It’s only when we fail to stand our ground that we cave.
Only when we fail to be true to ourselves, we cave.
When we fail to be honest, we cave.
We fail to believe; we cave.
Fail only when we cave.
The times when I have felt least successful are those when I felt I caved to insecurity or scrutiny of others. It was in allowing the foundation of what I knew was right to crumble. I let my emotions cascade in an avalanche of uncertainty around me. I caved.
One instance from junior high, where I personally caved, still haunts me.
In 6th grade, recess changed the social dynamic for everyone at my school. The 6th grade girls were assigned the parking lot between church and our grade school along with the 7th and 8th grade girls for recess. There were no soccer goals, basketball hoops, or kickball fields in this lot. As someone who always loved sports and being active, this move was not an exciting one for me. The other girls seemed perfectly happy to sit on the steps next to church and clump in tightly knit circles gossiping away our precious free time. Recess was not much fun as far as I was concerned, but I made the most of it floating from group to group, checking to see what the topic of conversation might be, or if there was a chance of athletic ambition from anyone.
One day I ran to talk to one of the 8th graders, who played basketball on the school team with me. She was talking to two others girls and I was excited to see if they wanted to talk basketball.
As soon as I entered their circle, one girl took me by the arm and turned me around. “You are like a wart. We want to burn you out of here,” she said and pushed me in the opposite direction of their conversation.
I was too shocked to know what to say. My reply was something like, “Oh. Okay. See you later then.”
As I walked away, my teammate said, “That was really cold,” and laughed.
The other girl’s reply, “I know, but she is just so happy and annoying all the time.”
Crushed wasn’t strong a enough word for how I felt.
Since when did “happy” and “annoying” equate? Since when was it okay to insult someone’s teammate? Since when was I like a “wart”?
Here I am 27 years later and the cruelty of those words still hurts. The pain isn’t so much because a snotty pre-teen insulted me; it’s because I failed to stand up for myself. She had no right to talk to me or treat me that way. By walking away, I gave her permission to insult me. By walking away, I allowed the other girls to think I wasn’t a strong person. By walking away, I caved.
Knowing what I know now, I am not so easily insulted or run-off. In the last three decades, I have found that being happy is anything but annoying, and caving is the last thing I ever want to do in a hurtful situation.
It’s only when we fail to stand our ground that we cave. Don’t let others move you from what you believe or who you are. You are too special to give into that kind of pressure.
Only when we fail to be true to ourselves, we cave. Always remain true to who you are. You owe it to yourself and those that love you to remain true to your heart, mind, and soul.
When we fail to be honest, we cave. If we fail to be honest, we default on the love we are called to give and the value others give to us, because there is no worth in dishonesty. You are too precious and important to forfeit your value. Always be honest.
We fail to believe; we cave. Believe in yourself. Believe in those you love. Believe in something greater than yourself. When we fail to find something to believe in, we cave to despair. It is always better to believe and live than to doubt and let hope die.
Fail only when we cave. You are only a failure if you cave to fear, insecurity, and doubt. Don’t let things you cannot control wear you down. Never let fear of what you don’t understand keep you from dreaming your dreams. Doubt can never fuel your passion for success. We fail only when we cave.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. If someone tells you that you are a wart, it’s okay to walk away. Your pretty face don’t match their ugly attitude.
October 2018 – Battle Blog