When I was in elementary school one year, I happened to be in the “cool girls club”.. I didn’t really know I was in the “cool girls club” until another girl came up and asked if she could play with us. To my surprise, one of the more outspoken girls said no! Then with a little back and forth, they negotiated a deal that this girl who wanted to join the group would have to pass a series of “tests”. She had run faster than one girl, jump rope longer than another girl, she needed to know how to spell better than another, etc. Unfortunately she was not that talented in these areas and failed quite miserably. Thats when I heard those words, “Sorry, you’re just not good enough”. And just like that she was denied access into the “cool girls club”. I didn’t like that. First of all, I wasn’t that cool, maybe they didn’t even notice that I had slipped through a crack and made into the group, but I wanted out. So the next day, the girl and I played on the swings and played tetherball and we had a great time. I didn’t miss that group at all.
From then on I saw a lot of this mean girl stuff. And ya know what? It hasn’t stopped. I am a grown woman with a husband and three kids, just minding my own business and I still hear those little remarks, you know, the ones people think they so subtly make, that just make me feel a teeny bit insecure. “Oh you aren’t breastfeeding?” “Oh you don’t know how to garden?” “Is that cake made from a box?” “Oh you’re house is so messy!" etc etc etc. Okay, no one has actually said that last one to me, but sometimes I feel like they have to be thinking it!! hah! The truth is, people are people. I cannot tell you how many times I have put my foot in my mouth saying something dumb or not thought through. There are soooo many people who I can name who are so much better than me at so many things. I have friends who can garden and grow beautiful flowers and vegetables, I have friends who’s houses are always perfectly spotless and smell like walking in to a lemon orchard! I have friends who religiously exercise and have those abs I promise myself I’ll one day have. I have friends who retain lots of information, like little dictionaries and I can’t help but feel a little illiterate next to them, I just blame it on mom brain.. I have friends who are amazing and on top of all their church callings, some who have amazing singing voices, some who are very successful in the jobs, some who have the most flawless skin, and some who make parenting look like an absolute cake walk. I look at these women and think “IF ONLY!!”.
But the truth is, we all have weaknesses, we all have strengths. We may know pretty darn well what each and every one of our weaknesses are, but when it comes to thinking of our own strengths, do we struggle a bit? I know I do. So how do help each other out here? I have a great idea. COMPLIMENT each other!! Build each other up! Empower each other!! Why oh why, say a little comment that may hurt someone or make them feel like they are not good enough? Who is that helping?
I actually still remember one of the very first compliments I ever received as a kid. I had answered the phone (remember when landlines were a thing?) and the person on the other end asked for my dad. He wasn’t available so I told her just that and asked if I could take a message. I guess I must have done nice job on the phone, because the person on the other end said, “Wow you are so good at talking to people, thank you for taking this message for me!” So I learned I was a good phone talker. haha Okay more than that, I gained a confidence that I could talk to people. It may seem silly or simple, but that simple compliment got me through future class presentations and church talks. I wasn’t afraid, I always remembered that a stranger told me “I was good at talking to people” So maybe that compliment in itself gave me the confidence to push myself when it came to speaking in public and also in intimate settings. Communication has always been a thing for me, just ask my hubby;)
Anyway the point I am getting at is you don’t know how far a simple compliment can go. I love the quote, “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it”. Say it!! Tell your neighbor their lawn they’ve worked on looks amazing, tell your sunday school teacher their lesson was inspiring, tell your friend you love how fun she is, tell your mom she is a great listener, tell your children they are smart, tell your husband he makes your heart sing, tell the cashier at the grocery store she has a great smile. I promise you, it will feel as good to say as it will be for that person to hear. And even if a compliment doesn’t make it your way soon, that’s okay. I’m here to tell you this right now-
“Today know that you are good enough. Stop worrying if you are pretty enough, strong enough, rich enough, smart enough.. You must KNOW that you are ENOUGH. Don’t let the negative thoughts have power over you. Take a deep breath and know that you matter and you are enough.”
Thank you Blue Envelope for this inspiring tee. I love this message so much! Their new campaign #projectloveyourself is geared toward anyone who has ever been bullied, mom shamed, or felt less than enough. Love yourself!! xo