Sticks and Stones And Words That Hurt You

be-an-encourager

I was recently “cat fished”.

In case that’s a word you’re not familiar with, according to Urban Dictionary, here is the definition: Being deceived over online profiles as the deceiver professed their romantic feelings to his/her victim, but isn’t who they say they are.

It’s a loose description. There’s a whole documentary about it. It happens. Usually to older, unsuspecting people, usually women, but I never would’ve thought that it would happen to me. I spent 2 weeks talking to this guy, he was charming and open and lovely and very handsome, mature etc. All the things you would expect. Now, I’m not an online virgin. It’s not like I don’t know the way of the world…but I got duped by this guy. Turns out, he was just out to get his rocks off without having to leave the house. For all I know, he could be a perverted 80 year old man sitting in a retirement home with a laptop and free WiFi.

It happens. I know it happens. Knowing it happens, doesn’t make it any easier when it does happen. I felt like a chump for a few days. How did I miss that? It wasn’t even as though anything major happened. I woke up 2 weeks into it with a niggling feeling I couldn’t shake. And it turns out I was right. No fireworks. No money lost. Just someone with no regard for another human.

So while my ego took a bit of a hit, do you know what was hit even harder? My heart. Knowing that there is someone in the world, someone who got into MY world, who deceives people for hours a day, every single day. How on earth did someone like that get through? How did I not see it?

Anytime something like that happens, whether it’s to me directly, or whether it’s something that happens to another, I feel it. There is nothing awesome about deceiving someone…whether it’s to deliberately cat fish someone, or whether it’s to lie or steal from them. What’s the purpose? To hurt another? Is that how you win?

I just watched a video of one of our weather reporters in Vancouver, on one of the major news networks, get attacked via an anonymous letter because she’s pregnant and the viewers think they have a right to write in and tell her what they think of the clothes she’s wearing and how they think she looks in them. They feel she should be wearing “more appropriate” maternity attire and use words that no one has the right to say to another.  Course if they were well known fashion designers they would’ve signed their names to the letters they sent.  That’s just not nice.

I read that Kathy Griffin is leaving some talk/fashion show she was one of the hosts of because she could no longer perpetuate the culture of bullying celebrities based on how they look or what they wear. While I’m not a huge fan of Kathy Griffin, I applaud her reasons for leaving the show.

And then, just a few minutes ago, I read this post about Monica Lewinsky and her TEDtalk. I saw Monica’s talk on another platform shortly before her TEDtalk in Vancouver. I was excited for her. She had an opportunity to finally face the public and share what her life has been like since she was the first person publicly shamed via the internet.  At 24, what Monica went through, no one should ever have to go through, no matter how old. She isn’t responsible for the state of affairs in America or any other country. She just did what she did when she was 24. Aren’t there things you did in your 20s you cringe thinking about now that you’re older and you know better?

I bet none of those shenanigans ended up on the internet. So this post I just read…Made me cry. Why? Because people can be so hurtful and mean. Social media has made it easier, and quite frankly, acceptable for the most part to be mean to someone online.  Teenagers are killing themselves because of cyber bullying. That is not okay.

When did we stop being awesome to each other? When did it become “normal” to be anything less than kind? Considerate? Aware of another person’s feelings?  I am always mortified by the comments left on photos/posts/youtube videos. When did things become so personal? When did it become okay to hurt someone’s feelings knowingly? Intentionally?

I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t have a solution. It breaks my heart every single day to see things like this go on. Monica Lewinsky is ever so brave for taking what happened to her, for turning her shame into something positive. Something that could potentially make a difference in the world. And yet, people still want to bring her down?

Don’t you think there’s enough of that going on in the world right now?  How about we just stop doing it? How about we go back to lifting each other up, rather than doing whatever we can to tear each other down?

Isn’t that the world you want to live in? One where your kids get to grow up knowing they are awesome? One where you get to tell your friends how awesome they are just because they are. One where you know there isn’t anything that you can’t do because you have people who have your back? A world where you get to wake up every day knowing feeling awesome because you were awesome to another?

Doesn’t THAT sound like a much better world to live in?

So can we please just stop with the mean, hurtful, horrible things and return ourselves back to loving each other?

“We talk a lot about our right to freedom of speech, but we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of speech.” ~ Monica Lewinsky

Rita xo

Our Greatest Weakness Could Be Our Biggest Strength

awesome takes practice

“If you’re not scared, you’re not taking a chance. And if you’re not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing?”

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about what kinds of things make us cool. What does being cool even really mean?  Is it cool that I had plans on Friday night? Is it less cool that those plans included sweats, a hoodie, a big mug of tea and some girlie chatting with a friend? Does that suddenly make me “lame” in the eyes of all those who did something “cool” on Friday night?

Is it cool that I love movies where lots of things get blown up and there are car chases and such? I saw Olympus as Fallen on Saturday with my man, and I was completely enthralled by it. In the wake of the horrible world events this past week, it may not have been the most appropriate film for me to see, but you know what? I loved it. Does that mean I’m cool? Or does it mean I’m less sensitive to the plight of all those people impacted by the events of the past week which then makes me a horrible person? Or, does it just mean I went to a movie on Saturday and I really liked it?

