At the close of 2017, I am realizing that I have spent a good portion of my life, my energies and my thoughts, trying to avoid having others see me as any of the words in the title of this post. I mean – if people thought I was crazy, stupid or wrong, etc... – they wouldn’t like me and I’d be alone! Right?
Here are a couple of the paradoxes in this lifelong effort at attempting to manage the way others feel about us –
"There is nothing wrong with you!!!!"
There is another quote from that book that applies here: Acceptance breeds confidence. But NOT the acceptance of others. It may seem like that builds our confidence, but the truth is that the only acceptance that builds confidence – comes from you - toward yourself. Acceptance of ourselves is enhanced when we can be comfortable with who we are rather than always trying to manage the view others have of us. It is exhausting, have you noticed? “You need to accept yourself before you wreck yourself.”
No matter how good we are at managing our outward image, other people are going to form opinions and judgments about us – based on their own relationship with THEMSELVES. If you can’t be who you feel you truly are with some people – those are not your people!! And doesn’t that just make sense? When you emit a clean frequency of who you are, you are going to match up with those who are also on that same wave length. When we muck up our frequency with trying to be who we think others need or want us to be in order for them to be comfortable (conditional love), or being "perfect", etc...then we are going to match up with others with mucked up frequencies. AH-HA! This explains so much doesn’t it!!???!!!?
If we try to conform to please others, it makes them weak. They depend on the conditions being just right by you doing your tap dance in order for them to feel good. Now you are relying on others – who are not on solid emotional ground – to feel okay about yourself. You can see how wobbly this scenario is.
When we focus on management of the feelings of others toward us, we lose our own connection to ourselves, to the Divine. It’s not anyone else’s job to accept you. It’s yours. And here is yet another interesting paradox – those who don’t accept you… help you to learn to accept yourself, if you choose to receive the lesson in it rather than remain in the victim role.
So, what if I AM crazy? Sometimes stupid? Even “wrong”? Then welcome to being human. I am also logical, intelligent and “right” much of the time along with a zillion other qualities. Just like every other human on the planet. What if being a little crazy is what makes me happy? Or propels me to the next level of excellence? What if being a little stupid causes me to learn and have a thirst for knowledge? And what if being “wrong” is what teaches me to have compassion for myself and for others when we temporarily go off course? What if my low self-esteem has what has given me the drive to push myself to do better, be my best, study self-help to the point of saturation?
It’s all okay. It’s all exactly how it needs to be. Rather than kicking my own ass for the energy spent on trying to manage what others think of me I can now choose to use that and what it’s taught me and add a new phase, a new way for the next part of my path. I can learn to care about how I feel and let go of some of my attempts to manage what others feel.
Four years ago when my brother Larry died, I had a clear awakening that I needed to be true to myself, love myself, and remember to be who I am going forward. I’ve had ups and downs with trying to stay on that path and many of the downs have been due to me putting other people’s expectations on myself. I’m the one doing it, no one else. Staying awake is serious business and just like healing, it is NOT linear, it is NOT a straight steady upward motion. Giving myself the grace to let it be whatever it is and not judging myself for being further along the path is a big part of the lesson for sure. It's interesting, giving myself grace to feel what I feel is probably the hardest part of all. Hmmmm....
I think the best way to sum up being okay with what got you to this point and being open to what you may want or need to take you the rest of the way is in the Brene’ Brown quote below. When we come to the point that we realize that we can't manage or be responsible for how other people see us, we can finally give ourselves permission to be just as we are. Unravel. Love and be who you are - without judgement, because it just might take you home to yourself.
Sandy Edie Hansen
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