Leading with Love
I love seeing the little crocuses pop up as winter begins to subside, signaling one of the first signs of spring. It's also one of the only flowers resilient enough to keep blooming if a snow comes, whereas most would shrivel and die.
Being the month of Valentine's Day, February always makes me think about love and the many facets of it - love for a partner but also for a parent, a child, a friend, and one's own self as well as putting love out into the world to create the kind of place we'd like to live in. It feels like those little crocuses - coming out in the warmth of the sun, feeling happy and lovey, and then sometimes you get a cold snap and hope to make it through it. I was given the opportunity to dip into this when I was going through my emails last week.
I get alerts when someone leaves a comment on our Facebook posts and they're usually a sweet note from a person who likes the item we're talking about or it's a question about a product. This particular day it was one sentence followed by an emoji -
A man I don't know left it. I'm sure it was meant to hurt my feelings but the addition of the pig snout emoji made me laugh out loud at its childishness. Also, I've identified with Miss Piggy since this scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan so there's that.
It's funny because the post was actually a "blooper reel" that our social media manager, Tiffany, had put together because it made her giggle. It was silly and fun. And had made this man feel such strong feelings about what I looked like that he needed to a) tell me what to do with my body b) say it in all caps and c) call me a pig. And he felt totally comfortable doing this and sharing his identity.
I had a nanosecond of insecurity thinking "well, I mean I should go to the gym - no secret there - instead I just work all of the time. And maybe I shouldn't be in my videos, maybe I'm too big (which pushed an old button for me) and I wonder how many people didn't say this but are always thinking of it and I'm not good enough/right enough to be in our videos." Gratefully that thought left as quickly as it came - literally just a moment.
What entered my mind next was "oh this good - this means someone like me needs to keep talking and showing their face (and body!). It's necessary. Because there are so many times I have felt less-than because of what I looked like. And there are other women who feel less-than because of their weight/size (big or small), age, skin color, hair color, acne, wrinkles, and more. And I want to see and hear from all of them!"
I thought about how we can dismissively silence one another and how that can root people to the ground and make them feel unworthy - like their voices aren't worth hearing - because they're not physically pleasing to someone else's standard of beauty. What a limiting world that is. Not one I'm interested in holding up.
His comment could have emotionally shut me down if I was scared of getting that feedback again from someone else (which inevitably will happen). And then I wouldn't even need him anymore because I'd then be doing it on my own - shutting myself down - and he would have won.....no thanks to that!
Instead, what would the world be like if it didn't matter what we looked like, but instead it mattered what we said, or the support we gave to others? That's a world I'm very interested in supporting.
All of this to say it was a reminder for me to attempt to put out the energy that I would like to see in the world. I don't need to torch this guy, it doesn't matter who he is, what matters the most is that I'm going to keep on going with the intention of lifting folks up. And hopefully that helps someone else know that they matter, that they're valuable because, to quote my friend Jen Waldman "the world needs what you have to give."
To shake the snow off and keep blooming.
Way to keep things high and lean into love, Erin! That man obviously needs more love in his life.
Erin, you have always radiated beauty since the first time I met you 3 decades ago (!) (holy cow I didn’t realize until just now it’s been that long!!)… You have such a beauty and grace that always shone forth on the stage and in person and I’ve always admired you for that (among other things). You may not need these words of encouragement, but I want to share them with you anyway ☺️💗
Erin, I think you are beautiful inside and out. You always have a smile on your beautiful face and you are always a delight to talk to.
Lynn – thank you so much for reading it – and yes, such a good point – no truth. For any of us! Thank you so much for your support!
Lisa – I love that you were a crocus!!! How amazing is that?!! I bet you were adorable!! And yes, it’s hard to "fit in when the deck is stacked against you. I love @alexlight_ldn on Instagram as she’s excellent at sharing this concept – being happiest and healthiest at a size that’s right for her. Thank you so much for sharing that with me and for your support xo
Katrina – oh that means so much to me – thank you! And welcome!! So happy to get to have you here!
Sunni – oh that’s the nicest! Thank you so much for your wonderful support!
Tiffani – that’s super nice of you – thank you :) – it means a lot to me to have your support xoxo
Diana – thank you so much. It’s really hard with everything society has put forward as being the standard we measure ourselves against. SO glad you’re expanding your sense of beauty so you’re included in it now too! As you should be!! Thank you so much for your support xo
Linda – thank you and YES! Totally agreed!
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