Anxiety, is a very sensitive subject with many.  It has a wide spectrum of its debilitating effects on those lives it touches.  It has been a hot topic item with those around me lately and so I wanted to shed my own light on it.

In my own personal experience anxiety stems from my own fears and insecurities.  For instance, when my boyfriend and I had our first summer together he had a week where he was gone to be a camp counselor.  Despite knowing how much he loved me this week apart caused me a large amount of anxiety.  Add to the fact he would be traveling with one of his camp counselor friends who was a female – enter self-doubt!  I had anxiety about the trip because I lacked confidence in the fact I was loved.  I had anxiety about the trip because of my own insecurities from my past relationships.  My boyfriend was not the cause of my anxiety; my past and my own self-doubt were.

When I can realize my anxiety, and recognize it is occurring I choose to take a good hard look at myself.  I ask myself why am I anxious?  What is causing this?  In doing so I might realize that it is because I am having to present in front of a huge group of people.  This makes me uncomfortable and is causing me to be anxious.  It may be the fact that I haven’t said what I truly have felt in my relationship with a friend or my boyfriend.  Holding in emotions can be a huge anxiety trigger for many because we keep our emotions in so we are not judged.

Anxiety also comes from our environment and from those people we surround ourselves with and the people we follow on social media.  I believe to a certain degree that everyone is empathic and can pick up on other people’s energy that surrounds them.  I know that I am empathic and am capable of being drawn in by the energies of those around me.  Have you ever been in a good mood and then encounter someone who is very stressed out?  Do you sometimes start to then feel stressed out and you don’t know what’s causing it? It is huge to recognize what is your own and what is not, I have had to ask myself some days is my anxiety my own or someone else’s?

I also make it a point to follow positive influences on social media or individual’s I feel bring value to my day to day.  As feelings of self-doubt cause anxiety for me I do my best to surround myself with individuals who are “real” in their posts.  What do I mean by “real”, I mean an individual who will post the good with the bad and can share even when they aren’t “perfectly posed” because let’s be honest real life isn’t like that.  Even in my own group of those I interact with daily I have those who I can reach out to when I am having anxiety.  They will then ask me the question of is it yours? If it isn’t let it go, if it is why are you having anxiety?

Being active in any way can curb anxiety whether you choose weightlifting, horseback riding, running, yoga, walking or any other form of activity.  There have been many studies conducted that physical activity helps with anxiety and depression.  I used to weight lift and currently my go to is Yoga, when the weather is nice in Maine running might be on my list.  My go to physical activity, especially when anxious, is not always the same.  It depends on what my body is craving, sometimes it’s a run or walk no matter the weather because I just need a change of scenery.  I will state though; my anxiety has never been helped by digging through social media or on my phone.

If I am unable to be physically active when I am having anxiety another practice I have put into place is being more thankful.  I will take a piece of paper, or in my planner, and write down what I am grateful for in that moment.  For this year I actually purchased a Five-Minute Journal that I write in every morning and every night.  If I have anxiety at any point in the day I remind myself of what I was thankful for that morning.

It is also okay to just take a day and sit with yourself and utilize these tools.  There are days where anxiety just breaks you down and gets overwhelming.  I had one such day when this occurred and it made me realize I needed help, I needed third party to talk to because talking to my family and boyfriend just wasn’t cutting it.  Sometimes that is what it takes and its ok to admit to needing to speak to someone.  It took me a while to recognize this, and that it was okay to see someone.  I bought into the fear that I would be judged for seeing a therapist and that those around me would be heavily concerned if I began seeing one.

Anxiety is real, it can be debilitating and frustrating.  My post again, is here to hopefully speak to you the reader in recognizing you are not alone.  If you follow my social media I try to be very honest and “real”.  There are many out there who also suffer silently with their anxiety and don’t have a fix but I hope that my post may help them in no longer being silent.

Never Say Never

What happens when you say the word never?  Can you think of instances when you state this word?  Let me give you a few:

  • I will never jump out of an airplane
  • I will never like sushi
  • I will never go camping when it does not include plumbing
  • I will never go hiking
  • I will never sleep in a tent
  • I will never settle
  • I will never do yoga and be able to calm down
  • I will never run a 5k
  • I will never meditate
  • I will never forgive this person

Guess what?  I have said every single one of those statements, those are all real life examples from my very own life, every single one, with the exception of jumping out of an airplane, is no longer valid.

