If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a lover of lifelines—visual reminders that help me stay focused on what truly matters. At the beginning of my journey, handwritten notes from my family members served as lifelines. Beautifully imperfect hand-written notes were posted throughout the house, acting as stop signs to curb my distracted ways.
For years, I dreamed of creating a wearable reminder, such as a bracelet, to help me maintain focus on my Hands Free goals. I had many vendors offer to produce and sell them for me, but I declined. These wearable reminders could not be mass-produced—each one needed to be authentic and imperfect, just as I was striving to be.
Lucky for me, Stacie, my sister-in-law and mother to my two precious nephews, understood the importance of lifelines in our crazy, busy world. She offered to help bring these authentic Hands Free reminders to life and ship them to those who needed them.
Stacie searched until she found a talented duo in Pennsylvania that could make exactly what I’d envisioned in my mind. The bracelets were so beautiful that my daughters and I immediately began wearing the samples and rarely took them off. When friends and strangers began asking about them, we knew we’d found the perfect Hands Free reminder to help others, who like us, wanted to let go of distraction to grasp what really mattered.
On the day we debuted the bracelets, Stacie was ready and waiting to process and ship orders. Because she was eager to see the response, she did something she rarely did. Rather than waiting for the blog post to arrive in her inbox, she read my blog post from The Hands Free Revolution Facebook page.
Stacie contacted me right away. She was very upset and announced that she would never read my blog entries from the Facebook page again. Stacie didn’t have to explain the reason for her agitation—I knew exactly why she was upset. It was the second reader comment written in response to my post, “Cleaning Up the Heart Break.” The commenter chastised me for not knowing where my toilet plunger was … for getting upset over a trivial problem … for not being a good role model for my children. The reader concluded her rant by telling me to get some perspective.
What Stacie didn’t know was that every time I share my not-so-pretty truths, I receive some unkind comments. This has been going on since I started my blog three years ago. I didn’t tell Stacie I was used to it or that those comments didn’t bother me. Because even though my skin is thicker than it used to be, I am still human. What I did tell her was that I feel sad for people who feel they must convey their opinion in such a derogatory way. My wish is for them to find one friend that they could let in on their pain, someone with whom they could their share their own difficult truths.
Just a few weeks after that incident, I received the cruelest comments of my career when “The Bully Too Close to Home” was published on MSN.com. As friends, family, and faithful blog readers reached out to me in concern for my feelings, I realized there is something I need to explain.
My friends, there is something far worse than being called a monster by a total stranger when sharing the painful truths of your life. And that is this: Not revealing your painful truths. Ever. To anyone, not even yourself.