He nonchalantly called my life’s work "inspirational shit". This is what I did.
Ever sat in a crowded bus on a muggy, rainy morning on your way to work, listening to someone sneezing up their last night’s dinner and just held your breath, hoping that tiny air-vent in the tin ceiling was enough to prevent an outbreak of snot-flu amongst commuters?
You know, where you imagine their sneeze is wafting through the air and droplets of sick are falling on top of everyone like Cinderella's fairy godmother’s wand-glitter?
Luckily, a bad attitude, a nagging nature, debbie-downer, woe-is-me, shitty, sarcastic, tall-poppy, triggered mentality is not the flu.
I mean, you can catch it, but not because you're on the same bus, or in the same room.
You can only catch it if you damn well decide on some level to do nothing different. To take it on as yours, wear it like the glasses you see through and be "normal"... so as not to stand out too much, point out someone’s really appalling mindset, or upset the apple cart and make someone uncomfortable (but really you know... it's you who feels uncomfortable being the one who is different, once again.)
You don't want to be left feeling alone and as though you don't belong.
Maybe this is something you try and avoid due to feeling inherently like you have never belonged anywhere from a young girl or boy.
Recently someone told me they "scroll past my inspirational shit".
This probably will always hurt on some level. It feels like someone taking a stab at my heart and soul when they criticise my art, my work, so nonchalantly. Because it IS my heart and soul. And especially because I find it amusing, hurtful, and bizarre all at once that people can be so blatantly rude about such things. They get so triggered by those who are visible, doing great work and who have devoted their lives to helping people. I'm out to help people. Why is that such a problem? Why does it trigger you so much? (Well, I know why. We all know why.)
But, words like this will never ever, ever stop me from doing what I'm doing, or, the way I'm doing it. Anything less than me just being me... would be death to my soul on some level.
Sorry, I'd rather take the passive agressive triggered remark across the table than kill a piece of me that has for so long been working to come out. So scroll away. I'm not talking to you - clearly.
And they're not wrong, by the way. They're just doing "them"... with no perspective of the effect it has on the limits to their own life, because it's their view of the world.
A worldview that is limited however, in my perspective, is a very sick worldview that will result in the same unhealthy results. Over, and over, and over again.
Even still, when these situations happen, there's still this little part of me that wants to shrink down and just be normal and fit in on some level.
I think I've always had that. I've been somewhat weird and very ambitious about certain things since I was very, very young - But "fitting in" would require me to waste so much fucking energy on making everyone else feel comfortable at the expense of honest conversation, and my own energy that I would be a depleted mess with no real connection to the people closest to me... oh wait... I've been there before. I ended up bedridden for almost three years.
Yeah, no, I'll take the rolled over apple cart and awkward silence ANY day of the week.
Am I worked up? Sure I'm worked up. Because I see it every day. Brilliant men and women doing big things, with big dreams, and world-changing ideas warping the shape of their heart and bodies and minds to fit the perceived notion of people whose attitudes STINK, but are very, very LOUD. Shrinking themselves to fit those plagued with a closed mindset.
So next time you're on that metaphorical bus, know this:
In every moment you have a choice.
Some moments more than others. You can choose to let the spiteful, jealous, triggered remarks sink in as a sign to pipe down and hide away. You can catch that disease and wear it as a skin suit. But watch what happens to your body, your mind, your libido, your spirit, and your creativity. You'll start sleeping too much, worrying if you're too much, not enough, forgetting to eat, or overeating, scrolling for life, hiding away, numbing out, waiting to feel better, and as dry in the you-know-what as the Sahara's rock bedin a drought.
Or, you can take it as a sign you're right where you need to be. You're shining bright enough that the people who are here for life will be able to find you, see you, seek you out and stick around. And the ones who will never make it will fade themselves out... stage left. Unfollow me, please and thank you.
And it doesn’t mean you have to yell across the table and be "physically" loud and defensive in response to a throwaway comment like this. I mean you can, by all means, if that's your style, rock on with your bad self.
I like to smile and laugh it off and visualise a big sign across their head that now says "I don't get it, it's not for me. That’s ok".
In my personal experience, hitting back would mean I'm fighting fire with fire. Two "wrongs" don't make a right.
And I also make a conscious effort not to walk into someones artistic life and tell them the thing they've dedicated their entire soul to is eye-roll worthy and shit, or that I can’t be bothered with it. Even if I don't watch everything they do. That's just manners.
We learn from our pains as much as our triumphs not to dim someone else’s dreams just because we don't understand them. I wouldn't want to inflict the same pain I've felt on someone else. So I'm cautious.
This is how we stop lineage issues from carrying on through our genes. By being aware of the impact our words have.
But back to you, when you experience this, as I have, recently, if you DIM yourself in the face of throwaway, hurtful comments, you chip away, and eventually kill off the very piece of you that makes you that one in thirty trillion chance person who was meant to be here for a reason. I am talking about the times you experience those hurtful comments from friends and family who don't quite understand, or from people being "keyboard warriors" on social media, or snarky remarks from old acquaintances who knew you "before" you were who you are now, or a partner who doesn't SEE you, or even as far as someone physically hurting you, - or even just the FEAR of one of these things MAYBE happening don’t shrink back and hide.
When you DIM yourself like that, you're "catching the disease" of scarcity, not enough for everyone, tall-poppy talk, impossibility, shame, the perception that there isn't enough for everyone. You are taking on the fear that anything outside of what you learned growing up about "making money, happiness and work" is dangerous and crazy if it doesn't involve colouring between the lines so to speak. (How's that strategy goin' for ya by the way).
Catching the disease is a CHOICE.
You can't actually even CATCH it
You can only CHOOSE to take it on.
Next time, in the face of fear or actual hurt, when you want to shrink back or hide your beautiful, pure, limitless self from the world, or you're hesitating on your desires.... remember - you can choose to take on that perception as real (catch the disease) or, not.
And if not, find your own response (steal my sign above the head strategy if you like, it's somewhat stealthy), do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself, and then let it unleash another level or layer of you. It's all good for you.
We're not here to fuck around unless fucking around is exactly why we're here of course! We're also not here to convince everyone to think and act as we do. Nor to justify or defend ourselves. Ever.
We're free to be who we are. Everyone is.
You're here to come alive, and the world needs more people who have come alive.
Everything you want is so much closer than you think.
So stay curious, and stay open. (and a little stealthy, too)
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