Now this may just be the Brené Brown or Gabby Bernstein coming out but when I use the word “never” it always is in a negative way.  There is no positive thinking that occurs when I have used the word never, most often it is from disgust, defensiveness or stubbornness.  Over the last few years I have realized how much saying the word “never” limits me.  By stating that I would never do something I was preventing myself from being open to new opportunities and lessons.

In another post I’ll talk further but I have dug a lot into mindfulness and how your thoughts create your reality.  By stating sentences with “Never” in it I was immediately creating a wall, I was shutting down any opportunities that may come forth.  For years I told people I would never do yoga because it was too slow for me, I thought I’d injure myself and that I thought it was boring.  Quite honestly I just thought I would embarrass myself with my lack of flexibility and also not get the “body” I thought I wanted.  By this sentence I limited myself from being more conscious of my bodies abilities, from a stress reliever, and a community I never knew existed.

I have recognized to not state these sentences that limit my thoughts, actions and opportunities.  After dating my boyfriend for two years we had the opportunity to hike Mt. Katahdin.  This hike was the second hike I had ever done in my life, lets be honest I had big dreams.  I trained for six to eight months (think stair stepper, a lot of the stair stepper) at the gym wanting to ensure I prepared my body for what was to come.  Mt. Katahdin was one of the scariest, eye opening, and emotional things I have done in my whole life.  It took us 12 hours and at the end I collapsed on a picnic table and cried.  Cried from pent up fear from the trail (Knife’s edge, it’s called that for a reason) and from the fact I completed something I said I would never do.  This experience was one of the biggest examples I have to date that if I had continued to say “I’ll never do that” I would not have the memories I have now and I wouldn’t be able to count it as one of my biggest accomplishments.

When people ask me if I’ll do something or try something most often my response is “Maybe not right now but never say never”.  To be quite honest I thought I would never complete in a obstacle race, this past November I completed my first ever Spartan Sprint race.  I found out about it from my friend who was pulling together a team, I read the information, said “Why not, f**k it, might as well” and signed up then and there.  I didn’t do it for time, or to see what I needed to improve upon.  Quite honestly I can’t say I trained “properly” either but I did it for fun and to see what I could do.

I think when you say sentences including “never” you limit yourself from those experiences.  You limit yourself from the potential to say “I did this, I can do it again”.  I challenge you to do your best and Never say Never again.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

Stop Deleting

Technology rules our current generations and it is only going to continue to do so. There was a time when you would take a picture and have to wait a week for it to develop, then you could find out what actually happened with the picture. There was no deleting it or discarding it immediately, you waited, and for the most part someone would overrule you and tell you that the photo was being kept anyway. Everyone has an embarrassing photo somewhere that they wish never existed but for some reason or another it is still around albeit faded.

Something I have begun to do that I wish more people would is I have stopped deleting photo’s. If I take photo’s on my phone, I won’t delete any of them before I make a post on a social media sight. Truly I’ve felt much more liberated and happier in doing so, I’m not concerned about how I look in every photo. I don’t cringe at people seeing it, if I am making a funny face or if I don’t like how I look I just laugh it off. This is my reasoning; in life we can’t take things back. We can not delete moments from our lives, we can’t delete how we looked one day, what we wore, how we did our hair.

When I was in junior high-school I wanted highlights in my hair. My mom wanted to help and do it at home. She swore she had an idea what she was doing so I let her. Needless to say my hair was short, remember mushroom head, and the top layer of my hair was blonde. THAT WAS IT! My mom in her loving way, tried to help me get the “look” I wanted but it was just……bad the only way that somewhat “hid” this huge snafu was pigtails, for 6 months. I obviously can not go back in my life and delete that choice or decision, and I wouldn’t. I look back and think, I am lucky to have a mom that wanted to help me and to this day she’ll help me in anything.

This blog is short because my insight is simply:

Stop deleting your life so you can remember more of it, so that you can live it and stop deleting your life so you can simply be freer.

