I’ve seen it repeatedly in my own life in one of two ways. Either I’m going through tough trials and a friend later finds out the pain I was in, or I’m the one witnessing it in another and think to myself later, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”
I remember this vividly happening during a blogging event right after my husband filed for divorce. Clearly, I was devastated and going through something no one should have to bear alone, but I decided to put on my brave face and try my best to show up and be present. Although I was there and doing my best to smile, I can admit I just wasn’t myself. I was on the verge of tears at any moment and probably appeared unfriendly to people. One of my very good friends now didn’t know me that well and thought I didn’t like her at the time. After becoming friends and finding out later the details behind that awkward first meeting, she came to me later saying “if I only knew…” The truth is, you never really know what someone is going through.
If we never really know what someone is going through then how can we interact with each other? A person may easily appear great on the outside, but are internally suffering. We may never truly know the extent of someone’s situation, especially when there are so many brave men and women out there who suffer daily internal battles. They decide to get up, show up, and keep moving on anyway. When you ask them a direct question, “How are you?” you’ll get a simple response, “I’m good, thanks for asking.”
These are men and women you pass by every day. It’s your next door neighbor, it’s your co-worker, it’s the teller at the bank, it’s the stranger in the grocery store, it’s someone who comes across your Facebook feed daily, and it could even be one of your good friends. What if we began responding to these people expecting that everyone is fighting some type of internal battle? We could spread a little more kindness, share a smile, be more forgiving, and always show a little more compassion. Simple things for us to extend, but big things in the grand scheme of things. You never know just how much that person needed the extra love you showed them that day.
Always be kind.
To a degree, we all are kind people, but unfortunately we don’t always show it. As humans, we make many mistakes and forgetting to be consistently kind is one of them. Between a pleasant conversation, a compliment to encourage, or a random act of kindness, we have the ability to make this world a better place by sharing kindness wherever we go. The power is in you, if you choose to embrace that part of you and show kindness in deeper and stronger ways than you ever have before. As we head into 2017 and New Year’s resolutions are on so many of our minds, let’s focus on some of the most underestimated and powerful goals we can work towards — kindness. That kindness can mean a lot to someone who needs it the most during hidden trials. For more inspiration on showing kindness, check out my post about being incredibly kind (here) or sharing more gratitude and more kindness (here).
Share a smile.
If you know anything about me, you know I love to smile and make others smile. I often look at my smile as a gift. Not because I think it’s amazing or anything out of the ordinary, but simply because I love what a smile can do for someone else. One of the biggest changes I made this year and challenge to myself was smiling more, even when I don’t feel like it. It actually what inspired me to write the article 7 Ways to Keep Smiling No Matter What. It has made an incredible difference not only in my own life, but also in the lives of others. I love to see strangers smile at me in return. The best part about a smile is that it means the same thing to every age and in every culture, so why no do what we can to spread it more.
Show a little more compassion.
Extending grace to someone who may not deserve it may be one of the hardest things we can do. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding things, for they are likely the very ones who need it the most. Compassion can come in the form of being a better listener, being empathetic and understanding or simply extending forgiveness beyond what you feel like at that moment. Because you never know just what someone may be battling, showing compassion no matter what should always be on the forefronts on our minds. After all, that compassion could be the very thing they needed just to pick themselves back up.
If you loved this post, spread kindness today and give it a social share so others can benefit from making this world a better place!
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Tulle Skirt – Space 46 Boutique | Lace Top – Topshop | Heels – Steve Madden
Lipstick – MAC Relentlessly Red
Photo Credit // Samantha Weissbach Photography
What a beautiful post! This is such a great reminder that we really don’t know what other people are going through in their lives. Things can look so different in the outside. Loved it! And lovecthat tulle 🙂
Thank you Liz! You are SO right. Things definitely always look different on the outside! And thanks for loving the tulle. You so would rock this look 🙂
Amazing post! Thank you for the great reminder. You look beautiful!
Thank you for the compliments! Glad you liked it. You are so welcome for the reminder 😉
Molly, what a lovely post. It’s so true, and sometimes blogging can add to the facade. It has been hard when times are tough and to put out an upbeat post but sometimes just being open can help. The best we can all do is be kind and always share smiles and love! You look beautiful in that dress too! x Shannon
My boyfriend and I were just talking about this earlier today. His roommate snapped at him tonight in the most bizarre way, and I just mentioned “you never know … he could’ve had a really terrible day at work or had a girl reject a date or something … just take a breath and be kind back” and it really is true that changing your mindset can seriously help in those situations. When you consider what the other person may be struggling with, you have a different perspective and respond in a more positive way to the situation. If only we could all remember this important fact in our day-to-day lives, the world could be a better place. As always, I thank you for reminding everyone of this. You constantly inspire me to be my best self!
Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com
I love this! Thankyou for sharing your heart and being so real and honest! We should all bare this in a mind a lot more. Glad to see you look so happy and free, and I adore the dress!! All the best for 2017 love!
Estelle @thisgirlshines ❤️✨
This is so true! We could all stand to be a little more intentional with giving kindness. These pictures are so beautiful! Happy New Year!
Aw Molly, I love this! Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own issues that we can’t see the person suffering next to us. This is so inspiring and one of my goals is to be more present and to share that smile and a little more compassion. xx Anca
This post is amazing thanks for opening up to us! Your posts are so inspiring and so thoughtful. Hope you have a great New Year you deserve the absolute best.
This is a lovely, and well written, post. Thank you for sharing as you are completely right. We never know what people are going through. I am the same way where I have a hard time sharing my feelings and just put on a brave face.
I am so proud of you. 2016 was tough, but I have a feeling 2017 will bring more contentness and joy. Love you, and am always in your corner! xoxo
You are such a brave and strong person! I can’t wait to hear all your stories both bad and good ones!
Happy New Year my gorgeous! Hope you will accomplish so much this year, too!
xo from Seattle,
Ah, love this post so much! Spread the love <3 You look so gorgeous in that dress, too! Happy New Year! x
First of all, Happy New Year Lovely!! and second, what an incredible post! This is the best reminder to not judge someone based on the exterior. I know that I get judged sometimes at events as being cold and aloof, whereas inside I’m nervous as all heck and afraid of being judged nastily by people I don’t know and just trying to hold it together! it’s always easy to misjudge but taking that step back and saying to ourselves “hey, I have no idea what this person is going through right now” is a good way to just stop and smile and be friendly instead of possibly making that person feel worse than they already are!
2017 is going to be a fabulous year for you and I’m excited to see what your blogging brings!
This is one of my fave looks ever on you! I love the message behind this post too! Being kind is such a simple notion but sometimes it’s easy to forget and get caught up in something else! Thanks for the reminder!
I love this message, it’s so true! I’ve been on both sides of the coin as well, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that most people are going through something most of the time. Love your glam outfit too!
Chow Down USA
So beautiful!!!!! Love LOVe the Tulle!!!!
I love this outfit but I love your message even more 🙂
Thank you Nikki! You have such kind words!