It’s a universal truth that we’ve all been bullied. It’s unfortunately a common experience that unites us all.
During National Bullying Prevention Month, I want to feature stories that have inspired me and touched my heart. (To protect privacy, some details such as names will be changed).
I have long believed that a good hair day can change the world. Sometimes it can start with just a simple act of self-care and love, a pat on the head of our self-esteem.
“Grace” is a loyal customer and she wanted to purchase some products in person. I was having a crazy-busy day (shocker!), with three kids, my husband away on business, and preparing dinner for a large group of extended family. Needless to say, I was a little distracted.
Most of our business is e-commerce, but she asked to meet me at our warehouse to pay cash and said she was “stocking up”, neither of which were totally out of the norm.
Then, in my frenzy to keep checking things off my mental list, my thoughts were interrupted by a still, quiet voice in my head that urged, “Ask her how she’s doing.” And as I did, it was as if I saw her properly for the first time. I looked into her eyes and there was this long moment where I really saw her, as we all want to be seen in our humanity. (There are some cultures where people say, “I see you!” instead of “Hello!” I think that’s BEAUTIFUL and it requires you to be present over perfect… but that’s another blog!)
In that moment when I really saw Grace, I saw pain. Not self-care. Not confidence. She appeared disheveled, exhausted, defeated, and anguished. She burst into tears as she told me that she was living in a safe house and had a restraining order against her husband.
Grace’s revelation quickly snapped me out of my own problems. My only concern was to minister to her and serve any way I could. This is what I believe we are called to do – obey without delay. I returned her money and asked if she needed more.
I was also sharply reminded of the main reasons I had started MopTop. The bullying I was subjected to for years over my own hair. My drive to create solutions for other people. My mission to encourage others to discover confidence in their natural beauty. The one common thread – the impact on self-esteem.
I knew what Grace was going through was bigger than hair, but I also knew that a moment of kindness and care and building up her self-esteem could change the course of her day, and give her a nugget to build on as she started to re-build her own confidence.
I told her that when she returned to the shelter and stepped into the shower, to open the shampoo cap, inhale the soothing smells, and say aloud, “I can do this one more day!” and to keep saying it as she showered. To take that one moment of solitude and refresh herself and be kind to herself. And then to repeat the mantra the next day and the day after that.
It’s a year later and Grace is in a much better place. She stopped by several months ago and was simply glowing. She had spent much needed time healing and rebuilding. She struck an “almost-pageant” pose and said, “Look at me – I’ve lost 4 sizes, I’m working out, getting stronger physically and emotionally. I feel GREAT!”
Shampoo didn’t solve Grace’s problems, but I’d like to think that the support and kindness of others did, and I’m happily humbled to have been a part of the solution. The crazy thing about that day is that Grace actually lifted me up way more than anything I did for her. I was stretched thin, tired, and having my own moment of doubt, questioning myself and my purpose. I’m so grateful that Grace showed up for me that day! You see, a good hair day CAN change the world, even just for a day.
My challenge for you – slow down just a bit this month and see who you “see”.
Domestic violence is one of many forms of bullying. Learn how you can help increase awareness about domestic violence, inspire victims to seek help, and prevent the next generation of abuse.
Embrace your natural beauty!