This is 31 conversations from the front porch day 10… you can find the rest of the series here
Day 10: When You Want Left Alone
“Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?'” (Brenè Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection”)
They could not let her be… picking at her life and her heart and her story. She was finally trying to own it: what she felt, where she had been, who had broken her heart, and what she knew to be her truth – BUT they could not let her.
They could not leave her alone.
Every word she spoke, every word she wrote, every detail of herself that she chose to share they had something to sift through. They had something to mock or question. They had an intense need to discredit her new voice in the world. At every turn she felt the push back, the bones being picked clean.
She became weary, exhausted, angry, and even afraid.
These new places hurt – like stretching your muscles after a long time away from running the path.
Yes, it was messy and painful and angry because sometimes that is how our hurt places bleed, but what they did not realize is that she couldn’t very well stop moving forward. This process was her becoming. To stop would be her undoing.
The options for her moving forward were either continue to write and speak and move towards authenticity…. anyways OR go back into the silence of not speaking too much, playing nice, and coloring in the lines.
But the later did not feel like an option she could take in her life anymore.
So she kept moving forward and writing and sharing who she really was/is… anyways.
The thing she did not realize was that some people have a vested interest in her silence – in her regressing back into niceness and politeness and playing her submissive, quiet role.
There are people only interested in your cooperation.
They had a vested interest in her not showing up authentically because her authenticity would shine in stark contrast to their own hiding.
That is what happens when we don’t do those things anymore – the lying, hiding, faking, denying, and pushing down the genuine pieces of ourselves.
- When we begin to forgive ourselves
- When we start to acknowledge and then let go of our shame
- When we release the need to shame those around us – to make them pay for their choices and how they have harmed us….
- When we begin to allow ourselves to be healed by taking up extreme self-love, self-care, self-hope, and self-fulfillment –
When you begin the journey of becoming – those who have known you will often resent you and discourage your new ways of being in the world. They will become angry and hurtful and afraid. They might even hate you for it.
You are going to have to push forward… anyways. Even if those watching protest a bunch. Even if they don’t like it. You have to find a way to be OK living as you. The reality is that someone is always going to have something negative to say about your life.
So decide who gets to speak into your life and which voices you will consciously choose to let go OR no longer take seriously.
It is OK to no longer give the critics, the negative ninnies, the discouragers – serious consideration as they speak, pick, and demand.
You can let their need to be heard – go.
Then finally live as fiercely as you can with what you have – as you are, where you are – no matter what those critics have to say about you.
Be you… anyways.
Do you what you love…
Speak your truth…
Write it out, paint it out, draw it out, sing it out, hike it out, dance it out… anyways.
Even if they won’t leave you alone.
Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. (Theodore Roosevelt)
- How does this quote help you to choose who gets a voice to speak into your life and who does not?
- What choices can you make moving forward to live more authentically?
- When have you been brave? When have you been a coward?
- How can you focus on positive things you can change instead of the negative places where you are stuck?
- What is one thing someone has spoken to you that has been genuinely encouraging and inspiring?
- Where have you been living needing approval and to be seen as cool more than choosing authenticity?