When I stopped deleting things I had less concern about how I looked and I began accepting myself and my life more. I believe it makes you realize that you do not have to have a perfect smile in every photo and you won’t be able pose perfectly for each photo either. This is what society, technology, and magazines have taught us that no one can see your photo’s unless they are “perfect”. Tell me a photo that hasn’t been filtered, airbrushed, or photo-shopped in some way, shape or form. On my own personal social media I have even stopped using filters. They are fun, they make things look cool, but why edit yourself?

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

It’s a New Year!

Go figure right?  By the time you are reading this it’s January 8th and many of you have started making yourself a brand new person with your New Years’ Resolutions.

My question is what’s wrong with the person you are? I’m not saying don’t go and set goals for yourself but just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that’s what you HAVE to do.  If we’re going based off that then tomorrow’s a brand NEW day, why not start whatever resolutions then?

I realized some time ago how new years became a toxic thought spiral.  It’s the time of year where everyone amps up to set resolutions and keep them.  So if they fail at going to the gym every day each week in a month what happens?  Do they give up and say “Well I tried”?  I know many that have and then beat themselves up, all themselves a failure and say “Well I just can’t do it.”  I say to that individual, YOU ARE WRONG! I can do it but you know what?!  Life happens!  You get sick, your schedule gets full, and some days you’re just damn tired.  Well, you are a HUMAN BEING; not a SUPER human so cut yourself some slack, wake up to the new day tomorrow and try again.

For instance, the month of January I committed myself to doing the 30 Yoga Challenge hosted by Yoga with Adrienne. It’s day 5 and let me tell you I have not done the yoga sequence in two days.  Friday I was exhausted from shoveling myself out and yesterday I had a boot camp/yoga event in the AM and a party in the evening.  Getting home at 10pm, while I’ve done yoga that late before, I was exhausted.  So do I feel like crap because I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain? Yep! For some reason I think that Adrienne knows I haven’t done it, that the Yoga with Adrienne community knows I haven’t done it and they’re going to think less of me.  Is this true?! HELL NO!  It is entirely in my head, and if they do feel that way well, it is their problem.

In the few short days of 2018 so far I have realized that my goal isn’t to complete something consecutively per day, my goal each day is to be active in some way.  Whether this may be yoga, working out, hiking, snow shoeing, shoveling (lets face it it is an activity) or simply going for a walk.  I want to be active every day, I want to get my body moving and stretching.

What I am trying to say with this post is set goals for yourself, or if you wish call them resolutions.  Make them every single day, don’t think you need to wait for a new year to occur to create them.  I am constantly adjusting my goals, I have a Passion Planner, that I never thought I would ever use, to help me do so.  My mom had gotten me one as a gift a few years ago and I thought it was a great idea but was entirely confused as to what to do with a blank slate.  I mean literally a blank slate, no dates, no holidays marked, NOTHING! It didn’t even have cute little designs in it.  What it did have were quotes every week to help guide me and suggestions on what I could do that week to give thanks or reach out to those I love.

We may feel that each new year is a blank slate, and sometimes that is true but it’s not because it is January 1st.  It is because we decide it to be, just like we decide that tomorrow is going to be a better day then today.  So I ask of you, know that you are a human being who can only physically and mentally control so much.  Recognize that goals will and can change and it’s a beautiful thing.  Most of all, I ask that you realize your “New Year” can start at any time that you wish; it isn’t determined by the date January 1st, it is determined when you say “It’s a New Year for me” and you choose to start changing and going after those goals.

I can tell you right now that my “New Year” started July 10th, 2017 when I started this blog.  I decided to change and share my thoughts, actions, fears, and life with those who would read it.  My New Year started then as I decided to get out of my shell and put myself out there in an entirely new way.  My New Year started with this blog because I decided then to work on a life goal of creating a community where others felt like they were not alone.

Happy 2018 everyone! I look forward to sharing my year with you and hearing about yours!

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

It’s the most Wonderful time of the Year

Image result for red bow image

It’s the holiday season and I couldn’t be happier; it is my absolute favorite time of year!

