Oh the life lessons to be learned. Forgive me as I will share ALL of them with you. And today class, we will be learning about dismissing others judgements and allowing ourselves to define who we are. After all... no one knows you like you, amiright? There seems to be this school of thought that says when we hear another's opinion about us, we must accept it and prioritize it above our own. As if they know something we don't and therefore offer a better assessment. And if we were to counter their accusations, we are egotistical and vain. This, dear students, is bullshit.
A while ago I wrote a "DIY" post on how to handle criticism, and this piece follows a similar theme. The difference though being that instead of letting hateful remarks roll off of you, you are actually countering them by defining yourself. Its not passive, but rather active. And that is where the power lies.
In the earlier post, I talked about "The Four Agreements" and the concept within that any conclusion given by another person is relative... compliments included.
"Don't take compliments personally either. Miguel Ruiz, the author of "The Four Agreements" talks about how everything said to us is through other peoples glasses and perspective. Its all relative and really doesn't pertain to us personally in the end. He even says that compliments are directly from their reality and not to base our importance on them. They are nice of course, just don't hinge your worth on other peoples judgements. Good or bad. Come up with your own opinion of yourself. Decide that it's what you believe."
Daily we are directly or indirectly given cues about our worth as a person. Whether it be physical, emotional, mental, financial, social... you name it. The subtle cues are very present, though I find them easier to dismiss. Its the direct cruelty that cuts my core and takes an extraordinary amount of power to counteract. We all remember being told that I'm worthless because of my body shape. One night someone told me that he was falling in love with me, and the next said that I was too immature for him. My ex-Him left a voice mail letting me know I was "fucking nuts" and that he never wanted to see me again. Conversely, in the past month I've been told that I am the most incredible woman they have ever met. That I am sexy beyond words. That I am fantastically accomplished. That I am a superhero who is changing the world.
None of these define me though.
I am incredibly susceptible to shame; to a certain degree we all are. I remember the hurtful comments first and the compliments second. But realistically, they all hold the same weight... which is nothing.
That said, I sometimes feel like internalizing compliments are also a wonderful thing. I have allowed myself to be worshiped by many men in the past month to make up for the time I lost in my last detrimental relationship... and I think thats more than okay. We should allow ourselves to accept positivity from others. It feels good. Always. The catch being that we cannot rely on other to have the final say. We do; and we are always right. Got it? I do try to see it from another's perspective and not dismiss everything said to me, but when I disagree with someone else's determination..I disagree. No ifs, ands, or buts. And occasionally through this process I am able to see why people spread negativity, which also helps with the dismissal. The cyber bully is threatened by confidence for whatever reason. The DJ is insecure about his place in life, and doesn't want a younger person who knows where she's going to make it apparent. My ex-Him needed a distraction to take the blame off of him, and so he (conciously or subconciously) created the "Crazy Bitch Scenario". ( Do you know what the "Crazy Bitch Scenario" is? Ooooh, let me explain:)
The "Crazy Bitch" Scenario.
This psychological gender role cycle in our society is incredibly destructive especially in these situations. It can be simply explained in a domestic setting where the "husband" does something unacceptable that upsets the "wife". For illustrative purposes, perhaps he cheats on her. And though the wife's outrage is justified, the second she verbalizes her emotions the husband is allowed to dismiss them based on the premise that her rants are emotionally charged, exaggerated and manipulative. This immediate power differentiation nullifies the original argument completely, putting the MALE in the victim position, for having to endure this estrogen fueled attack when in reality, he is the perpetrator. This dynamic is everywhere and only exacerbates the issue of easy female dismissal.
It happens all the time. Don't take it personally.
So I reject every persons definition of me, they are all skewed with someone else's perspective. I know me like no one else, and therefore what I say goes.
I am an incredibly intelligent woman with a promising career in front of her. I am one of the most mature 26 year olds I have ever met. I am painfully creative, and this has taken me far. I am a lover and a fighter. I am a writer. I am a humanist. I am an athiest. I am a mindful, thoughtful, and introspective person. I am a crazy bitch in the best way possible; the eccentricities make me feel alive. I am a giver and a taker. I am a sexy motherfucker. I am capable of more than I can comprehend. I am a wonderful daughter. I am deserving of the very best. I am inspirational. I am perfectly flawed. I am open, vulnerable, and strong. I am resilient. I am on a trajectory for greatness. I am worship worthy. I am easy to fall in love with. I am what I define myself to be. Nothing more; nothing less.
So how do you define yourself? Give me five examples?