I drew a picture of an apple once. For a friend of mine who was feeling down about being the only one in our high school freshman group that did not have a boyfriend. That might sound a little odd, but I didn’t know how else to make her feel better, so I decided to draw an apple. The apple was small, but the only thing on the paper, so it made the luscious red apple standout. I talked with her as I drew my chosen fruit with care and detail, along with a stem and a leaf to finish off my drawing.
I explained to her that she was like this apple. Full of life, and flavor. She had so much to offer, and anyone who even took the time to “take a bite” and get to know her, would be enriched by it. She has such a passion for everything, and was always smiling and happy, and fiery, like the red dressing of the fruit on the page. I explained that the boys she was fussing over and worrying about where like the stem of the apple. Sure it was nice to have, but not having it did not in any way remove the value or worth of the apple. The apple was still worth having, and a great choice for your health. Just like she was worth more than words can express. And the simple fact that she did not have a boyfriend did not make her anymore special.
Sometimes I struggle with remembering my own advice. The harsh words of someone I care about can make me question my worth so easily. Even strangers, and their judgmental stares of how I chose to raise my kids, or how bad I am at mowing my grass, makes me wonder about my value as a person. I know I am far from perfect, but when other people seem to agree with me, it makes it that much harder to see myself as that red, vibrant apple. The young, idealistic me would be very upset with my easily influenced self-perception. She would say to tear off the stem of self-doubt, negativity, deconstructive criticism, and believe in my value to the very core. I think its great advice, that on a daily, moment-to-moment basis I must chose to remember, and then follow-through. ~E