The Juiciest Lessons Make You Cry

I read a blog post an hour ago from Laura Roeder about facing fears....or at least, that's the way she tells it.  In her story, someone criticized her on a very personal level.  She called it her worst fears come true, and it drove her to run away and sob in her room.

I wrote a thoughtful comment and tried to post it to her blog.  Not only could I not post my comment, I now can't get on to her page at all.  She must be burning up the web!

I saw some other people's comment about how to get back at that woman who made the hurtful comments (about her age, her voice, etc).  And I came to my own conclusions, which are exactly the opposite of much of what I was reading.

Laura's 'tormentor' gave her an incredible gift.  Someone told Laura that to be taken seriously, she would have to "be different" (speak differently, act differently, etc), or at least, that is how Laura heard the message.  Laura didn't truly believe she was ok just the way she is.  She didn't truly believe that her age was not an issue.   And along came someone to test Laura's beliefs about Laura.  Guess what?  She was deeply mortified (her words), driven to tears (her story), and yet look at where she is now: stronger, more confident, and wiser.  She was given the gift of experience, which usually (but not always) comes with age.  In that painful moment, she grew.  She grew wiser and more confident.

How wonderful to really learn this lesson before you are 30!  I'm not sure there is an easy way to learn this lesson, particularly if you are a child who grows up in a family of chaos like I did (divorce, addiction, whatever).  I believe there are people who go to their graves never truly believing they are ok, just as they are.  They might 'think' they are ok, tell themselves they are ok, but never 'FEEL' they are ok.  I have felt inadequate for enough time in my life (not always, but enough to feel the debilitating effect).  I am hard on myself and I know it.  I am just tired of it now. 

Age is just time passing.  Sometimes we learn from our experiences, sometimes we don't.  As women, I think we learn the most from the experiences that make us cry.  I know I do.  Tears only come when our egos get out of the way. We cry when things are true, maybe not so pretty, and deeply painful.  Tears are a sign of an emotional response.  I love tears.  They always tell the truth.

Sometimes, criticism hurts.  Sometimes it rolls off my back.  So when it really hurts, I want to remember to thank the person who saw deeply enough into my soul to recognize some inconsistency between what I was saying about myself, and what I was truly feeling about myself. Those are the wounds that need healing.  Once I allow myself to see these wounds, and open them up to fresh air, the healing can begin.  The more healed I become, the more strength I have to share with the next person who needs a lifeline.

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