Words have special powers. The power to create smiles or frowns. The power to generate laughs or tears. The power to lift up or put down. The power to motivate or de-motivate. The power to teach good or evil. The power to express love or hate. The power to give or take. The power to heal or harm. Choose your words carefully. -A.D. Williams
Late last week, a blogger I follow on Instagram reposted a comment from one of her followers that mom shamed her for deciding to have her daughter stay with her family for a month while she and her husband handled some things for their career. It gave me a realization that no matter what we as women do or don’t do, we will be shamed for something. So I messaged her, told her about the parenting challenges my family faced, told her what my potential worries and feelings of guilt could be when I become a parent, and essentially said that I’m behind her because I think it’s important than women support each other more often. She was responded to what I said. She was so grateful, and followed me back on Instagram. (Maybe I made a new friend?)
This made me realize how much power there was in sharing a story. Just by the few words you say, you can bring someone up and make their day or riddle them with anxiety and ruin it. I try as often as I can to share anything positive that’s on my mind. If I think about a funny memory with a friend, think about how grateful I am for someone’s company, or even think about something I appreciate about a stranger- I tell it to them. And I’ve seen how it has changed my life because people start doing the same thing back.
Because ultimately, being a perfect woman is not an easy task. We are expected to be beautiful, smart, successful, #bossbabes, caring wives, loving mothers, loyal friends… ladies on the streets, freaks in the sheets, cleaning the home, and cooking the meats (or beets for my vege friends)… and just so much more! And while in the last few years, I’ve felt so lucky to have an incredible amount of support from an amazing group of women in my life, I am not a stranger to being shamed too. When I was in highschool, a bunch of older girls decided to create a facebook group slut shaming me. They posted my pictures and invited everyone in school to join. I’ve definitely had my fair share of boyfriends and flings post highschool, but when they created the group, I was in a very innocent relationship at the time with my first real boyfriend (and actually the guy I’m married to today). The group wasn’t warranted and even if it was, what does it do besides hurt the person you’re shaming? You’re not making yourself look good and you’re not teaching anyone a lesson either. And this is not the first or last of these examples.
Being a perfect person is not an easy task. Life is hard, for women, but for men too. We do not need to make it harder for each other. None of us really know what people are going through behind the scenes and why they make the decisions they do. We all have different opportunities, limitations, and struggles that affect how we view and handle the world. There may be bigger reasons for why different people do what they do than just how we see it. Most things in life are not black and white. I would much rather hear peoples stories than judge them for them. And as Thumpers mom always said in Bambi, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
And beyond just speaking, we have to start treating all humans more gracefully and respectfully. I can’t say that I have always been the most patient person, but damn guys… with everything going on in the news lately, it breaks my heart. We have to remember that no matter what gender, sexual orientation, religion, political preference, financial standing, background, age, or popularity status someone has.. they are still HUMAN. Humans are not objects, they are not punching boards, they are not lifeless or emotionless beings. They are people who have feelings, perspectives, and reasons. We should NOT use them for pleasure or selfish reasons, harass them, put them down just because it’s easy, or lie to make ourselves look better. Of course we are all different and have different perspectives, but we can handle our differences with more grace.
You have SO MUCH power in what you say, and how you treat others. You ALWAYS have the option to be kinder, to be more considerate, to be more supportive, to give a helping hand, to give a random compliment, and to be accountable for anything you did wrong. I’m not always perfect either, but I know I always have the option to try again and be even better tomorrow. I promise even if you have to take care of yourself first, you will still love left over to share to others and that love will come back around to you.
Let’s use the power of our voice to raise each other up! Not only with #womanempowerment but also #humanempowerment. Why not make someone’s day today? It doesn’t take much but a positive message thrown their way.
Peace, love, and more love