February 06, 2015

should you fire your representative?

I like the bigger picture—the 30,000 foot view—I like being an observer—I  like knowing how to discern when something is worth my attention and when something just isn't—when something is worth defending and heading into a fight for, and when something is not —knowing when I can lend a voice to the voiceless and when I would just be adding unharmonious racket to a lost cause that may have never been a worthy cause in the first place. I appreciate knowing how to pick my battles—the ones worth fighting—but also, how to avoid unnecessary ones that will just drain my life force, my prana.  

My tipping point—the one that governs the conclusive decisions I come to, is now based on my priorities, goals, intentions and the way I wish to represent myself in the world.

Ergo, I have a bunch of journaling questions that I often answer when I’m feeling pulled into uncertainty:

1. Is this in alignment with my priorities?

No? Not worth my attention.

2. Will this support my goals, or harm them?

Harm? Hell fucking No, not worth a second glance!

3. Will this behavior or these choices support the message about who I really am as a person?


Listen, some of the world's greatest thought leaders reiterate over and over again that a reputation takes a lifetime to build and a second to lose—and in spite of what half the world claims, to some degree we all care what people think of us—at least...we tend to care about what those in the community that we have built for ourselves, think of us. We all wish to feel accepted somewhere.   

4. Will this ___________ [choice, behavior, message, comment, statement] accurately showcase and represent  the woman that I am, or would this change the tone of the message I want people to receive about me? 

See the truth is, I know who I am, I know who I wish to remain, I know who I am working on growing into and I know that the world deserves to have that woman. I understand that at the core I already am that woman; the greatest version of myself, just as we all are—but like everyone, I have old hurts, stagnant emotional baggage that I'm still unpacking; limited beliefs that still warp my reasoning and judgment and old outdated legacies that have been passed down to me—and all of these make up the wall that stops me from fully and successfully embodying the person I am meant to live as. Slowly and surly, brick by brick, I am taking it down but....

It’s all a process that requires awareness, self-compassion, a hell of a lot of patience and a big fucking healthy beautiful set of boundaries.

I understand that even the greatest version of myself won't be for everyone—I’m not, nor will I ever be everyone's type—I finally understand that it’s not my job to control how every single person perceives me through their own lenses.

Anais Nin once said that We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

I think the same goes for how we perceive other people. It’s not my job to concern myself with how my message is received, and I'm okay with that—but it is my job to represent myself accurately and concisely.

If I ensure that I am an honest representative, I can know with utmost certainty in my heart of hearts that when I am accepted, I’m accepted for who I really am—and when I am not accepted, it's who I really am that is not being accepted…and not some misrepresentation... and that’s okay. It’s never easy to realize that someone can’t accept you. It’s not fun. But it's easier to accept that someone rejects you, when you know that they aren't sorely mislead about who you are. People are welcome to not feel a connection with me—however—people are not allowed to cross my boundaries. Sometimes my choices resemble passiveness when I bypass or disengage from an invitation to partake in unnecessary theatrics—but  rest assured, push comes to shove, there is nothing passive about me. I will reinforce boundaries by responding (not reacting) with self-control, a general respect and a strong representation. I don’t have to take anyone out at the knees. 

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.    

I spent much of my life doing it all backwards—paying little attention to what I put out in the world; giving little regard to my behavior; paying little attention to the choices I’d make; my reactions, my words, my influence and my impact. Then I’d get overly involved, offended, obsessed and angry in how it was all received and assessed by others. I was constantly screaming at the top of my lungs “You’ve got me all wrong!” I was always fighting off what I perceived to be someone else’s piss poor ideas and opinions of me—always in the process of defending myself—always trying to correct people’s perceptions of me by loudly telling them who I really was… so they’d damn well know that they were ass-backwards wrong—I was always having to pick up the pieces of my shattered reputation—but let’s be real here, it’s not so far out in left field for a person to not believe that I was kind and loving if what I was showing them is someone who was cruel and mean—and that’s what I often showed—a blatant disregard for how my choices and behavior affected others.  
I spent a better part of my life constantly engaged in some battle. I was always trying to control what wasn’t mine to control, while never managing what was within my ability to manage.

What happened, is that I had this idea of who it was I really wanted to be, and that’s who’d I’d tell people I was as a means of fighting off their criticism—I knew they were wrong. But their criticism wasn’t pointed at the real me—their criticism was directed to the woman that my behavior, choices and words portrayed me to be—and in an honest moment, I’ll tell you that they were 100% right about the woman I was showing them—they were dead wrong about the woman I really was.

Unfortunately, what I was really showing them time and time again… my behavior and choices, were those of a woman who was incredibly reactive— one who could use her words like swords and slice anyone who annoyed me, irritated me, disagreed with me, got in my way or hurt me. One who felt she had to point out everyone’s errs, and flaws to deflect attention from her own—the ability to demean and trash another human being still to this day lives in the darkest corners of who I am, but I used to use that ability to navigate my life. I felt so unsafe in the world. I was a woman who gained validation by surrounding herself with people who were just as damaged and hurt as she was. I made most of my choices from a disempowered place, and I spoke to people and about people from that place of old hurts, stagnant emotional baggage, limited beliefs and old legacies.

We know who we really are, but we’re not always living and operating as that person.

I realized that I had to deal with the emotional sludge and build up that was burying my soul, or I’d spend a lifetime feeling like I had to defend myself and my rightful place in this world.

And let me tell you, I often know better than to NOT show up in my life as real and authentic...and I’m not always successfully representing myself, but I’m acutely self-aware now and I’m getting really good at self- correcting.

Portraying myself to be a woman that I'm not, is doing myself and everyone else a great disservice. So I’m adamant about trying not to anymore—this is why, when hugely wrapped up in my own emotions, I disengage. I pull back until I am empowered enough to respond to a situation in a healthy and beneficial way, rather than react to it and do more harm than good.

I have zero issue holding strong to my views and opinions, but I struggle with doing so while standing alone… I recognize this and since self-awareness is half the battle I force myself sometimes because it allows me to stand there knowing that at the very least, I haven't broken my own heart. Because the truth is, every time we do something that is out of alignment with who we are intended to be in this world, that's what we're really doing...breaking our own hearts.