As of tomorrow, I’ve lived 7 years at my goal weight. I can’t begin to explain to you how thankful I am for that fact. Each year when I hit my anniversary, I am even more grateful.
I am grateful because I owe a huge dept of gratitude to the encouragers.
The cheer-ers on. The uplifters. The positivity gushers. The glass-is-half-full thinkers.
Of all the qualities I admire most in others, I believe the gift of Encouragement is the most important. It truly is a gift.
We have no idea what others are going through in their life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past 7 years it’s that people wear masks and hide the fact they could use a little support and encouragement. Moms live through a super-mom era, where we are expected to do it all with a smile. Us Moms are our own worst contributors to it.
The gift of encouragement is small, but it means the world to those that need it most…which is all of us isn’t it? Who couldn’t use an uplifting comment?
Through my life experience, here’s what I’ve observed: women attack women on various parenting and life issues. This way is right, and this way is wrong: You should breast feed. You should home-school, or you shouldn’t home-school. You should put your boys in hockey, and your girls in dance. You should dress them in brand name clothing, or you shouldn’t dress them in brand name clothing. You shouldn’t buy them an X-box. You should bring a variety of organic snacks to play group. You should never vacation without the children, or you should vacation without the children. You shouldn’t get a divorce, or you should get married. You shouldn’t have kids out-of-wedlock. You shouldn’t have a glass of wine at night. You shouldn’t write about (insert another’s values here) in your blog. You shouldn’t have plastic surgery. You’re too fat. You’re too thin. You’re too sensitive. You’re too confident. You’re too shy.
On and on it goes…the destructive trail of Should’s and Shouldn’ts that deflate a woman’s confidence. If you really think about it, Shoulds or Shouldn’ts carry a lot of arrogance and ignorance. We are all wonderfully unique with a vastly different view-point on how life “should” be lived. So let’s just live it, the only way that is right for each one of us! Let’s be remembered for the gift of encouragement rather than the harmful and critical words with even the best intentions…because words live on within the memory.
I was reflecting over what I’ve learned since my last goal-weight anniversary, and if I could sum it up in one statement it’s this….
My point is this, here’s my resolve for going forward to the next goal-weight anniversary: I’m going to do my very best to hand out as much encouragement as I can to those I know and to those I don’t. I’m going to uplift and recognize all the amazing qualities that I sincerely appreciate in others. I’m not going to focus on the areas in other’s lives that differ from my own, because who am I to say my way is the “right” way. I’m just going to appreciate all the good in others. Positive out, positive in. Kindness breads kindness. A smile is infectious. A giving heart is beautiful.
For all those I love in life, thank you for all your goodness, positivity, kindness, joy, generosity, and support. Thank you for picking me up when I am down and encouraging me to push on. Even though I have encountered many should’s and shouldn’ts in life, the only thing that I will give any power to within my memory are the gifts of encouragement….I plan to return that gift because I am acutely aware of how different my life could have been without that support.
So if all you manage to achieve today is a little positivity gushing to another, I’d say that’s a day well spent.
From my encouraging heart to yours,
P.S. You are awesome. And beautiful. And amazing. And loved.