Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Fence

We are all very delicate in one way or another. Lately I have been keenly aware that many of us have such a fragile ego that the slightest comment can shatter it. On the other had just a very small bit of encouragement can make someone feel "high" all day long.

I have recently become friends with a young woman who wants to start competing in Figure. I have been showing her how to pose, lift heavy, eat enough, measure for her suit, everything you need to succeed. In my opinion, anyone who has the guts to just walk on that stage in front of thousands of people should be commended, I don't care what they look like.

I think she looks stunning and recently someone said something to her that absolutely ruined her self confidence and I witnessed her spiral right in front of me. I don't think the comment was intended to hurt, but it did. Here is a poem I read a long time ago, I am not sure of the author but I find it very fitting for all of us.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence...

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

I have tried to make sure she forgets the comments that made her feel unworthy, we need to remember that we control ourselves and while it is unfortunate that others may feel it appropriate to speak negatively, we need to be our own best friend, tell ourselves we are worthy and we are good, try not to let others opinions drive holes into our souls.

The picture here is a happy one that I received yesterday, and it is an example of how a very small gesture can make someone feel great for days. I work at a university and every semester I volunteer to allow a group of students to come in and audit us as a semester long project. This requires me to meet with them a few times, thoroughly explain our mission, goals, procedures and polices.

They will then meet individually with all of my staff to gain a better understanding of individual duties, write up a report, present to me and I must respond. It takes quite a bit of time but is essential to their class and future profession.

This year the group presented me with this card, which they obviously spent time to locate given the picture of the kettlebells, dumbbells and weight plates and the comments on the back regarding my upcoming competition. They showed a genuine interest in giving me something that would be meaningful, it is one of those cards I will hold onto for a long time.

Make your words be ones that someone can hold onto for a long time, with their heart, and not with their head.