Recently my child has made some amazing milestones. He’s sleeping better, eating better, napping once a day (freaking finally!!) and started saying “ma-ma” and “da-da” specifically at us. Then, yesterday, he looked at me and made the sign for milk!! I was thrilled (mainly because lets face it – I am NOT consistent with that stuff).

We hear about these all the time – the milestones our children make. The teeth breaking through, the connections they make merely through play. We rejoice in them. We share them. But we rarely take the time to rejoice in milestones of our own.

Is it because as adults we’re expected to move forward? Is it taken for granted? Is a milestone at say, 28, not as important as one at 11 months?

So here’s mine: This week I stood up for what I believed was right.

Unsolicited advice was given out and I spoke up.

As a result of voicing my opinion, I was criticized, name called, finger pointed, bullied, and eventually lost a friend over the perceived “judgmental” slight. Now, I’m not gonna lie and say I didn’t get defensive. Feelings were hurt, things were said and I got VERY depressed at first.  But I refuse to do the same back. Why? Because to me, its deconstructive.

I should back up here and qualify that this is HUGE in my world. I was raised Southern style, people, good ol’ Southern Baptist at that. You never openly disagree with someone, you don’t speak up, and you certainly don’t cause conflict. You look pretty and puff up your hair. 🙂  If you do cause offense you immediately apologize, because basically we’re taught it’s wrong to offend. And since we assume all Southern “ladies” are brought up this way, it stands to reason that if YOU’RE the one offended, you’re most likely overreacting. (I know that’s hard for some of you to believe, but trust me, it’s a Southern thing. And yes, my Mama always told me to stand up for myself, so kudos to her at least.)

But back to this week: my gut told me to stand firm.  And as a result, I was rewarded tenfold! I was embraced not only by unexpected friends, but by the stories of some amazing women who truly needed to tell them. Stories they are still afraid to tell. One said she’s afraid of people thinking she’s stupid, another she “wished she would have known.” Another said she’s afraid of a backlash coming her way, as the incident didn’t happen to her, it happened to a friend she gave advice to.

So here I am. Admitting my milestone. Mine was to stand up for myself, not expecting this outcome of course, but here I am. And I feel really, really, really good.  Fully expecting to be criticized for this post too – because of my wanting you to see how AMAZING it is to have a clear conscience and heart.

Forums can be a great place to post anonymously. Support groups can be found online. But our greatest resources are true friends who will sit, listen, and walk through the fire with you.

Your stories made me cry. They truly touched me. And they will touch others, but the first step is telling them. Getting them out and getting prepared to heal. Because I hurt for you. So badly. Because I cannot imagine.

So we’ll milestone together. You’ll eliminate fear and regret. I’ll eliminate negativity. We will teach. We will support.

And you are loved.