This was an interesting week in the way of feedback! First, it was my first full week back home since the very beginning of the month. I have to tell you, I really do love to travel and enjoy the great company of my friends who are not so close in my day-to-day. It just does something to connect with friends you’ve known for years and remember why you instantly clicked…either because you’re so similar that you couldn’t not connect or so different that the intrigue into each other has led to so much learning and teaching in that relationship. Specifically, I’m thinking of my friends Dawn and Solomon from BC and Payal who Dawn introduced me to, after always saying “I really want you to meet each other because the two of you remind me of each other so much.” So you can only imagine how cool she is!
We had a fab time at Motown together. #BarryGordyFanForLife!
Now being home, I got to connect with coworkers and friends that I hadn’t seen in a few weeks. I don’t know what it was but I think my being away for a while really opened people up to sharing how much they missed me (aw, lovin’ the love) and being completely blunt with me…about me. For instance, just this past Friday, my coworker who has really become a great friend, Allyson, said to me “Ok, you look absolutely fabulous today, love the outfit, your hair is super cute, but I really need you to do something with your nails…they’re not bad, but it’s distracting because it’s just so not you.” I just had to laugh. So for the background, I did one of those gel manicures, which for some reason, I thought was supposed to last for a month. Yeah, no, they start to get really messed up after two weeks and I just didn’t yet have time to go get them taken care of. Allyson was not having it though. No worries, they’re all good now.
What was most surprising though is what came up multiple times this week as I was catching up with folks. I’ll spare you the details of each interaction but thinking back and counting, seven different people said to me “You’re just so gracious.” Every time someone said it, honestly I just heard it but by the fourth time, I realized that I really don’t even know what this means. No, honestly. I mean I know it has to be a good thing but when I think about what people mean when they say different things, this was something I didn’t really get, at least not fully. So, of course, you know me by now…had to look up the definition of gracious:
gra·cious: courteous, kind, and pleasant. “smiling and gracious in defeat”
synonyms: courteous, polite, civil, chivalrous, well-mannered, mannerly, decorous.
Ok, so yea, I can get with that. And when I think of the context of some of our conversations, I had a better understanding of their commentary. For instance, I don’t know what’s going on lately but simply put, over the past few weeks, a few, shall I say “haters” have showed up and even some folks I thought were well-intentioned have shown me their contrary nature…or haven’t shown me but I’ve gotten the heads up from others about their true character. When this stuff happens, because such is life and it is what it is, I actually laugh and I always just continue being who I am.
You need my advice and help? Sure.
Need a helping hand on your project? Of course.
Need a listening ear? Here’s mine.
When one of my friends and I were discussing one situation that came up and my reaction of just listening, her response was “You are a better person than I am. You are so gracious because I would’ve given her a taste of her medicine.”
What does this mean for the fabulously fierce? No, it doesn’t mean being weak or not standing up for yourself. It means you understand the reality of sowing and reaping. That truly, no weapon formed against you, not matter how massive or minor can prevail over you. There may be an impact, I’m not naïve, but it won’t prevail….you will. So, all it means is that because you know who you are, you stick to who you are. See, I don’t determine what I will do or not do based on who or what someone else is or does. I am who I am regardless and maintain a consistent brand, one of graciousness, because no person, situation or circumstance will make me any different. Ultimately, being gracious is just being fervent in who your are on the positive front in spite of whatever comes your way. You have already been through the process of self-discovery…you know who you are. My brother owns his own photography company and the tagline is Be You. The definition of being gracious doesn’t get much clearer than that. It’s not easy but the benefit is captured perfectly in this image:
See, whether things are amazingly positive or unbelievable challenging, don’t let it change you, don’t let things or people bring you down to their level, don’t let huge wins or successes blow your head up. Be consistent, be stronger, be truer, be freer, be more fiercely alive, be you, be gracious!
Soundtrack of the day: Wings….watch/listen to the words…..