What I’ll Tell {Told} Boy

You guys know I love the What I’ll Tell Sweet E series. This post is a twist on that, with a lesson for all of us who love someone (you know, ALL OF US!).

What I’ll Tell {Told} Boy

What I'll Tell {Told} Boy

I was working through a business course exercise that would enable me to get clear on my strengths. It asked what kind of problems I was good at solving. It also asked what others think I’m good at or what they have thanked me for.

Provocative questions.

Have you ever thought about your strengths in that way? I hadn’t. So, I went to Boy (and others) and asked: What do you think I’m good at? What have I done for you that you’re thankful for?

I explained this was an exercise and wasn’t about patting me on the back or building me up; it was business, dadgumit!

I wasn’t prepared for his (and their) answers:

~ Honest

~ Unbiased opinions

~ Amazing researcher

~ Have an uncanny ability to boil down complicated and heavy shit into consumable chunks.

~ Highly detail oriented

~ Punctual

~ Proactive follow-upper

~ Highly engaging with your followers

~ Presenting the other side to arguments with a level head

~ Doesn’t add fuel to the fire; you try to get me to find solutions.

~ Pro-active problem solver

~ Generous with time.

~ My cooking.

~ Editing and Proofing.

~ Coach and teacher

~ Helping without overstepping.

When we were done, I felt laid bare in emotion. There were amazing strengths on their lists. Strengths my son and others saw in me. I was so overwhelmed, I cried.

Here’s what I learned: don’t we all love validation? Don’t we crave it? To know that we are valued and we matter, is a gift. Doesn’t everyone deserve that kind of validation?

YES. The answer is yes.

Why the hell don’t we do this more often for each other?

In this simple exercise, I felt seen. I came to see that others saw me as well, even though we rarely (if ever) talked about it.

So, I turned around and validated Boy. I told him where he excelled and how I saw him love.

As I was composing my list for him, I thought back to the things I had wished for him as an inexperienced mom, jibber-jabbering to her baby boy, looking into his beautiful eyes brimming with possibilities. I had hoped he’d be inquisitive and driven and generous. I had hoped he’d find love, by being loving. I had hoped he’d be independent in mind and thought. I had hoped he’d have friends that seemed more like family. I had hoped he would be able to laugh at himself.

As I made my list now, as a mom with years behind me, so much of what I hoped for him had come to fruition.

Again, overwhelming.

While this was supposed to be a simple exercise to find strengths I could use in my business life, it had the added bonus of becoming a life lesson for me, and I hope, for anyone reading these words.

Go. Validate. Be that person who makes others cry in surprise. Extend love and share what you see in others, when you see it. Don’t wait another minute.

Let this be the start to our new resolution revolution.

Onward, my babies.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I had a similar experience when I applied for a high-level promotion at my place of employment and requested letters of recommendation. I didn’t get the job, but those letters describing my strengths as seen by people I do business with were validating and empowering. I plan to make validating others a regular practice. Thanks again!

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