Maybe it’s all the Hallmark movies I’m watching, maybe it’s the season and the magic I know that it can bring either way I wanted to share some of my thoughts around this time of year.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year and as long as I can remember it always has been.  All of the delicious comfort food that is cooked and prepared regularly.  The time spent with those you hold dear; don’t even get me started on all of the songs that get played 24/7 in my household and sung sometimes at obnoxious octaves.

Despite all of this there have been some years where Christmas just hasn’t come easy.  Where I’ve lost my spirit and joy that comes to me ten fold this time of year.  I know this can happen for others too and I know that for some it can be difficult to enjoy the holidays.  This can be for a variety of reasons but most often I find it is due to loss.  This may be the physical loss of someone they love or it may be they have lost touch with those they love most.  Regardless I recognize it may not be the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.

In all reality I could say that Christmas should truly be my least favorite holiday.  Eighteen years ago my Papa, my mother’s dad, passed away on Christmas Eve.  I don’t recall knowing that he had passed until a few days after Christmas.  I do remember the day very vividly however, as it was the first Christmas Eve that I didn’t spend the entire day with my parents, they showed up at our family event later that evening.  I remember being so excited to see them finally but also seeing the sad looks on their faces.  I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what it could be sense it was CHRISTMAS!  So as an 8 year old child I just kept playing with the gifts my cousins and I had just received and forgot about their sad faces.

After the loss of a loved one Holidays can be incredibly hard for people.  As I have mentioned in previous posts the loss of my Nanie last year made the Holidays for all of us a bit more difficult.  Quite honestly anytime I heard a Christmas song by Elvis, Brenda Lee or Gene Autry I teared up and most times couldn’t stop the water works from coming.  To also see the sadness on my family members faces, mostly my mom’s was toughest.

In my post Family Matters I mentioned how all of my family lives across the country.  As kids everyone used to come back to Maine and we would all celebrate Christmas Eve together.  When my older cousins began going to college it became more difficult and Christmas Eve wasn’t the same.  The loss of not having them around was a tough one to swallow, I was angry for some time and there are some Christmas Eve’s where I still feel the absence of them.

You may not even be experiencing a loss, you may truly just be at a difficult time in your life.  You could be struggling financially, having a difficult time in a relationship, or quite honestly starting your life over.  When your in a season of “family time” and “togetherness” it can be difficult if you feel alone or are alone.

When and if you are going thru any of what I have mentioned about, it is tough to enjoy a “joyous” season when you’re just not filled with it.  When your bitter, hurt, and angry how do you be happy, cheerful and kind?  The biggest piece I have taken away is that it is okay to do things on your own.  It is okay to also say “Can I come too”?  I have also learned to not put myself in situations where I knew I’d end up snappy and frustrated at others.  Just because I was in a sour mood didn’t mean I needed to be that way towards others.  On the flip side, if you know someone is who is going thru a loss be respectful.  Be empathetic to them for what they are going thru, try to still include them in activities that bring merriment.

I won’t deny that this season can be a very tough one but try and embrace the small things.  Remember my Crawl. Walk. Run. post? Take in the Christmas Lights, smell the Christmas trees (or a candle that smells like one), bake or any other holiday activity!  Just give it a shot!

Instagram: @beyou_findyou


Family Matters

One thing I have learned is that your family is what you make it.  Yes, we all have blood relatives who are family, but then many have those who they are not blood related to that they consider family.  I have not only witnessed this within my own family but have witnessed it with others around me.  This is the family that I want to highlight at this time.

In a country that is ever growing and a culture that is ever changing it is not very often that you live on a street with your whole family any longer.  

Throughout my life most of my family has been at a distance.  Growing up my father’s family was the closest in proximity to my family; for the most part we all lived within 10 miles of one another.  My mom’s family lived, and still live, about an hour or so away.  As I got older much of my dad’s family moved away and my mom’s family stayed about the same distance.  This is understandable, people get older and opportunities happen, as a kid I didn’t understand and just felt like they all were choosing to leave us.  As an adult I see it differently and with social media it helps keep everyone in touch.  I would never ask them to change their decisions as it has benefited them all.  However, for this reason my family and I created our “other” family.

