A message I saw in August 2016 while in the bathroom stall of a Quaker Steak and Lube in Valley View, Ohio. I was taking my sticky sauce- covered 5-year-old to the bathroom. I stood there waiting for him to pee when looked up and saw some gold writing on this gravel-like wall.
Usually, when you see writing on the bathroom stall it’s something disgusting, foolish, and mind-numbing. This two-word message came just in time. I was going through one of the roughest mental health crisis of my life. In fact, this photo was taken just two weeks after a night spent in the ER because of a panic attack.
This unexpected two-word message gave me just a little bit of comfort and a whole lot of fuel to keep moving forward.
To see this message from a stranger made my mind raced as I thought about the person who might have written this. She (most likely because I was in the ladies room) probably went in there to cry. Feeling overwhelmed with her job or dragged down by the company she dined with. She went into the bathroom, silently sobbed, slowly dried her tears, and wrote “Stay Stong” hastily with a gold sharpie.
This person knew that a bathroom is a place where people go to pee, fix their makeup, and to cry. She wrote what she wished someone else would to say to her; eagerly thinking about being the change she wished to see in the world.
I am grateful for people like this person. People who are willing to be that stranger that tells you “it’s going to be okay” and to “stay strong”.
What Does It Mean To Stay Strong?
Staying strong doesn’t mean you can’t cry or have any negative feelings. It doesn’t mean that we have to pretend to be okay. Staying strong means finding ways to release pressure without harming yourself and/or someone else.
Staying strong means not giving up on your own life. It means that things only get easier because you get stronger.
With every step forward you become strong enough to endure. Strong enough to leave. Strong enough to stay. Strong enough to say, “I’m not okay”. Strong enough to accept. Strong enough to change.
It means knowing that there will be something great birthed from all this pain. Something bigger and better than you could ever imagine.
What do you think?
Where do you find messages of encouragement?
Were they random?
How do you send messages of encouragement?
If you haven’t, what is stopping you?
Thanks for reading!