So, here I was feeling really good about myself. Walking with a pep in my step and singing along with the radio in the car.
I was HAPPY!
It had been a summer of several health challenges, in which at this point, I was overcoming, and I had just completed my third semester of law school. Don’t know if I mentioned, I am getting a Masters in the Studies of Law (MSL).
It seemed like any other day. Moments of reflections and truly a thankful heart.
Here it comes! I encounter an acquaintance who, unbeknownst to me, was not having such a great day, and as I was sharing my accomplishments with her she proceeded to be critical and diminish all my achievements and efforts. I found myself defending my experiences and immediately bothered by her ability to stomp and crush my spirit with her antagonism. I WAS LIVID…NO I WAS PISSED. Yes, there…I wrote it! I could not believe here I am having what I thought was a delightful exchange with this woman, and she chooses to hold me down and crush me…like a bug.
I was stumped. Literally. And that is pretty hard to do, for those who know me. I sat there looking away, wondering, what just happened here? Why did I allow her to get under my skin and become defensive? What was it saying about me?
Cause I know what I was thinking about her!
I went on with my day feeling sorry for myself. I figured some retail therapy will make me feel better. As I walked toward the back of the store, to the sale rack, I came across a lovely woman, and we acknowledged each other with a smile. I proceeded to look mindlessly look through the racks, and she said, “excuse me,” and I moved out of the way. Then I heard her say, “no…miss, excuse me, may I say something to you? ” I was slightly confused, and hesitantly said “sure.” She proceeded to tell me, “you are beautiful, you need to know this, that you are absolutely beautiful. Have a nice day”. I literally gasped. I looked at her and said, “Oh my God, thank you, thank you,” and she quietly walked away.
You see, I needed to hear that. It wasn’t about my physical appearance, I was well aware of that. It was about my heart, what was living in my heart. I was hurt, and God knew I needed the assurance that HE sees me, and HE thinks I am beautiful. I wanted to share with this complete stranger what had transpired earlier in the day. I wanted to let her know how much I needed to hear that I mattered. I walked around looking for her, and she was gone! GONE! GONE! I realized at that moment, she was an Angel sent to whisper into my soul.
I went to my car and cried. Thanking God for that most personal and transcendental moment. I realized I was still his favorite (thanks to Robert for the reminder). I also realized that as women, we can lift each other up and bring each other down.
My preference is always to lift, encourage, and celebrate. There’s power in the words of encouragement. There is love in the act of celebration.
Women can be smart, strong, kind, and loving. Women can be caddy, petty, judgmental. Let’s chose to be women that lift each other up!
Because…WE ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL!
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts…” (Proverbs 4:23, Message Translation)
-Annette Ortiz Mata