The gorgeous Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman said "the bad things are easier to believe". Not sure using a quote about selling your lady-wares is quite the way to go in my blog but she's a redhead so must talk sense.
Some of you will already know the top layers of my story: starting to make positive changes and finding a new sense of pride, being brave to share my story to hopefully help others. But underneath those top layers of the smiley woman crossing the finish line with wobbly bits aplenty but joy shining through, represent years and years of insecurity and believing the bad things.
Maybe my analogy, rather than a lady of the night, should be an onion. Peel back the many layers of an onion and at its heart is simply a smaller onion. A small and vulnerable onion, exposed and not protected by the many layers around it, and the person peeling the onion will be in tears of course. I built up many layers of my onion to protect me and these layers led to many years of "I can't" and "I won't". Probably to the point where my layers were that many they were restrictive of the vulnerable onion that was at the heart.
For every positive step I take, it might seem small on the surface to those who flick past my blog or see a tweet here and there, but the fight to get that each and every small step out of me has been huge.
I listened to a conversation in my office the other day. A young lady came in and said to another young lady, "you look lovely today". What a nice way to start the day I thought, complimenting someone in an authentic way. She responded with, "no I don't, I've got an old dress on. I'm tired so I have bags under my eyes and my hair's a mess". How sad. Sad because someone had been open and honest, expecting nothing in return and to hear someone turn good into bad. But sad for the lady that was offered a pure and honest compliment to turn it into a self-deprecating insult session. I did step in at that point about how to accept a compliment with grace - as my gorgeous Granny Molly taught me. It hurt my heart to hear young women doing that to themselves. There are sadly so many people in life who are ready to run us down and have us believe the bad things, we owe it to ourselves to accept a compliment when it is given. We also need to be brave enough to give out compliments when it is honest and authentic to do so.
Yet there I was asking those young ladies to listen to and accept a compliment when I am the world's biggest culprit. Through being brave and stepping outside of my shy, I have heard from some guys, but mostly ladies, that have been inspired to step outside of their onion layers to try something new. Yet no matter how often I read those messages, I am super proud for the writer and what they are achieving, but those kind words about the positive impact I am having don't register as about me.
So this is my pledge to you all now reading this, and my pledge to my inner onion, I will be Julia Roberts with her natural ginger curls (not the blonde wig) each time I get a 'thanks' or an admiring remark about the positive steps I am making for me and others and I will accept it with grace and make Granny Molly proud.
BE KIND TO YOUR INNER ONION GUYS AND GIRLS
Thanks for reading