My word for the last few years has been ‘Inspire’, from the Latin “to breathe life into”. I have focused most of my life on what other people think of me. I’ve let other people’s expectations for me run my life. Who I am, what I should look like, how I should talk, who I should be or what I should stand for. As I approached 30, a lot of that melted away. Of course, now and then, that beast comes roaring its ugly head…but that should NOT be our focus.
What matters in life is who you really are, and what type of legacy you want to leave behind. I want to be known as someone who inspires others. One that encourages. I want to inspire people to be the absolute best version of themselves. The ‘golden rule’ has never rang so true to me as it does now. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” I never wanted to be treated like I wasn’t cool enough, rich enough, smart enough, funny enough, sarcastic enough, pretty enough, that my dreams in life weren’t good enough. But you know what? It happened. It happens every day to each and every one of us. There is always that “negative nancy” that creeps into our lives. That person who doesn’t have enough to do in their own lives, that they feel the need to push their own faults and insecurities onto others. The ones who love to stick it to you when you are happy, or especially when your down. Sadly, sometimes it’s our closest friends and family.
I’ve learned that the only person you need to prove yourself to is you…and the Lord! I am a lover and follower of Christ. If I know I am living to the standards He has set before me, then that’s ALL that matters! Don’t be a contributor to the evil in this world. Anytime I had a bad attitude or I wasn’t being very nice, my Nana would always say, “Quit being ugly.” She was right, and I tend to use this phrase with my children on a daily basis.
Our children need to hear encouraging words from us. Our friends need to hear how great they are. Our husbands need respect and to hear “thank you” for the hard work they put into providing for their families. Wives/mothers need to hear encouraging words for the patience and endurance it takes to raise children as stay at home moms and working moms. Pastors need you to appreciate them, not to tell them “you sure went long today!” Employees need to know that they are appreciated. Teachers need to hear what they do is extravagant! Many times, the people who seem to ‘have it all together’ tend to be the ones that need to hear it the most! We all need encouraging, we all need to be inspired.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Prov 16:24
I’ve been so intrigued lately with Facebook posts I’ve seen. Parents standing their children in front of a mirror and speaking life and words of affirmation over them. Recently, at my company’s business convention, we had a social psychologist speak to us about the observation of human body language. It didn’t matter what language a group of people spoke, the culture, or even if they were blind, any time a human experienced victory their arms shot up in the air, body completely open. When people feel strong and courageous, the natural bodily instinct is to expand. Even an expanded stance alone can increase ones self-esteem. This has really opened my eyes to my own self-image as well as my children’s. I will now be one of those parents that stand my children, and myself, in front of a mirror and tell them how great they are. I will confess these things over them and have them repeat it. I presume it will sound something like this:
“You are a child of the most high God. A daughter/son of the one true King. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. For God knew you before you were even in my tummy. He has a glorious plan for your life. You will do great things. You are a world changer. You are smart, you are kind, you are generous and you are beautiful. My sweet child, you are loved.”
We all know the devastating reality and outcome of people who have had hate spoken over them their entire life. We all know how it makes us feel. Negativity is already rampant in this world. It’s important that we strive for greatness and do our due diligence in being our best self. Don’t let other people’s misery ruin your day, your week, or your life.
You never know the difference you can make in a person’s life just because you were kind and encouraging. We all need love….. Be the love this world needs. Be the love your family needs.