When I was five years old, I was in a horrible accident and suffered 3rd degree burns on both arms and the right side of my face. I bear the scars to this day.
I've never been one to concentrate on outward appearances, and have always felt like the accident sorta defined who I was, in a good way. My scars, and my journey were instrumental in helping me raise two daughters to be strong and confident young women. Along with their dad, we'll take credit for helping them steer clear of a scary and difficult adolescence. But I don't even want to share credit with him that, to this day, both girls aren't much for shopping, expensive make-up, or fashion for fashion's sake.
I did always encourage them to look nice, strive to do their best, be kind, and most importantly, treat everyone with respect. But I did hound them with the ever present mom slogans;
- you're not wearing that
- drink your milk
- if all your friends were gonna jump off a bridge...
- don't make me turn this car around
- someone better be bleeding
- stand up straight
I cringe to this day when I hear people say to little girls, "Oh my, you are so beautifulI! I may or may not have corrected complete strangers who said this to my daughters. Find an actual personality trait, when complimenting.
I do not believe in weight comments, either. I've heard people say, "How much weight have you lost?" What does that imply? You were once fat, but now I can see you've lost. Or, worse yet, "Have you lost weight, you're looking great." Really??? So you weren't really looking that good before you dropped a few pounds!!!!!! Or the horrible, "She has such a pretty face."
Scars tell a story about the journey. Everybody is on a journey and everybody has a story to tell.
My encouragement to you today is to stand up straight and accept yourself right where you are. Take control of your own destiny. Concentrate on smiling, being kind, eating healthy, showing respect, and being you!
- one day, you'll thank me