Sorry gang, I’m just full of words and thoughts that have to get out. Prolific this week.
The trick is to let everyone else have their opinion without letting it influence or upset you. Letting others have their say really costs you nothing, but gives them the opportunity to express both their point of view and a place to be in your life, a way to care. It may not be what you need or want, but it is how they know, what they know. I’ve perfected the wise, smiling acceptance of their words while internally blowing them off and doing just as I please/think I ought.
This is really, truly, er, true. I’ve received some very wonderful advice and commentary over the last couple weeks but I find myself wondering if the lesson I’m in the middle of isn’t contained in these words.
Very often I am able to practice this but when it gets personal, when there is judgment attached to my own actions? I have great difficulty it seems. It became clear to me at some point some time ago that one of the things I’m working on in this life is the need to not be invisible, to be heard and seen and acknowledged.
I find myself asking what is up with that? Clearly at some point in my experiences here in this plane (this lifetime and others) I’ve felt invisible. Jeshua told me once that invisibility is definitely one of my issues and that while I had turned the corner I was still in the same meadow. One day he told me I was finally in a new meadow. Silly me, I thought that meant I was done with this issue. But I think that we travel the same issues just further up the spiral.
I spent years finding my voice. In my drinking and using days, instead of finding my voice I acted out in anger, terrible anger, a lot. I drank at people who didn’t see me. I ranted and raged and no one listened. Why on earth would they? In sobriety I began working on my self, looking at my self, and at some point realizing that there was this huge deal.
I think it was 3-4 years ago that a friend of mine, the woman I was apprenticed to in the SCA, told me about livejournal (LJ). I never journaled in sobriety. I wrote a lot of pure resentful crap previous to sobriety but stopped writing completely when I stopped drinking. I thought, meh, but tried it. And found a medium that really works for me. Most of the people who “friended” me on LJ were also in the SCA. After a couple of very heartfelt posts some of them wrote and said “Girl, you need to make your posts private, friends only, or you’ll never do well in the SCA, you will not get your Laurel (an hierarchical award, the golden ring of artisans).” And Goddess bless me and them, I listened and went private. Started censoring myself heavily. All worried about what others thought of me.
That chaffed and rubbed and I became defiant. Remember, it is my middle name. Eventually I wrote this post, “What Did She Really Mean When She Said, ‘I Rock?’ .” I realized my value and worth finally, my own self. Suddenly I didn’t need the Laurel, suddenly I didn’t need the approval of others. I had not only found my voice but I found my artistic core. I decided I didn’t need to be an apprentice anymore.
It didn’t take long before my friend/teacher started seeing me less and less and then one day she used a bunch of my research to augment her own with no credit to me. I believed it was done in order to be recognized her own self for a higher award. (She did actually get that award a couple years later) She denied it but I’m not blind. She even used the title of my work almost word for word. She added one word, a somewhat crucial word I’ll give her that, but darn it I had sworn her to secrecy while I worked on this work, the culmination of 10 years of research and study and prototypes.
When I confronted her on it? Her response was to tell me that it was intellectual property and what she did was legal. Pull the legal card on me right out of the gate? Clearly she’d put some thought into it. Then she lied about a mutual friend, saying that the friend had found a critical medieval text that gave her the information that she needed. That friend? Said she’d never seen that kind of text but if she did I’d be the first she told as it was my period, my focus. If the text had existed? Why on earth hadn’t she shared it with me? “You’re not entitled to know everything about my life.” Whoa. I was so out of there. She was the first friend of the three that I cut loose. It hurt like a mofo. I might not have done it if I hadn’t found my voice. I might not have done it if she had admitted what she’d done or if she had talked to me about it but I found out from a friend. It was all good. It was time. I no longer needed the recognition remember? Her actions told me that what I’d done was stellar. I am the only one who really needed to know that.
I left the SCA. Very soon after the beginning of the end of the relationship with The Forgiven began. I left LJ. I came to wordpress and started writing and speaking out in earnest. Not one single private post. Until recently. I started writing private posts. Now? No more private posts ever.
I believe that we have to move from one extreme, one end of the pendulum swing, all the way to the other end of the swing before we can rest in the middle.
I think I’m coming to the middle balance of finding my voice. I finally started speaking my truth out loud. I finally started saying what I felt I needed to say. I finally felt as though I was living an actualized life. I won’t stop speaking my truth out loud. I do actually censor my writings. There is, often enough, a lot I don’t say. You have to really push my buttons to get me to truly fly. We shall see, I have no idea what the middle is going to look like but I suppose I’ll know when I’m there.
It’s funny, as I was getting the tattoo I thought, “I can’t let the parents see this. They’ll be upset for 5 different reasons.” And then I thought, “Holy Cow woman! You’re 50 years old! WTF?!” But they won’t understand the “frivolous” spending of the money so I’ll keep it mum for now, which is easier now that we’re back to wearing sleeves… Here I am at 50 still worried about what others think. That is probably the other lesson.
- Stop worrying about what others think *sigh*
- Try not to hurt others in order to speak your truth but know that sometimes that’s what happens and let it go, do it with as much kindness as you can muster
- Letting others have their say really costs you nothing, most of the time I don’t mind saying I’m sorry or I don’t know simply because I don’t need to be right or forgiven
- Perfecting the wise, smiling acceptance of their words while internally blowing them off and doing just as I please/think I ought because others need to learn to use their voice too
- Just because I don’t respond doesn’t mean I think they are right
Man, or rather WOMAN, this is no short order. *sigh* Thankfully I’m really doing quite a bit of it most of the time. Progress rather than Perfection is always the goal.