When I first started writing this blog, I would occasionally get comments from people who would reprimand me or criticize me or just completely go off on me for any number of reasons.
And back then, being inexperienced and new to blogging, I had thin skin. I also didn’t know what trolls were, so I would very often fire back with a scathing post to shut them down, and then I would ban them from the Facebook page or delete their comments on the blog.
And sometimes I would take it a little bit too far.
A few years ago, I posted a picture of one of the kids who was doing something stupid in the kitchen and he or she (I can’t even remember who it was or what the hell was going on) had a plastic bag on her head.
And a reader commented something along the lines of “Take that off, PLEASE!!!”
It wasn’t even an out of line comment, I don’t think.
But I got super defensive, and then a back and forth between the two of us started, and some other people chimed in in my defense, and then people started to kind of gang up on the woman who left the comment.
And I didn’t like the direction it was taking.
And for whatever reason, I was able to take a step back and look at myself and look at the comment and realize that it didn’t really come from a “troll-y” or judgmental place.
It came out from genuine concern.
And so off the page, privately, I messaged this woman. And I apologized to her.
I think I apologized to her, anyway.
And what happened from there is that we became Facebook friends.
That was about four years ago.
Her name is Beth.
And Beth has been a big supporter of mine ever since then.
I don’t know Beth extremely well.
But I know she is a breast cancer survivor.
And I know that her perspective has been shaped by that.
I know she is positive and supportive and kind and empathetic.
And even though we aren’t super close, there have been many times when I’ve taken a step back and thought to myself, I bet Beth would think this is a pretty stupid thing to be getting all worked up over.
And then there are random times where I have written a post and Beth has sent me a message letting me know she’s noticed a change in me. For the better.
I often get messages from people telling me that I’ve helped them or reassured them or inspired them.
But what I don’t think everyone realizes is that I am very often helped and inspired and reassured by you.
And Beth has really helped me on many occasions to do some serious self reflecting. She has helped me to grow.
She supported the GofundMe campaign that was started for me by a group of my friends when we were in the midst of our financial crisis.
She supported the GoFundMe campaign we started for Patty.
She has supported me in my triathlons and marathons and donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on my behalf.
She is the most supportive and generous person I know (who I have never actually met).
If there has been an instance where I have asked for people to vote for or support anything, Beth has done it.
And you know what else?
She signs all of her correspondences like this:
With love and kindness,
And it’s not a cheesy thing. She genuinely wishes that for everyone.
Love and kindness.
So since she has been around here from the beginning, since she has always supported me, since she has (often unbeknownst to her) helped me to take a step back so many times and think about whether something is really worth getting worked up over or not, since she has helped me to focus on what’s important in the big picture, I’m asking for you to help me support her.
It won’t cost you anything, and it will take you less than fifteen seconds…
Beth and her family are highly involved in mentoring, and Beth has been mentoring a nineteen-year-old named David for the last 15 years since he was six years old.
And she’s been nominated for a once in a lifetime opportunity because of her dedication and support and work as a mentor.
In the words of David’s mom,
“Beth has given so much, time, energy, guidance and most importantly love to David, there aren’t enough thank yous in the world to send her. Helping get votes for this amazing honor has been the first big thing, so if you can please help me thank Beth I would appreciate it very much.”
Basically, Beth is one of the most selfless people out there. And because of that, she is one of four people from across the country who has been nominated to win a cruise from the National Mentoring Partnership.
And it would really mean a lot to me if I could use this blog to help her win.
Because she has really helped me.
All you have to do is CLICK RIGHT HERE and vote for Beth T. It’s not one of those things where you can vote every day. It’s just a one time thing (although you can vote once from every device you have).
Ten seconds of your day can help give Beth the trip of a lifetime.
We all have ten seconds.
It can be your random act of love and kindness.
Beth totally deserves it.
Susie Johnson – I am usually not speechless, however this blew me away! You clearly apologized to me that day which led me to continue to follow you. Taking your course on moving, eating and motivation came at a time in my life when I needed you. I never thought you needed me! Thank you for taking the time to write and promote this incredible opportunity, My heart is full. With love and kindness. Beth
Hi Susie, I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and I’m delurking now to comment. I have always been so impressed and happy that you have found a place where you can share your thoughts, views and advice. Your honesty, integrity and self reflection is truly admirable and wonderfully refreshing to read. You always come from a place of honesty, kindness and decency and this post beautifully reflects this. We are all insecure and feel vulnerable, however, when you took a step back and reached out to Beth you found someone lovely and wonderful. it takes a very big hearted and brave person to make that first step and reach out, Bravo! You could have just let your commenters bash and attack Beth but you didn’t.
I hope you know how inspirational and lovely you are. I am so happy that you and your family are in a more positive financial situation, and especially that you are able to stay in your home. Last year when you wrote about your husband’s awful accident, I was so saddened to hear about your difficulties. However, you persevered and as you always do, you found the strength and resilience to carry on when many people would have just given up or run away. Thank you for sharing your stories and advice. I wish I lived closer so I could take part in one of your Weekend getaways. Please keep writing. Thank you.
Done x x
Julie Bledsoe says