When I Supported Others, I Helped Myself As Well

I Complimented Three Random People A Day For A Month, What I Discovered Shocked Me

I thought I was only supporting others, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

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I have very little self-confidence. I'm a very anxious person, I don't like the way I look, I always worry that people are judging me... and a few months ago it hit me: I may be bad, but there are people in this world fast worse than me. There are people who refuse to dress flatteringly, smile, even raise their hands above their head in fear of looking ugly, fat, or "disgusting."

I have my insecurities, but I'm able to acknowledge my positive features. Still, when someone compliments me, I feel confident for the rest of the day. I feel beautiful and empowered, and everyone deserves that.

Finally, it hit me: I would compliment at least three random people every day for a month. I would empower people who may be insecure, say the positive things that I thought about others, and become a more positive person that people could turn to.

Beautiful earrings, pretty jackets, cool shoes, bold makeup—I complemented it all, and recieved compliments in return. Sometimes I'd get odd looks, but eventually total strangers would break out into big smiles and thank me.

But then I noticed something: I was no longer hating my body. I'd gained almost 40 pounds after starting a new medication, and despite the new stretch marks and poorly-fitting clothes, I didn't hate myself.

I didn't feel the urge to stop eating or quit my medication. I didn't cry at night when I walked past my mirror, or think about how worthless I was when I passed people more beautiful than I would ever be. I wouldn't wish that I lived in another body, and I began to see the beauty in my own body.

Those beautiful earrings I saw someone wearing? My earrings were just as beautiful. That bold makeup? I started to experiment with mine and found a look that was perfect for me. The cool shoes? I'm working towards wearing a pair that I love, but I'm still a little nervous to wear.

I made people feel better about themselves, and in turn I started to feel better about myself. I found the beauty in my new body, and I started dressing in a way that showed that beauty to the rest of the world.

I went into this thinking that I would only be helping others, but in the end I helped myself the most. I am beautiful despite my weight gain; I've gained a new appreciation for the people around me; and I've found that loving others means that I'll come to love myself even more.

There is beauty in everyone, everything, and this little social experiment has proven that to me. Even people who aren't traditionally beautiful, such as myself, have something uniquely beautiful about them.

In a world that relies heavily on looks and vanity, coming to this realization has helped me realize something even greater:

Beauty can be found wherever you look. Point it out. Be loud about it. Help someone else realize that their efforts that morning weren't in vain, and you appreciate the work that they've put into their appearance.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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20 Things I'd Do If The Concept Of Time Was Abolished

If only our lives weren't limited by time.

amrojas
amrojas
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Recently, news outlets have been reporting on how the people of Sommarøy, a Norwegian island located north of the arctic circle, would like to remove the concept of time. This is largely in part due to the fact that the sun does not set during much of the summer nor does it rise during the winter. The inhabitants of Sommarøy do not have rigidly separated days and nights like the rest of the world and can be found doing normal daytime activities at 2 am in the summers.

They also would like to take clocks out of their society. Although this lifestyle might seem impractical to the rest of us, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world where time is irrelevant, in regards to the concept AND the physical effects of its passing. This newfound information gave rise to ideas of things (some simple, some whimsical) I'd do if the concept of time did not exist and we had as much time to do the things we wanted.

1. Live on a ship at sea.

2. Watch a flower grow from a seed to its death.

3. Apply as much makeup as desired without being late.

4. Retake my favorite college courses and participate as fully as I possibly can, including the completion of every single reading and film.

5. Take a non-stop trip through every country in the world.

6. Learn to play and fully master every single musical instrument in existence.

7. Watch a full rotation of Earth around the sun from space.

8. Live by myself in a cabin at the edge of the woods a la Thoreau.

9. Reread every single book that shaped my childhood.

10. Have a brief conversation with every old friend.

11. Re-drink that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee.

12. Observe how the tides change with the lunar cycle.

13. Learn as many languages as possible.

14. Sit at the beach and listen to music for days.

15. Train for an Olympic event.

16. Write a detailed, thorough analysis of every track in my favorite movie soundtracks.

17. Take a photo of every interesting place I visit and every little nook I find peace in and make a physical photo album.

18. Cook food without burning it.

19. Watch a star's life cycle from birth to death.

20. Replay the feeling of coming home.

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amrojas

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