This other family is created of our closest friends, those people that have celebrated in our triumphs and been there for us when we’ve needed help.  My mom’s three best friends, have become like aunts to me.  I can call them at anytime and usually will call them just to vent if for some reason I want a different opinion other than my mom’s.  When I have exciting news I usually will call them shortly after I call my mother so she isn’t the one to tell them.  

My best friend’s family has welcomed me into their home many times and has even allowed me to seek solace there on the occasions I may need it.  I also know, that I can rely on them if I were to ever need help.  My sister’s boyfriend has become a brother to me, despite ragging on him all the time and all the crap my family has given him he has stood by my sister and my family without falter more times then I can count.  

I’ve seen this happen with friends of mine as well, those who have step parents or siblings.  Granted a marriage most often occurred to make them family but there’s a level of acceptance that must occur for the “family” title.  I’ve seen families created of solely friends, growing up one of my classmate’s mothers always called all of his friends her “children” and to this day still does.  She always welcomed his friends to their home and acted like a mom to anyone and everyone.  

As I’ve gotten older, and with my boyfriend’s graduate program, there are more individuals who have been introduced into my life who I consider to be family.  He and I have been lucky enough to have been included in friends-giving and Christmas parties, it humbles me when we are invited and considered to be what they call the “Pharmily”.  These are family members you end up choosing to be in your life and take part in it, they’re also the ones choosing you.

Family matters, family impacts you, but family is not solely made up of blood.  Those “other” family members are the one’s you choose to welcome into your life.  These are family members you end up choosing to be in your life and take part in it, they’re also the ones choosing you.  I love both my blood family and my “other” family as my life wouldn’t be complete without either.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

The “One and Only”

I was listening to a podcast a little bit ago and the speaker said something that struck me profoundly.  The speaker brought up that we used to be a part of communities; these communities would complete us, fill in the void where our significant other may not and God was everyone’s “One and Only”.

The speaker said this in the context that as a society we make the person we are in a relationship with into the “The One”.  We feel the need that they must complete us, they must be our best friend, our confidant, able to be where we need them to be at the drop of a dime also they must meet our sexual needs/desires.  Now, don’t get me wrong I myself have fallen right into this and it puts a lot of pressure on people.  I realize we aren’t seeking out to be a part of something, most often we are part of a couple and we like to hole ourselves up.  We like to be with that individual and them alone, now this is fine and what many people do.

There are many days where after being at work all I want to do is go home and be with my boyfriend.  I then also want him to solely give me his unwavering attention, also listen to every word I say, empathize, tell me I’m beautiful, and know everything I want.  Is this realistic?


But it’s what we have come to expect of others, we expect that because they are our “one and only” that they are the sole person who can provide all of this and more to us.

I have come to a harsh realization, as much as he tries, I can not solely rely on my boyfriend for all of the above and more.  I love him dearly and he’s the person I see spending my life with, however I realize putting all of that on him is just not fair.  I have branched out very much over the last year and have built my “tribe” or my “community”.  Granted I already had one within my family but these individuals are able to be there in a different way then my family can.

These individuals share similar values, can have long conversations and do not have the pressure that my boyfriend does.  This tribe has had a huge impact on my life and for the most part can call me out on my shit.  I can’t say I truly have ever had that within my short lifetime.  I believe that is part of the reason I have always put so much pressure on those men that I have been in relationships with.  I thought I had to make them my “world” and vice versa, no wonder the men I dated informed me they needed some room to breathe and I needed my own friends.

Having this tribe helps me get thru the days when I need more then what my boyfriend has the ability to at that time.  When I just need to have a vent session even if it’s catty and probably not the most mature thing to do.  They are there to do yoga with, have girls nights, and try out new adventures that he may not have interest in or time for.  There’s no reason for me not to do things just because he can’t go, I state this despite many times wishing he could be.  A large part of me wishes I had realized this earlier in his career of Pharmacy school but now that I have realized this I will work to continue to utilize it and be more fair towards him.

Moral that I have learned, build yourself a community, this can truly be a community of 2-3 people.  But build it, create it, let it grow because relying solely on one person to be all of those things and more is a big ask.  They may be able to be all those things in varying degrees but if you find a tribe or community it can help be some of those things part of the time, it’s a huge help and stress relief.

