“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming
that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
— W. C. Fields
When I saw this Emerson quote, I saw me for most of my life. Always very sensitive to criticism of any kind, and almost always taking it personally. I always wanted to please every one, and that was an impossibility to say the least.
The other thing that I saw when I looked at the Emerson quote, was that this is no longer me, and I don’t think I really realized it until tonight. It has taken me a lifetime to learn to lay it down and walk away from it, but hallelujah! it is done.
That is not to say that I won’t from time to time have an old tape play from habit, but I now know that I am in control of that and once aware it is playing, I know how to shut it off.
The change? I think it is several things. One is starting a business at 58. That was going out on a proverbial limb in most people’s eyes. In the process, I have gained a great deal of strength and tenacity I didn’t even know I had. You see, I owned a business when I was 30 and walked away from it after only a year and a half. I quit under pressure. With that knowledge in the background, this time, I vowed to never quit regardless of circumstances or events. That commitment has given me serious strength and courage.
Another thing is that in the last couple of years, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. I’ve sort of known it all along, but never quite adopted it as a fact. It is as Shakespeare says, “‘Tis nothing good or bad that thinking makes it so.” I’ve learned that I don’t have to be right–indeed, that there is no right–but only your way, my way and their way and they are all a way. So, my idea may seem really good to me and not to another, and that doesn’t make it bad or wrong, it is just mine. But the key is allowing others to have their way too. Not that I need to go their way, but respect and appreciate that they have a way and it is just as legitimate as mine–and theirs too.
So, it doesn’t matter what others think about what I do or do not do. It is my own thinking about what I do or do not do that matters. If I approve of me, that is all that is needed. If others approve too, the more the merrier, and if they don’t, that’s okay too. I’ll celebrate their way for them. It is so empowering and comforting to be an allower.
And, the last thing about the change that I think is significant is that I am trusting in God, or the Universe to help me. What I mean by that is that I have finally bought the sign I hung on my wall three years ago: What is MY job. How is GOD’s job. My job is to figure out what I want–really want, then start moving toward it confidently. Then, God or the Universe will aid me with inspiration and doors opening that I could not open myself because I couldn’t see the door knob.
I wonder what it would have been like to learn these things at age 30, but I focus only on how grand it is to learn them at all. I am so grateful and in awe of this process I’ve been going through. What a joyful journey it has become!
Everyone Is Right. What A Concept!
Spread Some Joy Today–Do something unexpected for someone today. Buy them a latte or some drink they like, put a small gift on their desk, or a heartfelt greeting card showing you like them. These are simple and very inexpensive joys.