I intellectually understand that not everyone will like or agree with me. Emotionally, I am still learning that it is ok and I don't need to fix it.
I have not worked since December of 2019, and I have not worked for another person or company since May of 2018.
I have had my group of friends for years, and we think, feel, and believe very similarly.
I have been with my boyfriend since 2017, and he is very supportive and sweet, even if he disagrees with me.
I don’t go into many new situations where I know no one, and if I am in a position where I know people will not agree with me, I keep quiet.
In summary, I haven’t intentionally opened myself to other’s opinions, judgments, and ultimately criticism in a long time.
Last week after publishing my post on self-care, I received a message from someone I hadn't spoken to in a long time about my blog and the content I had been posting.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they wrote. It was my reaction to their words. I instantly felt insecure and defensive. I went back and reread my posts, trying to see their perspective and see if I was playing a victim who was whining about her life. I texted my two best friends and asked them what they thought of their message and if they were right.
So a person I hadn’t spoken to for years had me questioning my whole life and why I had decided to write and share my journey.
It was sad and fascinating at the same time to observe the power someone’s opinion about me had on my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Coincidently, my midwife of my daughter posted a response to my article with a piece by author Glennon Doyle:
“People will like me or not, but being liked is not my one thing. Integrity is...The truth is that it matters not at all what you think of my life. But it matters supremely what you think of your own.
Judgment is just another cage we live in, so we don’t have to feel, know and imagine. Judgment is self-abandonment.
You are not here to waste your time deciding if my life is true and beautiful enough for you. You are here to decide if your life, relationships, and world are true and beautiful enough for you.
And if they are not and you dare to admit they are not, you must decide if you have the guts, the right - perhaps even the duty - to burn to the ground that which is not true and beautiful enough and get started building what is.
That is what I want to model now. Because that is what I want for all of us. I want us to all grow so comfortable in our own feelings, our own knowing, our own imagination that we become more committed to our own joy, freedom, integrity than we are to manipulating what others think of us.
I want us to refuse to betray ourselves. Because what the world needs right now to evolve is to watch one woman at a time live her truest, most beautiful life without asking for permission or offering an explanation.
May we all live in communities where every person's truest self is both held and free.”
Indeed, my message, thoughts, and opinions may not resonate with every person who reads them, and I am still learning that it’s ok. Intellectually I understand the concept that not everyone will like or agree with me. Still, emotionally-which is where reactions lie; I instantly want to fix whatever I did or said that upset someone and make it right. But what I fail to realize in the moment of reaction is that I am abandoning my truth to please someone else.
The whole point of this blog is “to burn to the ground that which is not true and beautiful enough and get started building what is.”
I need to recognize that change is a process. I have been a people pleaser my whole life. To decide to stand in my truth doesn’t mean that I am automatically a confident badass who says what she thinks and feels with no need for apology or explanation.
I am on a journey, and this is just the beginning.