Seasons of Friendship

So what do I mean when I reference friendship as a season?  Well let me give you the background and you’ll see.

One day, I was sitting in my therapist’s office ranting about a friendship that had just seemed to fizzle out and she looked at me and said:

“What if we don’t think about it as the “end” of this friendship? What if we thought about it like a season? The season of this friendship is just over.”  

It made me think about some of my friendships.  Some friends I have never talked to again and sometimes for good reason; others have walked back into my life. Seasons repeat themselves, at least in New England they do, and they also tend to slowly slide away and into something new.  Unless there is a large fight most often friendships do not just end abruptly.  Are you understanding the comparison yet?  

Many people walk in and out of our lives, we have those that are constant, one continuous season, we have those that leave permanently and then we have those that enter in and out throughout our life.

Throughout my life I have lost friends, and there were many times I didn’t understand why we stopped being friends.  I know I can’t be the only one but as I’ve become an adult it is harder to understand.  Again, I am currently only 26 so I know there are many more years of this.  Having my therapist put the thought of friendship into this light has truly been eye opening.  I thought I had lost a friend, I thought we had parted ways and that we were not destined to be long time friends despite our connection.  We went months without talking and then they called me one day and it was like nothing changed.  We were able to pick up right where we left off, but then again a few weeks later the cycle repeated.  This was when I brought it to my therapist, upset and frustrated that for some reason the friendship seemed to not be succeeding.  

In adopting this thought process I do not feel so defeated or lacking self-confidence when a friend and I stop talking.  Well, unless it was a bitter split then I’ll admit it hurts and I may get angry and feel defeated.  When I think about it as a season though, I think of it as a beautiful thing.  I think of it in picture form, I think of my favorite parts of it, and I think about what I enjoyed most.  I look forward to the possibility that the friendship may re-occur.  So, most often, I will reach out to the individual again just to check in or if I run into something that makes me think of them.

Can you think about your favorite season, think about a friend that you had in that season, can you say that you are still friends?  Do you talk, text, hang out?  If you don’t when was the last time you did?  Do you notice that there is a pattern?

Think of your favorite parts of your friendship, think of your friend/s and smile, they have benefited your life in many ways even if it was tough when the friendship ended or changed seasons, you were able to learn a lesson.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

Lessons from Rejection

Rejection, not the easiest thing to swallow especially when we put ourselves out on a limb.

A lot of people in my life lately have talked with me and said the biggest reason they are not doing something or not going after what they want is because they fear being rejected.  Now this may be going out for a new job, a new relationship, or simply just asking somebody a question.  When I have talked to them most often my response is “Don’t be afraid, the worst that can be said is no.”

Keep in mind that I say this after knowing my own rejections and continuing to face them.  Remember my fear post a few weeks ago?  Heck, every time I write a new post I face my concerns of rejection.  The questions of:

Who will like what I read?
Who is going to say “this isn’t good enough she shouldn’t be writing”?
Who is going to call me a phony?

These questions among many others run thru my brain.  The feeling of rejection is not an easy one to get thru.  Feelings of rejection can come from anywhere in your life and yes sometimes the worst thing someone can say is the word “No”.  Those two little letters can most definitely pack a huge punch.  As a kid the word No is a death sentence, “Mom can I please have this cookie” being told we can’t is horrible!

When I am faced with the possibility of rejection I try and look at it holistically in the sense that if rejection comes then it wasn’t meant to be and there’s a lesson in it.

This past year I applied for and went thru a long interview process for a job on a team that I really wanted.  Due to skills the other individual already had they ended up getting the job over me.  It hurt, it sucked, it took the opportunity away of getting out of customer support.  However, I realized that I just wasn’t supposed to be in that position, there was something else coming along.  This past month I just started my dream job at the company I’ve spent the last three years working in.

When a relationship or friendship hasn’t worked in the past, it hurts, I cry, I get angry and then I let go.  Realizing the lessons I learned and realizing that the rejection from that person saves me in the long run.  This letting go may take some time and I can’t say that I always recognize the lessons right away but they are there.

