something. My already battered pride couldn’t accept that there were things I just hadn’t learned yet.
I remember one day walking on a paved trail with my mother and sister. I was about the age my children are now. It wasn’t a particularly nice area as it ran next to the highway, but I thought it was fun nonetheless because we’d never been on this path. Each end was marked only by a post in the middle of the concrete to prevent vehicles from entering.
But I didn’t know that’s what this marker was for. When we got to the end of the trail my mother paused to rest. I got impatient and told her we still have a long way to go (whining might be a better description). I said this looking past the post at what I thought was more of the trail, but was actually a road that appeared to go on forever.
My mother corrected me and told me we were at the end and pointed to the marker. I can still recall the feeling from that very moment, my blood running cold. I felt that somehow I should have known this. I felt humiliated and ashamed, even though there was absolutely no reason I should have known that we were at the end of the trail.
So to hide this I told her I knew this was the end, but that we had to walk all the way back. I’m certain she realized I was bluffing but she let it pass.
Growing up, I felt validated by my intelligence and knowledge. I may have been poor, teased and ridiculed but my peers couldn’t deny I was smart. I didn’t work harder than they worked. I just understood things, remembered things. I consistently got straight A’s in school while my Guess-wearing fellow students worked twice as hard and could only get B’s.
To admit I was wrong, or that there was something I didn’t know, would be to reveal a crack in my armor. A weakness that others could exploit.
I carried this mentality with me through most of my life. It wasn’t until my divorce that I was willing to swallow my pride and admit there were things I just didn’t know. In the beginning it was a blow to my already low self-esteem as the things I didn’t know I felt I should.
But just as the little girl walking a trail for the first time wouldn’t know where the end was, a single mother on her own for the first time can’t possibly know all she needs to know.
I couldn’t have known how to find a lawyer – I’d never needed one.
I couldn’t have known how to fix a running toilet – that had never been my job.
I couldn’t have known who to turn to when my air conditioner stopped working – I was new in town.
I couldn’t have known how to handle the lonely days and nights when my kids were with their dad – I had never had to share kids before.
I couldn’t have known what to do when my kids started coming home repeating the things their dad told them – I had never had to leave them alone with their dad so long before.
I couldn’t have known who to ask for help when my ex threatened to take away my kids – I had never envisioned this possibility.
It felt like I was reminded every day of how limited my knowledge was in these areas. I felt beaten up and bruised. But it was because the things I needed to know were so far beyond what I already knew, that I had to learn to swallow my pride. I was forced to admit that there were things I hadn’t encountered yet. I had no choice but to start asking people for help and looking for ways to start teaching myself what I needed to know.
It was because of this that I started on a journey of learning and self-discovery that has awakened in me a desire to constantly grow, take risks and push myself.
It is because of this that I remind my girls that no one knows everything; that it’s okay to be wrong; that pride limits our ability to learn and that learning can open far more doors for you than your pride ever will.
It is because of this that I encourage my children to ask questions and look for answers, instead of simply telling them how smart they already are.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Swallow
This is such a moving way to bring awareness to this problem. Please share with your network!
This poem is second in the anthology of the poems based on the Social evils.
Sex trafficking is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including sexual slavery. Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of Child Sex Trafficking.
The underlying causes of commercial sexual exploitation of children include poverty, gender discrimination, war, organized crime, globalization, greed, traditions and beliefs, family dysfunction, and the drug trade.
Sex trafficking is an industry making an estimated $99 billion a year.
- At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor, and bonded labor.
- About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade.
She was snatched from the
warm embrace of…
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