Ditched by a Boy.
As a mother, I feel that one of my most important responsibilities was to ensure that my children were raised with a sense of pride about who they are and what they are able to accomplish. They are both brilliant and beautiful and have a vibrancy and strength within them that far surpasses who I was at their respective ages. I always want my children to feel strong and confident about themselves; and I think I have done a good job with that.
Male and females both struggle with confidence, that’s a given. However, I think that women have a harder time dealing with it. I think that we are too hard on ourselves and we allow these feelings of insecurity to impact us at work, at school and throughout our life journey in various ways. Oftentimes, our self-confidence (or lack of) influences our ability to stick with a weight loss or fitness goal. If we feel that we cannot accomplish our goals, then we will likely fail because we are not in the right frame of mind and we set ourselves up for failure.
What influences us to feel the way we do about ourselves? Oftentimes, it is the external factors in our lives that we tend to internalize. For example: if a friend tells you that you’re not very pretty, then you tend to believe it or if someone tells you that you are ‘stupid’ enough times, you’ll likely internalize it and start to feel that way – regardless of if it is true. Our own destructive self-talk also influences us. Just like receiving negative feedback from others – we can convince ourselves of just about anything.
We put too much stake into what other people say and/or think about us – when the bottom line is that their opinions rarely matter. I call this ‘giving them too much power’ because we allow others to affect the way we feel about ourselves and no one deserves to have that level of control over us. No one.
Before I became a mother I vowed to empower my children to share everything and anything with me. As a result, we have open and honest discussions about life; we talk about everything from the good and the bad to the very ugly. Both my son and my daughter come to me for advice and they openly and honestly share their lives with me. We talk about their hopes and dreams and their day-to-day activities and challenges. We laugh together and we've certainly cried together – and I am grateful that I was able to establish this level of trust with them. I do not know if it will stay this way forever, but I certainly hope it does.
A few weeks ago, my daughter faced a very tough and emotional situation. She had been talking to a young man for several weeks and was beyond elated. I loved seeing her that happy. We talked about who he was and what she liked about him, what was appealing about his personality and how he made her feel. He eventually asked her to go out on a date Friday night and she was so excited! As we got closer and closer to date night, his texts and SnapChat’s started to dwindle and by Friday morning she had little to no contact with him. The difference in her mood from Thursday morning to Friday afternoon was like a sunrise to sunset. She was devastated.
I picked her up from school Friday afternoon and asked if she had heard from him and she said that she had, but it was brief. His last contact was early in the day when he told her that he was obligated with baseball practice. There was no further contact after that. Nothing. Nada.
This punk was blowing my daughter off and I was angry. I was upset that someone I didn't know was hurting her and there was nothing I could do to protect her. I was also angry that someone so callous and self centered was bringing down her mood and impacting the way she felt about herself. I wanted to plan a fun evening to get her mind over it, so Robby (my boyfriend) and I thought of a few fun things to do and put our plan into motion.
On our drive home, I shared that we had planned a fun evening together and that we were going to enjoy ourselves no matter what. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
We went to one of her favorite restaurants downtown and at dinner, my daughter checked her SnapChat and saw that he was at a school function with another girl. The look in her eyes was enough to make me tear up. She was angry, she was hurt and I could see that her confidence was wavering. This young man took my daughter from being on top of the world to rock bottom in the course of 24 hours. I wanted to wring his neck then have a conversation with his mother about teaching her son some manners.
Juliana and I talked about emotional power and that NO ONE has the ability to influence our emotions unless WE give them permission. We discussed how this boy did not deserve her attention or this power. We also talked about how she is at the starting line of her life and that she will have more attention from men than she will likely want; although she said she did not believe me, that made her smile.
We talked about the choice that she had – to acknowledge these feelings of disappointment, take it as a learning experience, and move on, or to own them and let them affect the way she feels about herself.
She chose the former and I am grateful.
This was a milestone for both of us. It was the first time she was ditched by a boy (hopefully the last, but unlikely) and the first time I could do very little to fix the problem. I wanted to ensure that she understood that this external factor in life had no bearing for who she was as a person or how she should feel about herself. I did not want this poor excuse of a young man to take away the confidence that we worked so hard to build over the years. By the time we got home, she was in a better place emotionally. We had talked through the emotions associated with her disappointment.
This young man is now just a blot in the scheme of her life experiences.
Bee healthy. Bee happy.