Compliment a stranger

First thing, sorry it has been a while since I posted. I just think that you shouldn’t write because “its time”. You should write because you feel passionate about something and feel led to write about it.

With that out-of-the-way, something has been on my mind a lot lately. It is a heavy topic, too much to write in one post. But it is important to me.

The power of your words is something that is taken for granted nowadays. So many people do not realize that what you speak, to yourself and others, holds a greater power than most other outside forces.

Everyone gets angry and everyone lashes out at the people they care about most. Some people even lash out at strangers. But that is not the way humans were intended to treat one another. A father yelling “SHUTUP” at the top of his lungs to his teenage daughter is going to have a profound effect on her. She will never forget his words, but she will also never forget his tone as he said it.

It is impossible to have zero regrets. Because in the heat of the moment, you may not think about what you say before you say it. But the power of what you say and how you say it stays with a person. It hurts them. I was always a very sensitive kid. Probably too sensitive, but my sensitivity made me highly aware of the power that words have on others. Some of the strongest memories I have are words people have spoken to me. The words that made my heart ache for years and years. The words that made me who I am today.

So many people are too involved in their own emotions to think about what they say. However, positive words can have just as much power as the negative ones. Telling a stranger that you like their shoes may be the only positive words they hear all day. Asking a homeless person how they are doing today may be the only words spoken to them in days. Taking an extra second out of your day to give someone a word of encouragement or positive reinforcement can have the same impact as thinking about the words you’re going to say before you lash out. Compliment a stranger.

I know I have hurt people in the past, and I know I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But what I have learned and tried to implement in my life is having just enough self-control to control my words. The waitress that got an attitude when you sent your food back, she just lost her mom to cancer. The retail associate that you just cussed out for pricing something wrong, she’s working three jobs to support her family. Think before you speak.

Even if people are perfectly kind to the people they interact with, many times they lose that filter when talking to a person they love. You may not yell at a stranger but yelling at your mom, sister, significant other etc., hurts the same, if not more.

I’m saying this in the hopes that you think will think twice before speaking. I am saying this because maybe if you think twice about how you speak to others, maybe you will think twice about how you speak about/to yourself. If you show kindness then kindness will be shown to you. I know that sometimes life sucks. I believe that sometimes it seems like you are a punching bag for everyone around you. But I also believe that if you keep going, if you keep showing compassion, if you show other people that there is love in the world, then love will be shown to you. Life is too short to yell and scream at strangers, the people you love, or yourself. We are all limited in time on this earth, some more limited than others. Make that time count. Do good for yourself and others. You need to hear these words. You need to know that what you speak has power. Compliment a stranger, and most importantly, compliment yourself.

I moved a mountain

I have always gotten a knot in my stomach when even thinking about talking to my dad about everything gone wrong between us. I wasn’t scared of him, but I was scared of the aftermath. I was scared of causing someone else to be uncomfortable. I was scared of tearing down an already fragile relationship. But this week, things changed. This week I took a leap of faith. This week I had courage like no other. This week we began to heal our relationship.

My dad and I have always had a gap in our relationship. There has always been something missing. What he thought was best at the time, turned out disastrous for me later down the road. He thought he was doing the right thing, and I was too afraid to tell him any different. I am a peacekeeper. I do not like drama. I do not like fights or arguments, and I would rather have myself get hurt than anyone else around me. But going through what I have been going through these last two years has shown me that sometimes those difficult conversations have to be had in order to move forward. You cannot live in the past and you can’t dwell on things you cannot change. But, you still have to acknowledge those things because they were real and they hurt us.

Before this week I had never told my dad what happened throughout my childhood and the trauma I went through. I never told him what happened and I always held that against him. I held something against him that he was not even aware of. Through my own healing and self-reflection lately, I was able to see that. And this week, we both took responsibility for our mistakes and we took the biggest step forward we ever had.

In my heart I know that my dad would lay down his life for me in a second. I know that he loves me and I know he feels guilty. But this week I could see it for myself. I saw that my pain hurt him. I saw his raw emotions and I saw that he really wants to be a daddy to me like I always wanted. This week I saw a great foundation being built between us that we can move forward with. He cannot go back in time and neither can I, but this week I saw that he would go back and change what happened in a heart beat and that is what I needed. I waited years and years to hear the words he said this week and I felt a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

These last two years have been about healing: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The stress of what happened made me sick. And I will deal with that for the remainder of my life. But my dad is sick too. And that loose end was tied up this week. That loose end is now a knot that we will continue to work through.

This week could have went 2 drastically different ways. And it went the best way possible. My leap of faith was the best choice I have ever made. Having that little ounce of courage helped me and my dad heal. I was scared, but I was fearless. It sounds like an oxymoron but it isn’t. Because I was scared and I overcame that fear with faith and strength. I found the strength inside myself. I want to tell you that just because you have had a bad relationship with someone (maybe parent, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, brother, sister etc.) your entire life does not mean that it is beyond repair. Just because you have not spoken to them or had a real conversation with them in years means nothing. I want you to feel the strength that I felt. I want you to have God on your side. I have no doubt we had angels in there with us this week. I want you to know that taking a leap of faith can change your world, and it can help you heal. Having faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. Imagine it, you moving a mountain. That is amazing to think about. You need to hear that I believe in you. I believe that you can move that mountain. I believe that you can be honest with the person who has caused you pain. I believe that you are strong.