I absolutely did not want to get up for work this morning. I did not want to get dressed or brush my teeth. Or do my makeup. I did not want to make that one hour-long commute. Of course I begrudgingly did all of those things.
For the longest time, I gave not even an iota of care about what anyone thought of me. But as of late, I’ve mulled and mulled over making certain decisions because I was unsure of what other people would think.
Will I be judged for posting this picture? Is someone going to think I’m conceited? Will they think I’m overly ambitious for pursuing this project? Will what I put out be accepted?
New flash: they probably already think all of the above.
The beauty of life and growth is not allowing what other people think to cripple you. What other people think of you should not stop you from being your genuine self!
One of the most liberating things you can do is accept yourself for who you are at the present moment. Your no college degree having, gap-toothed, over-analytical, wide-hipped, over zealous self. Because when you have love of SELF, the outside forces cannot destroy you.
Sharing your light is what matters. If you’re too concerned with the thoughts of others, how can you share your light? How others perceive you is not your business or your reality.
Random but, I just felt like sharing.
I’ve read a lot of books that have shook me up inside and most recently, that has been The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a quick but poignant and necessary read. I felt it in my heart to give this to one of you, my faithful readers, as a gift. I know it blessed me tons so I want to share the knowledge.
I’ve been in a very introspective mood lately. Really, I always am. Always over-thinking, always over-analyzing and always observing. It’s exhausting! Despite all of that, I had a pretty good weekend. Spent time with friends: eating, drinking and laughing until we couldn’t stand it. And I loved it. But there’s always that moment after it’s all over when you retreat back to your thoughts. Back to reality.
Yesterday after work, I went home, took a nap and woke up restless. The sun was out being annoyingly bright. I got up with the intent to do yoga but I always forget the moves so there’s that. Then I decided to take a walk but I didn’t feel like being chased by a dog. So, I went to the small airport by my house just to watch the sunset and ruminate over different aspects of life.
We are not entitled to anyone’s love.
We are not entitled to anyone’s friendship.
We are not entitled to anyone’s professionalism, courtesy, consideration or admiration.
We are not even entitled to life.
Receive it all in gratitude.
Tomorrow is not promised.
Every time I visit Jada Pinkett-Smith’s page on Facebook, I receive a message crafted just for me. Jada has a way of using her introspective thoughts to connect with all of her readers. I love and admire the caution she takes in analyzing every experience, gaining peace along the way.
I read the post above and thought, wow, you’re so right, Jada. Although I knew the information already, it just hit a little closer to home for me.
How often do we feel like people owe us everything? We feel like our family owe us love; our friends owe us time; our colleagues owe us respect; our partners owe us love and admiration. In an ideal world, we would get everything we wanted. But in this life, you can’t control any of it, only your response to it.
So, you can choose to be upset when people don’t acknowledge you, when situations don’t go your way, or when someone doesn’t love you the way you want to be loved. Or…you can accept that you’re not entitled to any of those things. That way, when you do unexpectedly receive whatever it is that you desire, you will be grateful for it.
Let go of the need to control the outcome and start appreciating what is in front of you right now.
The Four Agreements, pg. 34 & 35
There was a woman, for example, who was intelligent and had a very good heart. She had a daughter whom she adored and loved very much. One night she came home from a very bad day at work, tired, full of emotional tension, and with a terrible headache. She wanted peace and quiet, but her daughter was singing and jumping happily. The daughter was unaware of how her mother was feeling; she was in her own world, in her own dream. She felt so wonderful, and she was jumping and singing louder and louder, expressing her joy and her love. She was singing so loud that it made her mother’s headache even worse, and at a certain moment, the mother lost control. Angrily she looked at her beautiful little girl and said, “Shut up! You have an ugly voice. Can you just shut up!”
The truth is that the mother’s tolerance for any noise was nonexistent; it was not that the little girl’s voice was ugly. But the daughter believed what her mother said, and in that moment she made an agreement with herself. After that she no longer sang, because she believed her voice was ugly and would bother anyone who heard it. She became shy at school, and if she was to sing, she refused. Even speaking to others became difficult for her. Everything changed in the little girl because of this new agreement: She believed she must repress her emotions in order to be accepted and loved.
Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. This little girl grew up, and even though she had a beautiful voice, she never sang again. She developed a whole complex from one spell. This spell was cast upon her by the one who loved her the most: her own mother.
Wow, what a revelation. After reading this passage, it dawned on me that at one point in time, I held on to similarly disparaging words.
Last week, a friend of mine put this post in her Gmail status. Shortly after reading it, I came across this post amongst the blogs that I read. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both posts speak true to how I’m feeling and have been feeling for a long time now. I am not happy. Waking up in the morning feels like a chore. Finding interest in people and things have become a burden. Foods that I use to love have lost their flavor. And tears? HA! I’ve cried more times this year alone than I have in my entire life, twice over.
But WHO wants to talk about that stuff? Who can you say those things to without feeling like you’re complaining or seeking sympathy? No one, really. But I’m choosing to tell you all today for vulnerability’s sake. I don’t wake up every morning with birds singing sweet songs in my ears. I’m not excited about much of anything anymore. I feel like a complete stranger to myself. That’s not the kinds of things people want to hear. But it’s my truth for the moment.
After reading those posts, I felt like I should be honest with you all. I know that my writing has changed because I don’t feel 100% like myself. That isn’t fair to you as a faithful reader. I appreciate you so much. So here goes.
It was right before bed when I first heard Janelle Monae’s song, Q.U.E.E.N. I thought to myself, “what is this noise that I am I listening to right now?” By the second and third listen the next day, I finally realized how perfect it actually was. Oh yes, Miss Monae brought it with the funky beats and hip-hop slash gospel tones. But more than that, her lyrics spoke to the very thoughts I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. It was at that moment that I decided to reclaim my Queendom. I decided to reclaim the respect that I feel I’ve lost along my way.
“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”
My friend Keila is like the therapist I never thought I needed but glad I have. Today she randomly sent me a text message asking why she had to find out about my latest venture through the internet. No real answer there except that I was sorry. But knowing that I have her support regardless really lit up my somber day.
We moved on to gchat to fully catch up. I tell you, not even fifteen minutes into the conversation, I was literally reaching for my Kleenex. Keila has an introspective way of communicating that always stirs me up. She’s just that friend that encourages you to wholly embrace whatever it is that you’re feeling. Which, at times, can be very awkward.
We talked about life choices, love, purpose and other not so fun adult stuff. It reminded me of an article I read earlier about adulthood. It’s never easy realizing that you’re an adult. That there are certain choices you’re solely responsible for. That some journeys can only be traveled alone. That sometimes you have to struggle to get the things that you want. The article lists 24 painful things you must do as an adult. Here are my two cents.
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” -The Perks of Being a Wallflower