I began my day with BLADDER exercises…woot wootgood times, my friends, good times!  Of course, you probably don’t actually wish to know what my badder exercises are, BUT you stopped by and I am going to operate under the illusion that you DO wish to know…lol!  I’m sure EVERY woman here, who has a child, knows that the most important exercise ANY woman can do is their KEGALS and since I am all about shedding the light where darkness resides…boy am I stretching things this morning or what.…here is the definition of a Kegal (for all of you men out there)..Kegal exercises strengthen the muscles that control the flow of urine and they treat and prevent pelvic floor weakness.  There you have it, I would explain how to do them, but I just don’t feel like it! 

I did some Kegals, and then, I sat down to pee and did my other prescribed exercises, which is to STOP my urine midstream, hold it for approximately 30 seconds and then control the stream in it’s release….sound easy?

IT’S NOT!!!  It should be, but it is very challenging…waaaaaaa!!!

What does my morning bladder exercises have to do with Mean is Ugly….absolutely NOTHING!  I just wanted to tell you about my Kegals and pee problems again.

My mean story is as follows:

My daughter, Ryleigh, had her 8th grade Washington trip this year and the drama around this trip is…wellit is INSANE!    The insanity is, primarily over, who is rooming together and…no lie…it begins in September.  The only thing I will say about Rye, to give the poor kid SOME privacy, is that middle school has been a rough road for her. Ryleigh is a kind-hearted, silly, quirky, wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve kid, but has been dubbed, however unfairly, as “not cool enough.”

In any case, in March, they chose their room assignments, and although, I didn’t quite understand her choice, it was fine and it was done….there would be NO MORE discussing the rooming arrangements of this trip…ahhhhhh (that would be the sky parting and the angels singing)!!!  Around the time of my surgery, Ryleigh found out that 2 of the girls who she was rooming with decided they wanted her OUT of the room and visited with the VP to get her removed!  Now, I would like to share with you that there was NO FIGHT, NO DISAGREEMENT, NO WARNING!   Any of us who have lived through middle school can feel the pain, I am sure.  

Let me clarify this….I am not a parent who believes my child is innocent, in fact, as my children can attest, when they share a story or event of distress, such as: a fight with a friend or sibling, I often, after listening and really hearing them, ask what their own part was in the situation.  I ask what they, themselves, did or said that might have been hurtful to the other person.   I share this with you, not because, I think I am all that, but I want you to know that I do not think my kids are angels and blameless.  AND if this room situation was happening with…oh, I don’t know…let’s say….Olivia…my red flags would be rising.   Not because Olivia is unkind or “bad,”  but Olivia is much more emotional in a passionate way, what I mean is…how do I say this….Olivia is…. a DRAMA QUEEN,  who has been known to run her mouth when she is upset. Ryleigh is not this way, so I know in my heart of hearts that this…seeking permission to get Rye out…. was not in retaliation to something she did or said.

Mean is Ugly.

Maneuvering our way through this situation was difficult, to say the least.  There were lots of tears and long talks.  Talks and discussions about how to hold on to your own truth and feel like you are an “okay” person.  To find some inner strength, hidden under the hurt and feelings of self-worthlessness, a strength that brings you back to you…to your own personal truth.  A strength that allows you to discover and believe that you are of invaluable worth, just by being yourself. My heart hurt fo Ryleigh.  

It reminded me of my own middle school experience of being UNINVITED to a huge, everyone-who-is-anyone-is-going party.  Two girls, one of whom I had become good friends with and who I am still good friends with today, the other was a new girl, who decided along her fast-paced incline to popularity, that I was not cool enough to hang with her and her peeps.  These 2 girls were throwing a big-end-of-school-bash and I was invited!!  I was elated!!  You know the feeling…the outside validation that we all seem to crave way too much, I had self-worth because I was invited to the cool kid party.  And then….I was uninvited…LITERALLYno joke, no exaggeration….UNINVITED!!  Let me just share with you that being uninvited is way worse than just not being invited in the first place...sheesh!  I was devastated and humiliated!  

Mean is Ugly.

The irony of my story is that at some point, maybe around the same time or possibly the next year…man my memory is shot... this same girl…the girl who, unilaterally, decided that Lisa wasn’t cool and who, single-handedlyrallied all involved to uninvite me…this same girl was dumped by the cool guy or maybe she broke up with him..not sure, but there was a break-up and this “cool guy” single-handedly had the power to encourage the entire “cool kid” gang to hate this girl.  The same girl, who just days before, he was crazy about, madly in love with...he turned, what at the time was her entire life, against her…successfully.

I remember pondering, with great concern, how it could be possible… how being accepted…fitting in….at the expense of another human being could cause such meanness. How people could, and sadly can (we see it everyday), step on one another to be, seemingly, one step taller themselves, to not only step on another, who they formerly considered valuable, but to knock them, with force, to the ground, emotionally speaking.  

Mean is Ugly.

I am a bleeding heart and my heart broke for that girl.  My heart hurt for the very same girl who had treated me with malice and disregard.  I believe that being mean is ugly, it perpetuates unworthiness, which I believe every human battles…we all want to feel worthy…loved…okay.  We all have gifts and talents and those gifts and talents do NOT become greater if we try to puff ourselves up by beating someone else down.   Worthiness is NOT measured comparatively.  

We can ALL be special.  

We can ALL be talented.

We can ALL have gifts to share.

 We can ALL be worthy.  

I am not proposing that everyone in the world be great friends, but we can not be friends and still be kind.  We can allow for differences and not attach judgement.  We can offer the grace that we would like to receive.

Mean is Ugly.  

Mean works against us.  

Mean hurts others.  

Mean hurts ourselves.

Try a random act of kindness today.  It is an immeasurable gift to give to another person, but you will be pleasantly surprised at the gift you will be giving yourself!

Kindness is cool…pass it on!