sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will never hurt me….
She was just a girl. Little, in fifth grade, with uncontrolled frizzy hair and a freckly face. But, despite that, oh so awkward stage, she felt good that day. In fact, she felt amazing and full of confidence. She had on these cool pants – floral pants, very 80s pants, with a bright bold pattern splashed about everywhere. And she had on her white sweatshirt – cute with the 3/4 length sleeves and the trendy emblem on the front. In her mind? Perfection.
She got permission to look at the nailpolish in Target while her mom and dad looked at the shampoo in the next aisle. She looked – at the reds, blues and the pinks – feeling as if nothing could stop her right then. To her, it was the perfect growing up type of afternoon. And just then, three boys, teenagers probably, came around the corner, saw her, the anonymous girl, and decided to yell something at her.
She looked up, the once confident little eleven year old in her favorite outfit, and saw them. Laughing. At her. They ran off and left her standing there in the midst of pointless nailpolish. Who cared about luscious pink and cherry reds now. Now, she hated her clothes. She hated those pants with the purple flowers splotched about. She hated her hair. She now thought she was ugly.
And she lived with that. For years and years and years.
She grew. Got married. Had children. Yet, still in the background of her mind were those two little words. Hey Ugly. She let them grow and grow and grow. Then it developed into more and more more lies about herself that developed from one little lie yelled at her in the midst of an early years Target.
You’re not good enough.
No one likes you.
You can’t do it.
You’ll never do anything.
All from Hey Ugly.
Until, one day, that little girl, who was now an adult learned the truth of Hey Ugly. She learned that she was not ugly, but rather a daughter of the King. She learned that those kids, those boys, probably never thought again of the words that they yelled at that little girl in Target with her fabulously cute, but never worn again, floral pants. Or how those words could define a life. Until the girl, now an adult, decided to no longer live with those words defining her life. She instead began to live knowing that she was beautiful – In the Lord.
She learned about the power of words. She learned how callously and carelessly they are thrown around – little phrases here and there and when these words are left unchecked they grow into lies distorting the truth of self. She learned that as a mother that she needs to absolutely guard the words that she tells her children. She learned that she is not an emotion. She is not angry, sad, mad, scared, fearful and all of that. She is much more than emotion.
And she learned to forgive and let go of the hurt from those boys that decided in their world to be funny and yell at a little girl Hey Ugly.
She wasn’t ugly. She just believed them.
But, not anymore.
She learned how those are lies of a culture that are destined to hold people, to hold women, to hold moms back. The lies don’t define a life. The lies don’t define worth. They don’t define value. Or potential. They don’t define beauty. They don’t define capability. Instead she learned that truth defines.
And now, she’s sitting here, behind a laptop writing to you.
She’s telling you that you are not ugly, worthless, pointless, never going to measure up, a failure, don’t matter, and all of that lie filled chatter that can run through our minds. Rather, you are beautiful. You are worthy. You are full of potential. You, right now, in your home with all that you are doing and have to do, with those old lies that no longer need to run through your head, you are absolutely beautiful.
Do not ever forget that.
Do not ever listen to the Hey Ugly cries of this world.
You are more than that.
You are a beautiful daughter of the King.
She’s telling you, she’s imploring of you, to listen to that finding joy truth instead.
Walking The Visual Journey
If you’re following the Brave Art of Motherhood Visual Journey . . . my van fire was pretty traumatic for the whole family, but it did teach us some good things about stuff .