I received this email yesterday and was so moved that I immediately asked permission to share this story.
When I read this email at our staff mtg later in the day, I choked up with tears reading through it again.
Inspired as a mom and as a therapist, this story is a reminder for me to keep in check my struggle with sprouting cynicism + doubt that the work we do at Potentia is really making any kind of difference.
I am grateful for this reminder. I do believe that every effort to help people on their journey to understanding their true worth and value is meaningful + fruitful + powerful.
Now go get some Kleenex before reading further. You have been warned.Rebecca,
I have to share with you that happened at work yesterday. I know you’ll appreciate it as much as I did. Yesterday, as I led one of my middle school speech groups, my heart smiled as I witnessed something I wish all girls could say about themselves. I was working with three Special Ed students. And mind you, these students have little filters on what words flow from their mouths. The one boy in the group made a comment under his breath about one of the girl’s ‘mustache.’ Because she did not hear, I let it go as to not draw attention to the hurtful comment; instead, choosing to pull him aside after the group to talk about his choice in comments. But immediately following that comment, another girl piped up and said to the girl, “Do you wash your face?” The 7th grade girl, who is a miracle of life that was born less than a pound 13 years ago, has acne covering her whole face.
I saw the train wreck happening before my eyes and was scrambling to decide how to intervene and respond.The girl dropped her head, dejected, and said quietly, “I wash it every day. But sometimes I forget. My mom helps me. I have medicine to put on my face too. But sometimes I forget to put that on too.” My heart ached for her. She said, “I have bad acne.” But then she looked up from behind her thick glasses with her crossed eyes and said,
“But I’m still beautiful.”Indeed. In so many ways. My heart smiled. Kudos to her parents. And kudos for her innocent spirit that undoubtedly believed that truth. All I could say was, “You are absolutely beautiful.” After I told her she was absolutely beautiful, she smiled at me and said, “I know.” haha…love that girl.
If only we could all say that about ourselves with such confidence.