It is very easy to write 'don't let other people's thoughts and opinions influence you or define you' - it's a really common phrase and I'm sure I've written it plenty of times myself. However, let's be real: it is one thing to write it or be inspired by it, and another thing entirely to learn to actually be that way.
It is a growth process that can take a lifetime, to be so strong within yourself that you don't sway from your truth and centre when others criticise, misunderstand or judge you. Some people feel completely debilitated by external harshness. Most of us fall somewhere in the range of small, medium or mega wobbling like one of those bowling pin dolls.
Last week I had to wonder if someone had thrown some kind of agitating dust in the air creating mass wobbling because there were more than a few comments happening (anonymously on my blog) mis-interpreting my words and the words of others, creating an atmosphere that felt extremely judgmental and button-pushy.
Since then I have read about other people feeling the same, with one well-known writer saying she needed to take a break from Facebook so intense was her experience. It is one thing for people who aren't really into this kind of material to be critical. Each to their own. But it more felt like a wave of energy triggering conscious awake people to pit themselves against each other. This wave didn't feel like the usual solar and cosmic waves, it felt quite dare I say intentionally disruptive. Divide and conquer anyone? Hmmm.... I don't say that to create any fear about who or what might have generated this wave (if indeed it was generated), but just to say heads up, if you are feeling this way take a moment to brush it off. Or put on Taylor Swift's song "Shake it off" and dance around: very effective!
I have to say on the odd occasion of receiving those kind of comments, I have a moment where I feel like disappearing offline, but do you stop your passion and stop connecting with all the people who resonate with you, just because of the few that don't?
The answer for me is no, but I totally understand why so many people hesitate to emerge in their lives with their creativity, dreams, true self, sexuality, spiritual gifts or whatever the case may be. Not everyone will like you or what you do or what you have to say, and as strong as you may be it doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of someone essentially telling you that your ideas/way of life/choices etc are 'wrong'. In hindsight you can laugh about it, but in the moment...blagh.
When I had my moment I turned within to see how I could shift the yukky feeling and was guided in this way: Ultimately we are all One. Every individual on this planet is part of the One Source. Based on that, aspects of my own Self made those comments that fired up emotion in me. I thought okay, let's act as if I said those things to my own self. Why would I say those things to myself? What must I believe deep down about myself ?
I highly recommend approaching any similar experiences you are having in this way. It was such a powerful exercise.
This took me to some core false beliefs that have been coming up strongly lately for yet another level of clearing and transformation related to not doing enough (What if I fail by not doing what I'm here to do, what if I'm not doing enough, how can I possibly be good enough in all areas (being a mum, being a wife, being a writer/teacher, being a friend) with only 24 hours in each day?!!)
So what feels unpleasant can provide the best opportunity for shining a light on ever deeper aspects of your Shadow. Don't let other people super-impose their version of 'right' onto you, or allow their skewed version of you dictate who you know yourself to be. Don't get stuck in those moments, and we are human so they do come up for us all.
You can use these sorts of moments to turn the mirror around and extract some real gold from the emotions they trigger. Or...you can just dance around to Shake it off and let it go simple as that!
How have you all been feeling?