“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” –Audre Lorde
I love this quote and it resonates deeply with me. I’ve noticed though that when I do define myself, others try even harder to crunch me into their definition of what I should be or what I should do. Some people have extremely limited comfort zones. Scarily and sadly limited comfort zones. So much so that the hopes and dreams of others seem threatening to them. My message to them?” I’m me, not you. Don’t place your judgment of yourself and your fears on me.”
I’ve noticed this behavior from [some] others when I’m at my HAPPIEST, and when I’ve accomplished something that to me is a huge milestone in my life. When I’m in love (or when I think I am). When I’ve received recognition. When I feel important, and successful. When I’ve made lifestyle changes that beyond any doubt change my life for the better such as in my diet or fitness routine. When I’m proud of me, flying high on the rush of adrenaline that accompanies accomplishment.
The happier I am, the more I am “warned” against the POTENTIAL pitfalls of the situation. At each milestone I have it pointed out to me what is “bad” and what is “wrong” and what could still go wrong down the road. I’m told why I can’t do “that.” I’m mocked for what I’m passionate about.
I’m opening up (this in itself is not easy for me), sharing my hopes, dreams and happiness, and in return I receive… criticism. Stop raining on my happy parade!
Whew, now that I’ve ranted I feel better. And you know what? I don’t necessarily want this to change. Behavior like this from others actually MOTIVATES me. If I receive criticism, to me it’s a sign that I’m on the right track. Personal growth (change) only occurs in conjunction with discomfort. More discomfort brings more growth. I DO REALIZE what my lesson is in this, and why this discomfort continues to rear its icky head. I need to have the confidence to know that I am on the right track, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. And until I am in that place, one where I truly feel at peace with my passion, I will continue to be confronted by this kind of opposition.
So to all those that react this way towards me, keep it up. You are challenging me. Helping me trust in myself, and building my confidence. You are motivating me to continue to want more, grow and achieve. So from this paleo diet and lifestyle loving lady, I say to you, “Stand back fantasy crushers, I will not be eaten (dead or alive). Go ahead, make my day.”