Dear fellow ladies of the 21st century,
Some people say we’ve got it easy. We’ve got the answer to nearly any question we have available at the touch of a button. We have an overabundance of food, clothing, and all the necessities of life at our fingertips. What’s to complain about, right? Well, not much. But the fact is that many people are still hurting and terribly unsatisfied in life.
Why? I think a lot of the time we try to satisfy our deepest longings for truth and beauty with the fleeting pleasures of the world. Standing in line we whip out the smartphone and see what’s been posted in the last 12.4 seconds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s harder to take time to write a letter or *GASP* actually talk to someone. It’s the world we live in.
But I take great pleasure in being counter-cultural in many ways.
What society tells us is plain messed up sometimes (seen the latest magazine covers?). So here I am with a different message. You might be older or younger than me; taller, more experienced, and probably better than me at many things. But we’re all in this thing called life together. I want you to know that. There are lots of things I want you to know, remember, and repeat often. Here are some of them:
You are beautiful. Yes, it’s cheesy and people tell you this on your duck face profile pictures all the time. But I want you to know that random comments about how sexy that picture is don’t do you much justice. Being beautiful is a lot more than that.
Beauty is your laugh, and when you share your heart with a friend. It’s when you’re vulnerable by allowing people to get to know you for who you are. When you hide behind a foot of makeup and a hair-do that takes an hour to prep you’re still beautiful, but we can’t really see you. Know that who you are in and of itself makes you beautiful and awesome. Be the person that has dreams and talents and a smart head on her shoulders. People will see your authenticity and appreciate that about you. And never forget to smile!
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Seriously. I think this is one of the hardest things about living in the 21st century. Oh! So-and-so just posted pictures on Instagram of her vacation and doesn’t she always have the perfect hair and clothes! Another girl posted cute picture with her friends. Isn’t their hair/clothes/abs just perfect? Goshdarnit! Now I need to go work out. If I could be half as awesome as them, it would be amazing!
Nuh uh. Stop it.
That girl on vacation? Maybe she’s using it as time to get away from her abusive boyfriend. She focuses on her clothes and hair a lot so she doesn’t have to talk about how hard her life is. Those girls on Facebook? They were fighting the night before they took that picture and a couple of them are faking their smiles. Maybe the fake smilies are hiding something they don’t want to talk about.
I could go on and on, but the point is that with all the social media right now it’s very easy to feel bad about ourselves because we only see the best parts of people they put on the internet. But that’s not reality. Work on becoming the best version of yourself and slowly these people won’t affect you as much. And please don’t say you want to be half as good as someone else. You are 100% as awesome as yourself already.
Don’t judge other people. It’s hard, believe me (and yes I fail at this a lot). But it it will make your life so much happier if you give people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the person who cut you off on the road is driving their passenger to the hospital. Maybe your friend who said something super rude didn’t mean it the way it sounded to you. We all mess up, so no one is perfect. Most of the time we don’t know for certain the motivation behind what someone does. So don’t assume you know it. Assume the best.
This is quite a challenge, but I encourage you to find what works for you. Do you need to walk away from certain kinds of situations? Take a run? Count to 10? Do it. Read your emails and texts before you send them. Speaking from experience, you’ll be thankful you did!
And if someone really is being rude take a deep breath, wait until you can respond with a clear mind, and pray for them. Every person we come in contact with is a lesson for us to learn. Maybe they will build us up and encourage us, but sometimes people are there to challenge you and push you to become a better version of yourself.
It’s not all about us. More people need to hear this. Yes, you are awesome. But you have your gifts and talents for a purpose, not to brag about them. Use your abilities for the common good, and help people through them. It’s amazing how doing something for other people can make you a better person and teach you so much.
You are worth fighting for. If no one in your life has told you that you are worthy of the utmost respect, let me be the first. Now don’t go strutting around with your nose in the air expecting people to bow in your presence. But do respect others in a way that compels them to treat you like a lady. You should spend less and less time with anyone who does not do this, because ain’t nobody got time fo’ negativity, girlfriend.
No matter how old you are, there will be times when you don’t feel like enough. Well guess what? You are. Even if you can’t see it. Your beauty and personality are unique and unrepeatable. Your true friends will see that and love you not for how you act of what you do, but because of who you are.
You have the ability to change someones life – don’t ever forget that. You are a powerful witness to the good in the world if you allow yourself to see the good around you and reveal it to others.
Dream big, and never forget this: You are beautiful. Don’t compare. Don’t judge. It’s about other people too. And you’re worth fighting for.
Now go get ’em!