A few years ago I became an Arbonne consultant, a company who's products I use and love immensely. I adore the products but the business has been a struggle for me, something I was reminded of yesterday. I've had folks join my team as consultants but never do anything, others tell me, "This is awesome! I'm signing up when I get home!" and also never do anything, more folks order once when I talk to them but never reorder anything no matter how much I follow up, and yet even more try the samples and sound excited only to say, "Maybe another day." Again, I love the products and would use them regardless, but it's still tough. Over time I have focused on other things in my life, simply because swimming upstream gets exhausting after a while, but I had always held out hope that it might turn around someday. It never really has.
Before leaving for church yesterday I took the time to gather my commission totals from the last year so that my husband could get the taxes finished up. Every year this is harder and harder, because every year that number gets smaller and smaller as my number of people I have left to reach out to dwindles. I pulled it all up yesterday, saw that minuscule number, and broke into tears. I lost it.
I felt like a failure.
My husband was wonderfully supportive and pointed out that I have been spending so much time being a sports mom, a coach's wife, author, blog writer, book promoter, school volunteer, church volunteer, and the manager of our household that my focus hasn't been on my business anyway, and he's right. He told me how awesome I was, but it was hard to believe it in that moment. I felt useless.
I managed to get myself together and we all got into the car. With puffy eyes, re-applied mascara, and feeling like a worthless sack of shit, I walked into the church with my family. As we're walking down the center aisle of the sanctuary to head towards an empty pew, my heart is heavy and my stomach is worse. I absolutely needed time with God.
Suddenly, I felt someone grab my arm, and a wonderful sweet friend named Jan pulled me into a hug and said, "Oh my goodness, Jenny, I just finished Phoenix Morrow and I absolutely loved it!"
I can only barely put into words what that sentence did to me. Fourteen little words that blew my mind. My best description available is to call it a roller coaster.
I squeezed her as hard as I could, and then did my best Southern-Church-Lady impression and fanned myself with my bulletin the entire service. The air on my face was the only thing keeping me from breaking down all over again for a completely different reason. I had gone from feeling absolutely worthless about all of the work I had put into something to absolutely proud and joyful about all of the work I had put into something else. The ups and downs of all of it was just too much and I barely knew what to do with myself.
That morning had felt like hitting rock bottom, and that one sweet sentence put me on Cloud Nine. I was actually a little out of whack for the rest of the day. Much like a roller coaster, I felt immense joy and yet a lot of nausea, and it left me spending most of the day in my own head. I left church for a meeting with some fellow school volunteers that led into a jewelry party at the same location, and I tried to be social but felt like a spectator. The truth is that I had tears just under the surface all day, and the worst part was I wasn't even sure what I was crying over. Tears of sadness, tears of joy; I didn't even know myself. I was just emotionally spent. Hopefully those who were with me that afternoon read this and understand why I was a little weird. I didn't mean to be anti-social, and I'm sorry if I appeared that way. Yesterday was just an overwhelming day in a horrible, wonderful way.
Those fourteen words saved me. While processing all of it was overwhelming, they saved me from where my day was headed and the funk I would have existed in. They reminded me that I am not a worthless sack of shit after all, and Jan had no idea how much I needed to hear that in that quick second before worship began.
Never, EVER underestimate the power of your words. Every single one of us has just as much of an opportunity to change someone's day, even change someone's life. You, I, all of us, can do that. No moment of kindness or generosity is too small, even if you are simply being generous with your love. That quick compliment turned my whole day around, even if it messed with my brain for a while. What it has done for me is reminded me where my focus needs to stay. While I'm happy to help any of my friends who need cosmetics or protein shakes, I am a writer and that is where my focus is going to remain. It took going from rock bottom to Cloud Nine in one breath to see that.
Go change someone's day.
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