Using Negativity to Light Your Fire


Lizzie Velasquez talks about her struggle with bullying – and how she has overcome it – in this powerful TED Talk!

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Lizzie Velasquez was born with an extremely rare syndrome that left her unable to gain weigh and blind in one eye.

When she went to kindergarten, she was shunned by the other kids for looking like a “monster.”

She was crushed.

In high school, someone posted a video of her online and it got 4 million views. The thousands of hurtful comments included invitations to her to kill herself for her ugliness.

How do you live with that?

Lizzie – now 24 and 64 pounds – said something clicked after that. Something told her she had a choice: either be defined by the negative comments, or do her own defining.

“I decided to make myself better,” she says in this wonderful and inspiring TED Talk. “I used their negativity to light my fire to keep going.”

Lizzie said she realized she had the power to choose how to live her life. She says she has learned that we need to be grateful for all situations … that they can open our eyes to what we can do.

We all can get caught up in what others think or say about us. But God made each of us exactly as God wanted us to be. God has a dream for each of us. We need to live it out!

Lizzie delivers a great Lenten message, whether we are struggling with our own negativity or others’ negativity toward us. She is a vivacious and funny and smart. And you know what else? She is beautiful!

So, don’t let others pull you down … and don’t pull anyone else down, either. Hold your head up high and help others hold their heads high, too. Live in the light!

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