It was International Women’s Day this week. My social media newsfeed was full of inspirational quotes; of stories of inspirational women, strong women, women paving the way and inspiring generations of women.
I was privileged to be invited to Radio Lancashire to celebrate this special day in the company of many other wonderful, inspiring, strong women; all with stories, very different stories, but real stories of struggles, triumphs, perseverance and inspiration.
I was sitting amongst these women. I had a story to tell. I’m told by many that I inspire others; that I’m very strong. I have a story, and there are many chapters to it. I’ve had an experience, a traumatic experience, which I’m trying to understand, process and continue with my life which has been devastated and overturned, which I’m trying to do something positive with. Losing a child was, is and will be the most painful experience of my life … and the devastation still oozes out in so many aspects of my life. People say they don’t know how I do it. Do what? Live? I’m still me, the mum, the wife, the daughter, the sister, the homemaker; still the same person, yet not the same person. Each one of the chapters of my life has shaped and changed me, and this latest chapter of my life is no different, albeit far more challenging and traumatic than I could have ever imagined …. and now I’m told I’m the strength and the inspiration.
I was told after this event, by one of the presenters, that they were humbled to be there with me, and to have their picture taken with me, and used that picture as their social media profile picture. How did I feel? Well personally I found that very humbling myself. This was a lady who I admire, who is intelligent, who has a great career, who sees many people who are inspirational … and she thought I was inspiring. It made me realise that we always look to someone else for drive and inspiration.
I don’t believe for one minute that everyone in that room with me considered themselves strong, or considered themselves inspirational. They were all there doing what they do for their own reasons, because of the challenges that they faced, because of the struggles that they’d had, because of the drive they had within them to make what they do a success.
Everyone has someone who inspires them, or who they aspire to be. Those people who are inspiring you are being inspired by someone else. There are other women out there who aspire to be you, who are each inspiring another. Each one of us is looking to improve, looking to do better, whilst also looking inside themselves, doubting, wondering listening to that voice which holds them back, but also the one which drives them on.
We all have that inner voice. The one which casts doubt, the one which inspires us. We have a choice which to listen to. Each of those different voices inside us shouts the loudest on different days. Some days we struggle, other days we are invincible.
There are times, and I’m talking for myself here, which are very dark; when I feel lonely, full of doubt, full of sadness, full of pain; I listen to the voice which tells me I can’t go on, I’m not capable, I’m not doing the right thing. Other days I listen to the other voice inside me. The one which shouts to me that I can do these things, that I have achieved so much, and there is more to achieve, that I’m doing something positive for myself and for so many, to carry on as there is so much to do, I’m making a difference now and for the future, I’m doing the right thing.
What I’m trying to say is that we are all human. We put others on a pedestal, we champion them, we vote for them, but they probably don’t see that champion in themselves. We all have a heroine we’re looking at and admiring, and we are all the heroine that someone else wants to be.
If you are inspired by someone, whoever that might be, tell them. Chances are they need to hear it. Chances are they’re driving themselves to do something as they’re fighting something within them; and if they’re not they’ll appreciate the praise anyway … who doesn’t? Make their day, because if you like what they’re doing, so will others. If you like what they’re doing, chances are it will have a positive impact on others. Make a positive difference to others; make today your day to do that. If you do nothing else with your life, be inspired …. And be inspiring.