• Brenda Ridgley

Whatever Offends You Reveals You

Updated: Feb 3

Happy New Year!


It's over! …. Blah blah blah... take a hike 2020!! Are we really past the jinx-y, unpopular, fearful, divisive, historic 2020 era yet? Is 2021 already showing promise? I’d say the hope is certainly there but we all need to do our part to project and expect what we want. Part of that is to avoid taking offense so easily.



As you may have read in my December blog, “This is Crazy!”, I announced that I am a contestant in the 2021 Mrs. Colorado America pageant on June 5th this year. Recently I had a professional stylist come help me get ready for a photoshoot. I had never met Tori before she arrived at my home and we had a few hours of work to do to get me from drab to fab. As she was doing my hair, Tori asked me “What scares you most about doing this pageant?”. I laughed and said “tripping and falling in front of everyone on-stage”. Yes, that fear definitely has crossed my mind, but as I thought about it more I shared a more accurate answer. I told her the thing I was really fearful of are “the haters”, mean people, mean comments, mean conversations, mean social media, etc.


I realize that I am kind of asking for it by competing in a beauty pageant. “Who does she think she is?” “She’s not that pretty.” “She’s too fat…, too old…., not that interesting…, not brilliant enough to design world peace… etc.”. All of this is a matter of opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.


One of the big reasons that I chose to participate in the 2021 Mrs. Colorado pageant is to expand the conversation about connection. 2019 research showed us that loneliness is on the rise and that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. Can you imagine now, after surviving 2020 what the lack of real relationships, connection, and isolation has done to our health? I am excited to learn and share how connection can improve your life…. and maybe energetically… change the world. Perhaps inner peace can lead to world peace.


I digress….


Back to the haters. To be quite honest, so far I have heard nothing other than support and encouragement as the information has traveled through my network. I have received many kind remarks and support. As my network grows through this journey to new followers, friends of friends, and beyond, I expect it's "natural" to encounter some negative feedback.


My good friend Carrie, who is sponsoring my skincare/makeup with her Mary Kay business, is also running for Mrs. Colorado as Mrs. Longmont. She shared with me that one reason she accepted the challenge is to thicken her own skin. She said that as one grows and expands into new opportunities and success, some people will feel threatened and lash out with hurtful comments. As I considered her perspective, I came to agree with Carrie that although unwanted, negative feedback can be used to grow mental toughness. A pageant mentor of mine Alycia Darby suggests not taking criticism from someone who you would not go to for advice. Her mantra in regards to unsolicited counsel is, “If it applies to you, modify. If it does not, let it fly”


So, haters gonna hate. The only thing we have control over is how we respond. I

once heard the saying “whatever offends you reveals you” and that concept gave me pause so much so that I wrote it on the whiteboard in my office last year. As I have read it over and over and contemplated what it means for me, I have decided that when I am offended by something, I need to look inward. Not to defend, justify, or refute the remark, but to determine what is at the root of my fear that surfaced. Intellectually, I do know that people’s poor behaviors and comments stem from how they feel about themselves and rarely have anything to do with me. Terri Cole Says, when you are offended, you are in an ego-driven state, which is, ultimately, disempowering and a victim mentality.


As we are beginning a new year I believe we each need to make it a practice to take responsibility for our own disposition. Take note of what ruffles your feathers and take some time to think about why it offends you. Be quick with grace and slow to judge where others are coming from. Work individually on connecting with others for our own inner peace and then maybe we can tackle world peace! I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please send me a note at brenda.b.ridgley@gmail.com!


Truly, Happy New Year!


Thank you for reading my blog today and please like my new Facebook page - Mrs. Carbon Valley Colorado to follow my journey!



All my love,

Brenda

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