Two things happened yesterday. Both involved the interactions of women and it made me ponder the power we have with our most simple actions and words.
I received a phone call from a friend, always a nice thing. We worked together at my last job and I so appreciate that she keeps in touch. We had a nice conversation. However, she did tell me that another woman had mentioned my name, blaming me for a problem she had caused herself. It was just one sentence but it really caused a flood of negative emotions in me! I wanted to do something! I wanted to write the woman a strong letter! I stewed about it for an hour or so. Why would she do this? What had I done to make her want to make me look bad? Who else was she talking to? Were people believing her lie? I am sorry to say that I allowed this news to really sour my afternoon.
Then.... I went to Bible Study.
What a contrast!
Our little group had decided we wanted to offer encouragement to someone. So, as a group, we decided to offer encouragement and support to a woman locally that we knew was under a lot of stress. Most of us didn't really know this woman but she is an administrator of a healthcare facility that has been having a lot of problems lately. We knew that she probably felt she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders right now. In fact, we ended up deciding to spread the love and we are planning small ways to support not only her, but two other women who work with her. We enjoyed talking about the little things we could do to let them know we are supporting them, without judgment...women supporting women. Even just the planning made us feel good.
As I'm thinking about this I'm remembering other times when just a few words changed someone's outlook, if even only for a few minutes. We have so much power!
I watched a pharmacy clerk yesterday as she was preparing my order for me. I've interacted with her many times before and she's always seemed a bit sad and maybe a little pinched, like she was tasting something bitter. I'm a little scared of her. She had a new haircut, though, and I was silently admiring it. Finally, I decided to just do it, blurt out what I was thinking, "You've got a new hairstyle. I really think it looks nice." That's pretty much all I said but you should've seen the change! Her eyes shot up and she looked right at me. I don't think she ever did that before! She smiled! She tentatively reached her hand to her hair and smiled again. It was a beautiful transformation to see.
We need to support one another, not discourage. So, just remember, you have a lot of power! Please use it wisely and for the good! ...And use it often.