Friday, March 2, 2012

Lessons in Confidence

My little face and eyes are finally starting to look more normal. Every day they are slightly better, but the reduction in swelling and redness has been very gradual. What a strange thing it has been to have had such a noticable "condition" this week. It would be easy to hide away from the world, but life doesn't work that way. I had things that needed to be done--and they weren't waiting for me to feel or look better.

The other day I had to go to the mall to pick up a stamp at the scrapbooking store... If going to the doctors office had been embarassing, how could I face the mall?! All those trendy people, and teenagers?! I tried to think of a way of out of it, but in order to meet my deadline, I had no other choice. There wasn't going to be time to wait until I felt more presentable. I told myself, "Lynley, this is a lesson in confidence!" Silly, I know, but for me this was a brave thing to do. I knew that my swollen face and red rash all around my eyes was very noticable, and I wondered what people would think. I had a few strange looks, like one young man who seemed to strain to take a closer look, I presume he was trying to see what was wrong with me--and really I can't blame him, it was kind of fascinating. Overall, though, I was really impressed with how "normal" my trip to the mall actually was. Nobody said anything mean, the store clerk was pleasant and helpful, and other than MY OWN insecurities, it was as if nothing about me was actually different. I held my head high as I walked back through the mall and out to the parking lot.

Cute little Mauri was a bit frightened when she first saw me, but after I explained that my eyes were "sick," she shrugged her shoulders and asked if I wanted to go "play school" with her. She wanted to know if Dolly and Danny had sick eyes too and has insisted on calling to check on me throughout the week. She was quick to see past outward appearances and treat me like normal.

Funny how I keep going back the word "normal." Perhaps normal=accepted. I think there's more to that for me to ponder and learn...

Lessons learned:

  • Confidence and beauty come from within.
  • Most people are truly kind-hearted and aren't going to poke fun of others.
  • Most people are understanding and can recognize when someone is sick or struggling. 
  • Hold your head high, even when you feel like your weaknesses are on display--other's don't notice or worry about them as much as you do
  • When you see someone who looks different, it's not your job to analyze them or take a closer look. Just smile and treat them normally. 
  • Recognize that others are naturally curious, and don't take offense if they do take a closer look. (I'm certain I have been the one to look a little closer on many occassions


Stephanie said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, LJ. Don't you just love the way Miss M can make you feel better?

I love the powerful and humble thoughts you've shared in this post. It's true -- we are generally our own harshest critics. Sometimes it takes a great deal of courage to step up and step out.

Thanks for reminding me about this!

See you soon!!! :)

Stephanie said...

P.S. Yesterday, my sweet friend Christie gave a lesson in Relief Society on "Remarkable Women." The focus was on a Conference talk by Elder Uchtdorf (I forget which one -- he talked about his wife cooking and always apologizing for not making a better meal).

As Christie talked about ways we can help ourselves -- and each other -- remember how blessed and unique we are, I couldn't help but think about this blog post. I know that oftentimes we may not feel like we have many of the outwardly visible in others. (Why is it so hard to recognize these things in ourselves?!) But, sometimes our talents are not meant to be BIG and prominent. Oftentimes the greatest spiritual gifts are the small and meek ones.

The Savior was not honored and beloved by the world. Yet, He is the greatest example we have of charity, peace, joy, forgiveness, mercy and humility. The world might not honor these things as it should, but He does.

I see these quiet gifts in so many people -- you, for one, LJ -- and I am always inspired to "be a little better" because of them.

Love you!!!

Stephanie said...

PPS That second paragraph should read ". . . many of the talents that are outwardly visible in others."

Oopsie! :)

Jenee said...

Lynley, you are amazing! I missed seeing you guys last night, but I understand not wanting to go places when you don't feel well.

This post was a lesson we can all learn from. I loved how you put "normal = accepted" I believe you had that right on the money. I had just never thought of it that way.

I hope you continue to feel better. You're in my prayers daily!

Love you!