Whispers when I walk by. Snappy comments, disguised as compliments or jokes. Talking behind my back when they don’t think I can hear or it won’t get back to me.
You don’t think I notice? The stares, the obnoxious smiles.
After being on this earth for 30 years…it’s getting old.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?
― Marianne Williamson
It’s not just people talking about me. I had once had a girl say she didn’t like me because I smiled too much. I have had people sit me down and tell me that I am “too much”. And then there’s the people who want to be around you until they feel like you’re taking too much of the attention from them.
I have grown up surrounded by love. I have been told since I was old enough to understand, that my life has worth, that I can be anything I want and that I am loved. Blessed am I, to live a life where I have understood my worth (most of the time) and been able to flourish. For this, I am grateful. It’s because of this, that I joined SWL. I wanted to spread the message…not to combat my own insecurities, but to help the vicious cycle of insecurity and unworthiness that causes so much tension and strife in our world.
Apparently though, this makes me a target. Being confident, knowing my value, having dreams, ideas and talents.
Crazy eh? I’m sure there are many of us out there who have had moments where we can’t seem to understand the reaction we’re getting from someone…
It’s almost like they’re saying “let’s go after the one with the confidence. Let’s go after the girl or boy who is actually smiling”.
Recently I had someone in my life decide that what was going on in my love life or, actually what they construed to be what was going on, was their business.
I had to ask myself, when did we get to a point where we feel that we can comment on others lives? Sadly, we live in a culture of voyeurism, self-righteousness and judgment.
Admittedly, my first reaction wasn’t the most pleasant or what I could say I was proud of; it caused me to be enraged (thankfully privately), but it also made me realize something about myself that really needs changing…and I bet that it’s true for a few more people than me…
The truth is, that the people who are teasing, envious, jealous. Those people who feel the need to judge others, those who believe that they are better…
They’re insecure and they need to realize that they are worthy of love and have value.
We each have one life to live and a responsibility to do the best with that life. Love yourself, love others.
Why do we care about the opinions, thoughts and criticisms of those who have no vested interest in our lives? Those who do not care about us? Those who do not love us?
Why do we weigh the opinions and thoughts of those who are insecure, jealous, envious and sometimes just plain mean?
For the same reason people are mean, jealous and insecure. I believe it’s a desire to be wanted, to be accepted, to be loved…it’s inherent in each of us.
Here’s your challenge. My challenge for 2014.
Let’s not allow others opinions of us hurt us or affect what we feel about ourselves. Let us shine and unlock that within others.
Surround yourself with people who lift you up, push you forward and challenge you to be the best. Be that person in someone else’s life…watch your tongue before you gossip; catch yourself before you discuss someone else’s life.
Let’s stop being curious about that which isn’t our business. Let’s remember that life isn’t a pie…it’s a river…there’s plenty of blessings, talent and opportunity for us all.
Just because you are given an opportunity or a blessing, it does not mean that I won’t.
Let’s spread the love.
Written and loved on by Michelle Plett
I’m the type of person who appreciates order in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most adventuresome person in the world, and often find comfort in the familiar. That’s not say I like my life to be boring, but often I have found that when I veer of the path I have made for myself I get uncomfortable and don’t know what to do. When I’m in a thorny situation with other people I have found it’s best to talk about the elephant in the room instead of just ignoring it.
The other day as I was talking with my friend Preston over coffee, when I received a text out of the blue from another friend of mine, Eric. Eric and I were best friends in college and even for a while afterwards, it’s not that we never really stopped being friends we would just go a while without talking, and even longer without seeing each other. About a year ago before leaving the country for an extended amount of time he got engaged to his girlfriend. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to plan on seeing him at their wedding, as I would inevitably be invited to their wedding, right? Wrong I was. A mutual friend of Eric and mine’s told me the wedding was planned for shortly after his return from abroad. I still had not received an invitation, and I didn’t even know anything about it directly from Eric himself.
The week of the wedding came and went without any invite, so when Eric called there was a bit of awkwardness to the conversation. Not the least of which was because he was technically still on his honeymoon when he called. He explained that he and his bride were on their way home and were passing by my city and wanted to stop to have dinner with me. As we enjoyed our beer and pizza things were not quite as awkward as I had imagined they would be. You’d think that three years would at least evoke a little hiccup in our relationship, but we picked up right where we left off. While things weren’t especially dicey I still had to address the elephant in the room, “You didn’t have room for me at your wedding?” I asked. He explained that between the fact that he was in Africa for a year and got married about a month after his return he just forgot to invite a lot of people, even some close friends. I was relieved to hear that, and the three of us decided a small dinner together was better quality time than attending a ceremony.
