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Be Kind When Speaking Your Mind

Because you never know the story behind the messy.

 

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These are the EXACT recommendations that I give to clients who want the best and don’t want to get screwed over by their decorator.

My Dad committed suicide on Christmas day.

Yep. He left our family at 9:20 am on Christmas morning for somebody else.

And abused me from the time I was 5 until I was 15.

I don’t even know who my Dad is and I feel like a part of my heart is missing.

Flabbergasted.

I remember being a twenty-year old college student and hearing story after story from woman after woman after woman after woman.

This bubble, this privilege, this safety net that I had been born into and raised up in was a bubble, privilege, and safety net that I had ignorantly assumed everyone else had been born into and raised up in as well.

I felt like I owed my parents (especially my Dad) a million thank-you notes.

*ring *ring *ring

Him: Hey Melodee. What’s up?
Me: Dad. Dddad.
Him: Melodee? What’s wrong?
Me: Nothing. Dad?

*clears throat*

Me: Dad. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being there, for being faithful to mom and to our family. Thank you for the lunch visits, attending all our activities, taking me out on dates, for never calling me any derogatory names…

I go on and on and on.

By the time I finish, I’m sobbing with gratitude. Then, there’s silence…

Me: Dad, are you there?

*more silence*

Him: Melodee, thank you. Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them.
However, I should not be thanked or praised for being faithful.

He went on to explain to me that being faithful, loyal, and committed wasn’t some ‘exemplary’ act, but his responsibility as a man, husband, and father.

Floored.

Even when I think back on that conversation 10 years ago. I get chills.
Still to this day I take it for granted that great fruit comes from powerful roots.

Often I assume that the women I’m talking to had a healthy environment, a happy childhood and parents that adored them.

But the reality is—- THAT IS RARELY THE CASE and it breaks my heart, makes me angry, and it’s part of why I’m so passionate about this work.

Furthermore, it’s easy to have zero sympathy or empathy when you don’t know someone else’s story, history, and where they are on their journey.

The challenge for you (and me): when faced with someone that is angry or crazy or messy instead of judging, dismissing, or ranting about them. . . do the opposite.

Listen.

Not so you can respond with a sarcastic comeback.

Not so you can go to war in the comments on Facebook.

Not so you can prove your point and make them admit that “you were right”.

But so you can have a different experience–similar to when you visit a new country, speak in a new language, or taste food from a new restaurant)–and by default you will:

Learn

Laugh (or cry)

And really, live.

Whether you encounter a police officer, person of color, janitor, senator, teen mother, cancer survivor, or anyone in between.

Keep in mind, not everyone was born with the privilege that you (and I) have, and we can impact someone’s perception and shatter assumptions by responding with a listening, loving ear instead of a ranting, condemning one.

I’m as guilty as anyone.
I am biased.
I am an American woman raised in the Western world and I am ignorant of so much.

Yet, I am a believer that we are stronger together when we use our power for good.  

with hope & grace,

Melodee

P.S.
When was the last time you listened to someone who has a different experience than you? Did you learn something new? I’d love to hear from you and listen to your story leave a comment below!

 

GET MY FREE VIDEO

These are the EXACT recommendations that I give to clients who want the best and don’t want to get screwed over by their decorator.