I love taking personality type tests and recently found an interesting one that made me think of my 52 WEEKS::Heroes project. It asked to list 5 people you admire, living or dead, real or fictional, and the reasons why. Mine were Georgia O'Keeffe, Meryl Streep, Beatrix Potter, Maya Angelou and Stevie Nicks for their creativity, independence, strength, quirky sense of humour and their unapologetic attitude towards living life their way. My eldest daughter Alex chose Lucille Ball, Amy Schummer, Lauren Graham, Mindy Kahling and Anna Kendrick for their confidence, feminism, authenticity, humour and outspokenness. My youngest Katherine selected Vera Britton, Alicia Vikander, Wonder Woman, Tris (Divergent), and Aurora (X-Company) because they are brave, strong, unapologetic, intelligent and calm.
If you made a list like mine, read through it carefully and recognize that these are your character traits, too. When I initially read that statement after writing out my list, tears came to my eyes. Sometimes I think we forget to recognize the good parts of ourselves and, instead focus only on our perceived flaws. I've been studying psychology in university and for one of my papers I had to ask five friends to list my top three strengths and though they all used different words, the basic sentiment was the same and it really touched me deeply.
These experiences reminded me of the story I've heard about a small village in Africa. When a member of the tribe does something cruel or unkind, the villagers surround that person and tell them all the good things about them. I love that.