Not every sticky situation is easy to deal with though. I broke up with my last girlfriend a little over three years ago. Being who I am I made the situation more awkward and difficult than it really needed to be. I kind of brought it up out of the blue, and even then didn’t make it official. I told her I would call her back when I was ready to talk more about it. That turned into about a month and a half. After I finally mustered up the courage to talk to her again, I explained things clearly and felt much better about the situation. I wouldn’t say I have many, if any, skeletons in my closet, but that month between talking came the closest. I was afraid to face this situation.
I was afraid to stir the pot. I was afraid that addressing our differences and ending the relationship would not be seen as an act of love, but in reality not saying anything was far less loving. I’m glad I finally mustered up the courage to say something;
I wouldn’t say my life is perfect, but I’m glad I have found the courage to face tricky situations like these.
My point is not to say that dealing with these circumstances is easy, but it is necessary. Someone has to stand up and be bold enough to address tough issues, whether everyone likes it or not.
The examples I wrote about aren’t the worst, and I know there are many of you who have it far worse. If you want to have peace though you must face these obstacles that come into your path. Who knows, you might just gain a bit of courage along the way.
Written and Loved on by Alex Weiss
TANK y’all for all of your love for not only us, but other people and yourselves!!! We love y’all so much that we want to celebrate, and what is a better way to celebrate than putting a party on a tank top!
So be on the look out because you’re definitely going to want to flaunt what you’ve got with this delight!
(By the way… I hope you enjoyed the pun.)
-Your biggest fan
I struggle with self worth.
I was in 4th grade the very first time I ever considered my worth; I was in 4th grade when I compared myself to someone else for the first time.
Someone will read the word “compare” and think I’m judgmental, thinking that I puff myself up in the faults of others, but to that person I say:
Don’t worry, you get the better end of the stick. No matter who it is, the person I compare myself to will always be better, more interesting , funnier, smarter, more unique and intriguing. They’ll always be enough for someone and I’ll always be barely mediocre.
I wasn’t enough.
Just like I wasn’t enough to be someone that a boy wanted to love purely and unconditionally, only physically.
I wasn’t enough for my friends to stand by my side when it came down to my word against someone else’s.
And I wasn’t enough to make someone care about me long enough or passionately enough. I wasn’t enough to cause someone to not let me leave in tears late at night when it was pouring. I wasn’t enough to keep someone’s interest, to keep someone talking to me or coming around. I wasn’t enough to make the boy want to make ME his girlfriend, but he’d turn around and make HER his girlfriend.
I thought it was me; I was convinced that somehow, if I just tried hard enough, I could create a new personality for myself that I considered enough—somehow, I would be able to MAKE myself worth loving.
And so I wrote. When I wrote, I could take the nitty, gritty parts of myself that I believed were lacking and make something admirable out of them; I could create the image that I had in my head of the ideal version of myself; I could create the girl that no one wanted to see brokenhearted, the girl that people didn’t understand and yet adored for that very reason, the girl who was enticing beyond belief, with the quick comebacks, the witty humor, the interesting thoughts and conversations; I could create the boy that was there for her, who hurt when she hurt, who looked at her like she might just be magic; I could create the friends who didn’t leave, the people who were there no matter the circumstances, loyal through and through. Because that’s the sort of personality I wanted, the sort of person I wanted to share life with, and the friends that I wish I had.
And in all of my feeble attempts, in all of my striving to be enough, I was missing out on the opportunity to enjoy being me; I was missing out on opportunities to grow as a human being because I was too busy trying to measure up to some image that I had created for myself and that was always just out of my reach no matter what I did.
My error: trying to derive acceptance and my own worth from other people who were running on the treadmill next to me towards some goal that they believed would finally secure their own worth.
I had to train myself to stop looking around at how wonderful everyone else was and to instead look ahead—rather, to look UP. In fact, I am still training myself to discover worth inside my own skin rather than through the actions and words of others, still just embracing the idea that:
I am enough.
-Written and Loved on by: Jenna
Well, even if you’re not, fill your time up with this awesome message!
Thank you Dove for promoting self-love!
What are you freeing yourself from today?
Check out our instagram and let us know!! If you do, you could win two… count them.. TWO of these motivating Free to Be posters! Just repost this picture on Instagram including:
1. What you’re freeing yourself from!
2. Use the hashtag #freetobe
3. Leave your email in the comments below the picture! Winner will be chosen at random + emailed! Yay emails!
Don’t waste who you are.
Be your own confidence!