Empowered 

Two days ago, someone gave an offensive and unnecessary remark about the way I look. It left me hurt, sad, and very angry. I didn’t say anything at that instance, and opted to let my anger pass and calm myself, and confront that person the following day. I prayed on it, and finally resolved to just let the incident pass, choose my battles. 

The following day, I chanced upon an article on The Female Network. It was a feature about Jodilly Pendre’s (Asia’s Next Top Model runner-up)  own struggles (similar to mine), and how she lifted herself up from it. How very timely and apt to read about that. And right at that moment, I became even more convinced that I had made the right decision – – – to be the better person. I picked up an idea from Jodilly, to write to myself, as a way to release my anger and frustration, and eventually, let the hurt go. 

The anger is  gone, and I can laugh about it now. 

Earlier, with a bunch of guts and kapal ng mukha, not expecting that Jodilly would even pay any attention, I wrote her a short message on Instagram to thank her for the inspiration and encouragement. I believe, when someone gives you inspiration and encouragement, you let that person know. That’s one of the many ways you can spread love, show appreciation, lift each other up, and hopefully, inspire as well.

She replied. 🙂 

Smile. We’re all beautiful. ❤️

I AM BEAUTIFUL

Dear Doreen:


Yesterday, just as you were about to conclude what was supposed to be a great day, someone ruined it for you, with words that you feel (you believe) although meant to be funny as a joke, were unnecessary, offensive, and hurtful. That person might not have realized it, but her words stabbed you in the gut, quite badly. Her words left you embarrassed, angry, hurt, and worst of all, ashamed of the way you look.

Go ahead. I am allowing you some time to feel the pain. Cry if you must. Let it out, and let it go.

How very timely and apt that you chanced upon an article about someone else’s own struggles and how she lifted herself from such. It gave you some relief and assurance that you are not alone, didn’t it?  You are not the only one who gets undermined for the way you look. You are not the only one who has body issues. Everybody has it. But these so-called body imperfections are what makes you who you are. These imperfections are what makes you, YOU. These imperfections make you beautiful.

Yes, Doreen, you are beautiful. Say it again. You are beautiful. One more time, and this time, mean it. You are beautiful.

Look, I know you’re tired of the hurt, the pain caused by people’s words, expectations, and opinions of you. Stop listening to those that pull you down, and start appreciating yourself for who and what you are. I know it isn’t easy. It never really is, but it is possible — attainable, and you can do it.

Realize and acknowledge that as you go through life, you will still meet more people who will size you up and judge you. Let them. Keep in mind that you can never really please everyone, and you don’t really, actually have to.

Cast away negativity, and keep yourself open to positivity, always.

I love you. ❤️

Did I Offend?

A month ago, an officemate of mine, who probably thinks we’re close enough even when we’re really not, approached me at my desk one morning to rave about her recent trip to the dermatologist.
 
This isn’t the first time she’s tried doing small talk with me about her trip to the derma, and in all those times that she did, I always showed a polite front, allowed her the chance to rave even when it bored me to death. Until that one fateful morning when she said, “No offense pero punta ka kaya sa derma ko. Pwede kita i-refer. Para matanggal yang mga linya at pekas sa mukha mo. Maging flawless ka tulad ko.” [“No offense, but why don’t you go to my derma? I can refer you, so all those lines and imperfections on your face will be removed, and you can be as flawless as I am.”] As soon as she said, “No offense”, I knew she was going to say something offensive. She obviously did not disappoint.
 
I was tempted to bitch slap her and kick her on the chest, Spartan-style. I wanted to throw all the insults I can throw at her, make her see the truth that she’s not even as flawless as she thinks she is. Instead though, with my best plastered-smile and without stammering out of anger, I said, “No, thank you. I appreciate the imperfections on my face – – – zits, lines, and all. And besides, all those medicines and chemicals some people put on their faces, make them look synthetic – – – almost like breakable mannequins.”
 
She left without saying a word, and hasn’t spoken to me since. The bully felt she was bullied. I honestly do not mind at all that she has stopped talking to me.
 
But why do we do that? Why do we completely disregard another person’s feelings with what we say and do? Why do we often use straightforwardness and bluntness as an excuse to be rude to someone else? We often confuse that they are synonymous with each other. They are not. Straightforwardness and bluntness, coupled with respect and politeness, are actually good traits. When did we become so disrespectful of others? Does respect still matter at all?

We tend to underestimate, too, how powerful words can be. We often say “actions speak louder than words”, and totally forget, that even if they are less powerful than actions, doesn’t mean they cannot prick, or they cannot bruise and scar.

It’s sad how we can be this cruel to each other sometimes.

I take away three things from the conversation I had with my officemate:

One, be proud of how you are, and how you look. No one should make you feel otherwise. Love everything about yourself, especially your imperfections for these are what make you unique and perfect – – – a stand out from everyone else.

Two, be respectful and considerate of other people’s feelings, no matter how disrespectful and inconsiderate they are of yours. Respect and kindness are hard to come by nowadays, give as much as you can away.

And three, choose your words carefully. Words may seem petty, but they are very powerful, and hurtful, especially when used incorrectly.

Rise

The past few days have seen me bullied.
Left-out, taken for granted, mocked, and laughed at.
I feel bad about being treated unfairly,
But I feel more relieved to be rid of people
Who seem to wake up to mornings
With an innate urge to do wrong on other people.
I have reflected and thought about this
I have done no one wrong
But I’ve grown tired of conforming;
I’ve exhausted all means to please.
Enough with all this negativity
I don’t need any reason to frown.