Extraordinary messages arrive in the most ordinary places sometimes. I was waiting to check out at the grocery store the other day when an elderly man shuffled up behind me. He needed milk. There were eggnog and almond milk at the check-out counter’s display, so he grabbed some with a shrug. We exchanged a few comments about how it tastes before he turned to walk away but stopped on second thought.
“You are a beautiful woman,” he said looking straight in my eyes. “You know God only makes beautiful things and you are too hard on yourself. God says stop it. Stop being so hard on yourself.” Then, he shuffled away.
I’ve been thinking about this moment. It was so abrupt. So pointed. His suggestion so out of the blue as to make it hard to ignore. You see, just a few days earlier a close friend had said that I’m too hard on myself. But, I had promptly brushed it aside thinking, aren’t we all? So it was only upon hearing a total stranger echo this exact refrain that I paused long enough to listen.
What I listened to was my own thoughts; the mental chatter that begins upon waking in the morning and only stops for any decent length of time when I return to sleep. Within this monologue is snippets of self-doubt, questions of worth, comparisons, admonishments, and judgments, all pointed towards me. Let’s just say it isn’t always pretty in there.
Yet, I try to pay attention to the messages around me. And I’m thinking it’s time to heed this stranger’s advice. It’s also a message I’d like to offer to you. You are too hard on yourself. Please, stop it. You are beautiful in the most expansive sense of the word. You are enough. Right now at this very moment. Happy New Year Y’all!
P.S. Art is courtesy of Tanya Leigh Ta. See more here: http://www.livingly.com/Life+Hacks/articles/fOt5U9PBbOZ/5+Reasons+Stop+Being+Hard+Yourself
~Robynne, Goodgrief App Co-founder