Over the course of the past two months, since I published "Praying Crazy Prayers", I have become aware of a prevalent phenomenon among the many women I know. It is the occurrence of lingering depression which is compounded by repetitive negative self-talk. Due to the nature of this book, and the nature of The Torch and Torch 180, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of women. I hear them present at different events we attend. I receive emails and Facebook Friend Requests from them, I work with them professionally through the two organizations, and I have many opportunities to observe them as they live their lives.
It shocks and dismays me when I engage in personal conversations with the many wonderful ladies I know, and I hear how they struggle to feel good about themselves. These stunning lady friends of mine are in all walks of life. Some stay at home and care for their children. Some have pursued higher and higher education and have established themselves in the world of academia. Some are business women, and others are doing the best they can working at jobs they may or may not love. Some are incredibly generous to non-profit organizations - with their money or time or talents. Some are deeply involved with family issues or other time-consuming situations in their lives.
Without a doubt, we all hear a lot of negativity and criticism directed at us on a daily basis. We are too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, not rich enough, not accomplished enough, don't have well-behaved-enough kids, don't contribute enough, don't live int he right neighborhood, don't participate in the right programs or sports or events ... we are fed the message over and over again that we are not enough.
So it's no wonder I have observed the habit of negative self-talk in so many different women, and I was thinking about it a lot today. It is debilitating and painful to constantly feel bad about ourselves. And, as I thought about all that, it made me feel weepy. I started to wonder what I might be able to do to help counter some of it? Then, I realized that I don't always tell the ladies in my life how much I admire them. I don't remember to send a word of encouragement, or to say how wonderful I think they are.
All of you ladies out there - YOU ARE STUNNING! You are absolutely, stunningly beautiful in so many ways! You are intelligent - all of you! Every one of you has aspects of intelligence I so deeply admire. You are great cooks, bakers, encouragers, scholars, parents, friends, volunteers, hair stylists, social workers, nurses, physical therapists, home health care workers, teachers, principals, and on and on and on! You do so many things I can't do, and I admire you in so many ways. As a person who finds it difficult to open up and share with others, I am blessed beyond belief when you share with me. I learn so much from all of you. I love to see your pictures on Facebook, and to read about what's going on in your lives. I love knowing when your birthdays are, because I love knowing YOU! All of you stunning, beautiful, precious beloved ladies.
I just want you to know I am sorry that I have not been good about telling you that I admire you and am proud of all the many things you do for your families and communities. I am proud of how you persevere. I am proud and honored you are the ladies in my life, because YOU keep me going!
The negative self-talk has to stop, because I don't know one single lady who should waste time feeling badly about herself - there is just too much good in all of you! YOU are stunning! YOU are wonderful! YOU matter! And YOUR LIFE blesses my life!