Maybe it’s something in the air. Gemini season. Mercury also shifting into this sign. For some reason or another, people from all horizons have been happily sharing what they think of me over the week. Of course, the positive feedback and the compliments are always welcome. The thing is though that if you choose to believe the good stuff, you also have to accept to deal with the rest. And the rest has been quite tough to handle.
I’m the first one to admit I’m far from being perfect, but having people call out my shit so obviously has been quite challenging. I guess the Universe senses that I am ready to face the truth.
Spoiler alert: I am not always showing up all light and love. As much as I aspire to be a compassionate and sweet human being, I can also be unattentionated, tired, or misinterpreted. I’ve been told I take too much space, speak too much, when at other times people have mistaken my shyness for rudeness or snobbery. I’ve been told I was one of a kind, a unique and pure soul, as much as I’ve been told I was narcissist and self-centered. There is nothing I haven’t heard.
Those feedback touched base, and have hurt me. There is nothing more than I desire than to be a good person. Self-development is not the flavor of the month for me, it’s a lifestyle. I am always on the inner quest, digging deep to become a more outstanding version of myself.
Therefore whenever I get some sort of comment or insight on my person I am all ears. For a long time, I was then trying to adjust my actions to match the person’s expectations. However, we all know it’s simply not sustainable. Even the most terrific chameleon could not cope with this addition of more and more expectations. There is a limit to people pleasing, where one becomes that jigsaw puzzle who makes no sense anymore.
I’ve reached that limit. Between all the positive and the negative feedback there must be some sort of middle ground where my soul and my personality get together to chill on a daily basis. I am neither as great as some people seem to believe, and neither as bad as some others might think. I am somewhere halfway, as we all are. These days, I’m trying to hang in there, in the center, not attaching myself to one extreme or another.
I am willing to explore all these twisted reflections people are offering me, but it hasn’t always been that way. For a long while, I was too fragile to even look at the embarrassing ones. I rejected the negative comments, creating stories in my mind to keep my frail sense of self comfortable. Stories were my way out of suffering. I was pushing away whatever didn’t fit mine to avoid the pain of feeling not being adequate. If someone got better grades in school, I would comfort myself with the tell that my life, vs theirs, was much more complete and that at least I had friends and fun. If someone was prettier, I was this time using the thought that I was smarter to feel a bit better about myself. Even nowadays, I’ll get out of this jelly feeling whenever I feel someone rocking their career, aka being a rockstar yoga teacher, telling myself that I just can’t afford it.
Those tells protected my delicate ego for a while. I was just not ready to hear the truth. I did not have the courage to put up with it.
I do now, as I can welcome it with a clear mind, an open heart and a strong spine. The ground is firm under my feet, and I know where I stand. I can be both the subject and the observer, and with time can see what is mine to take in and learn from and what is only a projection of the other’s mind in the mirror I am for them. It is not my job to tell them they are right or wrong, to tell them how to think of me. I need to be the one to hold space for these difficult conversations to happen. Repeating over and over in my head the second agreement : don’t take anything personally.
It’s not an easy job. Part of me, the part that hurts, craves to respond with the same anger or rightfulness, wants to argue and plaid my case, answer with as equally mean words. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Yet as Esther Perel affirms, you can either be right or be happy. A warm silence is often the only answer to that kind of feedback. Welcome it all. The good and the bad.
Stepping into your power, affirming yourself is not about being right. It’s not about defending yourself, arguing. What matters to me is to know where I stand and how I feel about the feedback I am getting, not so much get everyone to agree with my version of the story. I’m slowly learning to be comfortable with myself, a witness to it all : my feelings, my thoughts, my emotions, as much as theirs. Shifting from competition to awareness.
Drawing on my Virgo moon who knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff, I am learning the lessons and letting go of the rest. Facing those embarrassing parts of myself I’d rather ignore is not effortless, but the more I do it, the better I get at it.
Underneath the noise of the words, I discover that I am still a good person. Simply because I am trying to be one. And if you are willing to try to, you are already succeeding.
You will stumble and fall. You will make mistakes. You will be wrong, as you will also be right, often simultaneously. You will be misinterpreted. It doesn’t matter. Those who care don’t matter, and those who matter don’t care. They will love you no matter what, as you will step into loving yourself also no matter what.
Don’t deny your flaws, witness them as that part of you that deeply craves to be recognized and loved in a clumsy way. Teach that part how to do better, how to step into her truth, how to be authentic in a vulnerable yet courageous way.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the multiple reflections people offer you about yourself day in and day out. Some are showing you in your brightest light, other are distorted as hell. Nevertheless, as soon as the mind starts playing games you’re screwed. Because the truth lies in your heart. And to hear your heart you have to shush the chitty chatter of the head. The mind is what created that image of yourself you are trying to get others to love, and only your heart can get you back to that original version of you who will always deserve to be.
I guess that’s the beginning of what we call integrity. Accepting the full range of my humanity, letting go of the idea of perfection, learning to cope with the multiples mistakes we made, make and will make again, and still be okay, knowing deep down that I am doing my best, that my best even if not that much is enough. I am enough.
I lied. I am all light and love. Covered with shit and dust, stinky and dirty, but still all light and love.