Being cool can also mean being “macho”…keeping your cool, not letting others see you sweat. If you’re nervous, don’t let anyone know. Try to stop sweating, if you’re one of those people who sweats when you get nervous. If you’re scared, oh Lord..make sure no one can see your bottom lip trembling, or your hands shaking. Does it mean I’m not cool if I’m trembling and shaking? Or does it simply mean I’m scared?

Being cool, also means being stingy with our feelings.  Expressing how we feel can sometimes be an uncomfortable thing. What if we’re rejected?  What if the object of our expression laughs in our faces? That is so not cool.  It’s far cooler to let the people in your life express to YOU how they feel about you. That’s gotta feel good right? That’s gotta make you feel awesome. Yes? Well…imagine you’re that person. The one who is constantly sharing with you, how they experience you, through their eyes and heart. How amazing you are, and how grateful they are to have met you, and that they love you.

Only to have you not acknowledge their expression. Or their words. Is it cool to simply ignore what they are saying and say something totally random instead? Or better still, to complain about something that might be wrong? It’s much cooler, isn’t it, to talk about how tired you are, or how much pain you’re in from one thing or another. Than to genuinely and generously accept what your loved one’s are sharing with you, what they want you to know. The heartfelt words they choose to share, because sharing makes a difference in the relationships in your life, and because the words, come straight from their hearts. While you sit, perhaps uncomfortably, not knowing what to say…so you say nothing.

That my friends, is one of those things that anyone can do. Anyone can be cool, and aloof and stand -offish in regards to their feelings and/or expressing them. If you were to ask, you might even find that the majority of the population live their lives like that every day.

So. Now. Let me ask you this. Do you think that if you were to actually hear what the other person was saying, and respond appropriately…that it might make all the difference to your relationship with them? Do you think it’s possible that it might even make your relationship better? Or bring you closer? What if it were the very thing to make the world a better place? What if the kinder you were to the people in your life, the more you shared how important they were to you, or the more you were willing to be vulnerable with the people in your life, by sharing your love, the love that’s in your heart anyway, can you see that it would have a huge impact on how the world works?

Imagine the butterfly effect that would have on other people in the world?

You may think I’m talkin’ smack, but you have no way of knowing if what I say isn’t true. Maybe being cool isn’t what’s cool anymore. Maybe being willing to be vulnerable, being willing to share and express your feelings towards your fellow human beings, is just the thing this world needs to work a little bit better.

And do you know what that is?

That right there…is what I’d call…Awesome.

So go. Share. Tell someone you love them. See how their face lights up.

“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they’re alive.” ~ Optimus Prime

Do You Know What Makes You Awesome?

Ever wonder what it is that makes you awesome?

When someone says “Hey..you’re awesome!” Do you ever wonder how they know that?  How they could possibly know that you’re awesome, without really knowing you?

Or maybe you’ve done something nice for someone, and how they thank you is by telling you that they think you’re awesome.

who's awesome

Some might say that the word is overused so has lost it’s power. I say it isn’t used nearly enough! If everyone in the world knew they were awesome, I’d tell you the word was now being overused. Until then…

It isn’t like there’s a guide book where you can look under the tab that says “when someone thinks you’re awesome” to tell you why you are. So you can be crystal clear about it.

It’s tough for us to believe someone when they say something like that to us. Awesome? You think I’m awesome? Me? Really?

Well let me tell you a little bit about what makes you awesome.

1.  It’s your willingness to thank someone, even if you don’t believe them, when they say something nice about you, to you.

2.  When you hear about a challenge, one that makes you a little bit nauseous, you do it even though you’re scared. Because that’s who you are. You’re all about jumping outside of your comfort zone. You may crawl back to it every now and again, ’cause life sure can be a little bit scary at times, but you’ll always venture back out to take on something new.

3.  You are always willing to learn something new, about yourself, or the world you live in. You’re curious, you ask questions and you’re willing to look. Even if sometimes, it’s uncomfortable.

4.  You are constantly doing what you said you’d do. Even if you just said it to yourself.  You keep promises whenever possible. You will do your best to never let anyone down, and if that does happen, you’ll be sure to be responsible for it. You call when you say you will. You show up when you say you will. You go when you say you will, even if you don’t want to.

5.  You are willing to look foolish/stupid/crazy. You are so willing to try new things, even things you know you can’t do, and are willing to risk looking foolish. It takes a special kind of person to be okay with not looking good.  Whether it be by falling in love (again), or quitting your job and not knowing what you’ll do next, or taking on a challenge that you are pretty sure you can’t finish. The glory isn’t in the finishing. It’s in the willingness to try.

6.  You have a desire to make a difference in the world, in your life, and/or in the lives of the people in your life.

7.  You know that the best way to have your life rock, is by making yourself a priority, your first priority. Taking care of yourself, means you have more room to take care of others, which is the path to having your relationships work. It doesn’t matter that you think it’s selfish. It kind of is.  It’s the best kind of selfish there is. When YOU start to put yourself first, others will follow in your footsteps. It’s a win/win.

8.  Believing in the dreams of others, cheering them on, making sure they know they are not alone, and that they CAN do anything, is a super power of the awesome.

9.  Love. Love is another super power of the awesome.

10. You know that being awesome, simply means that those around you, those you come into contact with, they get to own their awesome too.

No then…go forth and be awesome.

Rita xo