Friday, November 9, 2012

Strong and Inspiring

Have you ever seen something, a person, an article or story, that inspired you to think about and truly realize a part of yourself that you could work on?

Last night while watching the news a segment came on covering the story of a girl who inspired me greatly.  I actually have seen her once before in real life, but I had also seen her on the news once before.  I think she has been on the news a couple of times for the reason that despite things she goes through, she is so inspiring.
This time, however, there was an aspect of her story and her words and the things she expressed that got to me.
It got to all of us sitting in the living room as we listened to this girl, remembering seeing her before... Getting to who she is and what she said, she is senior in college in our state and has a syndrome that only two other people are known to have that basically does not enable her body to store fat or create muscle, and she cannot gain weight at all... this is evident in her appearance as she is extremely thin, so much so that she, somewhat literally, is skin and bones.  It is almost difficult to process as it looks like her body would not support itself.

Her appearance and her syndrome aside, what is so inspirational to me about her story is the way she has handled the cruelty and bullying she has had to face growing up... when I heard some of the things she mentioned in this story as far as what kids and people have said to her growing up, my heart just breaks for her.  It makes me want to cry, so I can't even imagine how she feels... some of the things she said, including that she has been called the world's ugliest woman and that she came across a video on Youtube made by someone that had comments on it saying the most cruel and awful things- I mean how cruel can people be? ...I can't even fathom how you would deal with that without falling apart.  But she is strong, she did it.  Bless her.
I feel like deep down most everyone tries to look for the good in people and believe it's there- and there are many people you come across who are wonderful individuals, golden-hearted, compassionate..  But sometimes it's hard to believe that the heartless people- like those who said such wicked things toward this girl- do not outweigh the good individuals.

Finally, getting to the very first thing I wrote, all of this ties into how being inspired by someone like this really made me open my eyes and see an area of my life that I didn't like.  You know the feeling you have when you are exposed to something that you feel maybe God meant you to see?
Overall, I saw this girl and I heard her tell her story and I got a glimpse of the way she handles her life and her bullies and people who stare and the fact that she does this all with a positive attitude... and before it was even over, I not only saw things I could improve in myself as a result of being inspired, but I ultimately felt ashamed of myself...
In the morning, I wake up and go into my bathroom to get ready and I look in the mirror and always find one thing I don't like about my face.  Sometimes it's the same thing, sometimes it's something new.  Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to wear my hair a certain way because I feel that my ears will stick out.  And I know that as the saying goes, as a part of human nature, "we are our own worst critic", but it does make me ashamed when I think of what this girl has dealt with her whole life because of rude comments about the way she looks.
And although weight has never been something I am that concerned about, I think about times that I have looked at my body in the mirror and wished I could look a little smaller or fit into a smaller size.  I again feel ashamed when I realize how I never considered that there are people who pray they could gain weight.
Ultimately, the attitude about life that this young woman has is one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen.
What is maybe most powerful, however, is one thing in particular that she does: speaking in front of crowds.  She has travelled all over the state to share her story and get her thoughts out on bullying.
All through my school years, I was terrified of speaking in front of crowds or even a small class of students and honestly have not quite gotten past that.  I wish I had one ounce of the courage and strength that this girl has maintained throughout her life.
Aside from speaking out about bullying in person, she has also written at least one book that I know of.  It is called "Be Beautiful, Be You" and in her book she talks about how she accepted herself and her life and gives life advice, also sharing how purpose and her faith have helped her to get past obstacles.  This is a book I hope to purchase and read!

The one thing I take away from her inspiring life is that anyone, including myself, with insecurities about their looks or self-esteem or who deals with bullying or harsh, cruel people in their lives should take a lesson from her as an example of the mindset we all should have.  This is of course easier said than done, but aiming to have that positivity in life is something great.

I just realized that I did not even mention her name... this extremely positive, moving, and powerful girl is named Lizzie.  And Lizzie makes me want to be a stronger person and a person who focuses less on outer beauty and who is less concerned over such trivial things.  Society has undoubtedly become more and more obsessed with "looks", particularly with what so many of us deal with- self-consciousness about our looks- and I hope that I can get as far away as possible from that way of thinking... it isn't necessarily about vanity, just trying to appreciate who you are and be thankful for the way God made you, thankful for your health and family and everything that really matters- not looks, not fears, not the hard-hearted people who say hurtful things to you or try to make you feel small.

Although this is an imperfect world by a great deal, I know that the Lord made us all as we are.  All of us are unique in different ways, and some of us are born with challenges that are a part of that uniqueness.... I do believe that the people who have to live with the more extreme kinds of challenges are made in a wonderful way, perhaps made with a strength inside them that the rest of the world does not have.  And that makes them special in the best way.

This is just something I felt like reflecting on and sharing.

Have you heard of Lizzie and her story??

Thankyou for reading :)
Have a blessed day!!

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