This is an edited version of a podcast episode. If you prefer to listen, click Make Me Whole Podcast to find this and all my other episodes.
As you may or may not know, every week my sign-off is “Complain less, do more”. This episode isn't going to be about complaining. It's actually about my way of doing more. I have utterly enjoyed creating this podcast, the acts of sharing knowledge and being vulnerable about past experiences, which is necessary for growth. I still experience strong feelings of excitement and terror every time I upload a new episode. It almost feels like every week is like the first. Making the decision to open up and share has been a defining moment in my life. I think what stands out most about this process are the moments when others have shared about how an episode has given them clarity or direction when they felt lost or confused. I've also so appreciated the questions that have come up and the mutual respect and understanding that comes from having a dialogue about our lives and the work that we do. This prompted me to make sure that I included an episode related to just that: my “why”.
Recently I discovered that there are some individuals who had questions about my podcast: why I was doing it, what my motivations were, etc. They took it upon themselves to create a narrative. I found that interesting as they never took a moment to ask me directly. From that questioning came lots of conversations and stories which challenged the truth and foundation of what I say here. It's even been suggested that my sole reason for creating this podcast was to attack others or seek financial gain of some sort. Now, I could come here and complain about how genuinely toxic and manipulative people can be or about how they didn't come and speak to me directly. And honestly, if they want to be about it, they can bring it. But I'm not going to fight them. That's not me, and that hasn't been me for a while now.
While working alongside those who have allowed me the opportunity to help, one thing I have found to be true is that when we are on an emotional, mental, or spiritual journey where we evolve, feel, and heal, there will be people who just don’t get it. When we've taken the opportunity to grow or when we’ve learned how to manage negativity in ways that work for us as opposed to against us, others may not understand it. And that doesn’t mean they are incapable of understanding what healthy thoughts and insights are. They're just not there right now.
This being so, I’ve shared so much about my experiences, my own truths, my own healing, not so I would receive applause, pity, understanding, or attention. But if something I said here resounds with those who are listening, who are seeking clarity, who want to feel like the chaos inside themselves is something they never have to face on their own, then I've done what I set out to do. If another person can see their worth, the power of their conviction, even when everyone is against them, then I've done what I set out to do. If my experiences doing the work to heal myself allowed someone to recognize the necessity of focusing on themselves and creating peace, even if for just a moment, then I've done what I set out to do. I do it authentically, unapologetically, and for the sake of showing that there is strength to be found, even when we feel that we could never lift ourselves out of the darkness.
Personally, my inner circle is small, and I'm good with that. Interactions with my tribe are not only reciprocal, but also natural and uplifting. I have unconditional love not because I demanded it, but because I allowed it to be given to me. Luckily, I've also been able to show love and understanding without having my motives questioned or having to fit a role that makes everyone else comfortable. What I've learned from all of this is that in order to be at peace with yourself, you have to allow space for feelings. Yes, even the negative ones! In doing so, you can process those emotions in a healthy way. Otherwise, they can burst out as harmful or hurtful reactions to seemingly unrelated people or events. You also get the opportunity to gain mastery over your emotions, which is never easy, but is definitely possible. Huge battles aren't the solution anymore. You release the dramatics and focus on the solutions that improve, not escalate, the situation. Again, just because you’ve decided this is your path, as I have, it doesn't mean that everyone is going to be able to walk along with you. From the sidelines, they may make you question yourself or judge you for walking alone.
This is all to say that I believe in the power of boundaries. I believe everyone has the right to their own truth, and those truths might be a bit difficult for others to accept. I believe that we should ask questions, even if the answers we receive are challenging to hear. I believe that people can grow and learn from even the hardest of life’s situations, and that no one has the right to tell anyone how to feel, how to react, or how to process a situation. I believe that no matter how hard you strive to satisfy others, you may never get there and that focusing on your own foundation needs to come before anything else. Here’s the thing, if someone you deeply love expresses sorrow, don't tell them to not be sad. Sit with them and comfort them with your presence. If someone says they’ve been triggered because of past experience with trauma, don't judge them because you feel like they should be over it by now. Instead, sit quietly and just listen. If a person you say you love says they've been hurt, taken advantage of, or disrespected to the point where they can no longer be around people they grew up with, don't add to the shut out or negative conversation without first talking to them about what has gone wrong. Instead, take what good you know of them, the truth in that love you have for them, and let them explain their story. Also, if you’re the person experiencing this journey towards health and it’s hard for others to accept, know you're doing exactly what you need to do and keep going. The fact that no one gets it? Well, that’s fine. They don’t need to. And they’re never going to completely understand your point of view, because that belongs only to you. If they later show interest in walking beside you and gaining a more complete understanding of your experience, you get to decide if you want to allow that. Remember, whatever anyone else thinks about you is absolutely none of your business.
So, if you’ve listened to the episodes and you wonder if this story is about you, ask yourself honestly and you’ll know the answer. If you do think it’s about you, well, yeah, it very well could be. To those who take what I’ve said and use it for clarity, assistance, or growth, I think you're amazing. To those of you who think what you're hearing is meant to shame you or your current situation, I’d be happy to deny that right here, right now. It’s not. Point blank. Can’t say it any clearer. Maybe that negative reaction reflects something you might want to work on, and to that end I send you blessings, love, and light on your journey.