You may think I’m silly but what is our life if we don’t put ourselves out there?  I won’t say that I am perfect and always face it head on, sometimes it takes a lot of pep talk, conversations with friends, and reminding myself I’ll learn something regardless

With or without rejection there is always a lesson to learn.  With rejection it can be an even bigger and better lesson to grow and become a stronger individual.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou

Compliments are essential

As I have grown up, I have learned how important compliments can be in a world of negativity.

As you go through your adolescence, teens, then onto adulthood you are given variations of compliments. You may or may not pay attention to such compliments and how they impact you.  This most often correlates to whether the complement validates your want for recognition at the given time or your perception of self at that moment.

For instance, let’s say one night you are all dolled up in your new dress, with your hair done and make up “prefect” you feel the prettiest you have felt in days.  However, when you walk towards the person you are trying to impress all they say is “Your hair looks cute”, and leaves it at; that it can be disappointing.  I’ll admit it I have let myself get frustrated and angry at that person. Now it’s not the right thing because I’m sure people are saying or thinking “Other people’s opinions don’t matter.”  That is 100% correct they don’t and they shouldn’t but deep down we all know that others opinions can impact us more then we like to admit.  Compliments however can be a tool to shape how to better see your best traits.

        I say all of this as a girl who has grown up trying to tame my wild, frizzy, thick, curly hair. I never thought it was pretty, cute or beautiful.  I always wanted it straight and when that wouldn’t happen it would get thrown up in some mess on the top of my head. Even those days were tough, I wanted the sleek pony tail that could go up high on my head without giving me headaches. Any day that consisted of any moisture other than snow was my enemy.  I have always been told that my hair and my curls were pretty, that girls and women wished they could have my hair. My 80 year old grandmother to this day still asks if she can have my hair.  It has taken almost 15 years, but I now LOVE my curly hair it is incredibly bouncy, unpredictable, and full however it fits my personality.  Having natural curls that people use chemicals to create, or heat to try and imitate makes me thankful to somehow have ended up with the genetics to end up with this beautiful, voluminous hair.

        My “porcelain” skin and rosy cheeks have been the nuisance of my existence since elementary school. I used to be made fun of by the boys saying I was always blushing or being called a ghost due to my skin complexion. I have never truly been able to “hold” onto a tan, I have told people I either end up with a faint summer “glow” or I become a lobster from burning. My sister however can be a bronze beauty in less than four days, stupid genetics right? What’s that saying, the pieces might be cut from one cloth but they are not the same? Anyways, point again is that I get by because I don’t really ever have to wear blush when I wear makeup and I have begun to love my pale skin because it sets me apart. I actually had someone say “She’s just so cute I want to put her on a shelf like a porcelain doll.” Mind you this was said while I was over the age of twenty. You just learn to take remarks like that as a compliment, they are not said to make you feel less pretty. Learning to see the positives in you sets you apart, makes you embrace your differences.

        I never truly thought about the power of a compliment until I met one of my good friends. She told me this, “If I see a girl who I think looks hot, pretty, or I like something about her, I’m going to tell her.” My question to her was why, because it never truly dawned on me to do this. Simply put she said it’s because we already live in a world where we are all judged and go out knowing we are going to be judged, why not make one person’s day by one compliment. She said “I know I would want someone to do the same.”

        Why in this society do we find it so easy to judge one another or belittle one another, when a compliment is so much easier. For instance, how many times have you seen someone in a day and thought to yourself, “I wish my makeup looked like that” or seen this one coworker at work that has impeccable style that you envy. How is it that we can’t just tell that person, ‘Hey, I really love your makeup today!” or “Hey, where did you get that outfit, you look really great in it!” I have concluded that we would simply prefer to feel sorry for ourselves than make someone feel better.

        Now, HOW INCREDIBLY BACKWARDS IS THAT? I have started taking my good friends advice and you know what I FEEL BETTER. When I compliment someone on their dress, or their earrings, or simply their style I can tell it makes their day, which intern makes mine. Why as a human race can we not just do that? Compliment girls and boys so they truly start believing in the quality of who they are.

I challenge you to compliment at least one person today.  Go out into your day and compliment someone you love, someone you don’t, or a complete stranger.

What compliment have you received that made you recognize a quality you love? Share your stories with me! Email me or tag me on Instagram.

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