"Certainly she feels no shame but inhabits her life as she lives it, her head held high."
~ Sena Jeter Naslund
I so want to be that woman- completely inhabiting my life with my head always held high! But, I have my fair share of moments looking like that gal in the painting; shoulders slumped from the weight of feeling less-than or the target of attitude. When I came across this quote it seemed to jump off the page at me. It kept rolling around in my brain. Eventually, I realized it's because of a theme I've noticed recently on lots of the blogs I visit.
Don't read further thinking I have an answer to this one, because I don't really. I still struggle with it from time to time, this issue of caring more about what others say about me or think more than I listen to or believe about myself. Why do we fall victim to the trap of caring more about what other people say, rather than use that energy to develop the truth of what we know about ourselves?
As I read what fellow travelers are wishing for and pondering, many of us are working hard to stop the tendency of caring too much about what others think or say. Their opinions, their advice, their notions of us. Their conviction of knowing absolutely what's right for us, what we should do, think, say, feel, believe.
But, it's incredibly difficult to stop falling into the trap. Especially when the other person is someone who is important to us, or we feel has some dominion over our life. We don't like that we do it, but we allow them to have power over us, wound us or undermine our faith in our abilities, our potential, our singular place in this world. It's really hard not to listen to what other people say.
Most of us begin our journey away from caring so much about what other's think by developing a false bravado, "I don't give a damn what they say about me! Who the hell are they any way?!" But, that doesn't really ring true. We say it, but in secret we torment ourselves by going over and over their words till we make ourselves crazy.
When that technique doesn't work, sometimes we seal ourselves away from others figuring it's best to keep apart....stay above it all....let no one in too deep. That way we don't have to worry so much about what's being said. That doesn't work either because we discover we're safe from the considerations of others, but we're also incredibly isolated and lonely. No...that's not the answer either.
Eventually it begins to dawn on us that the only way to be at peace with what other people say, is if we begin to strengthen our own internal voice. The one that is clear, strong and capable of cutting through the noise and clutter of all that's being said about us and around us.
The singular voice that is your spirit, your reflection of your truth as a Real Human Being. You begin to get comfortable with the sound of your own voice. Then you begin to like it. You begin to use it as a compass in the confusion of all the exterior words. It starts to act like a sacred knife cutting through the falsehoods and the inaccuracies...giving you the space to keep moving ahead.
You accept that you aren't any different from any other Human who has trod the earth. All of us are tempered and trialed by the words that other people say. Some of us are branded wrongly. Falsely accused. Talked about repeatedly. Reviled. Demonized. But, it makes no difference when you know the truth of you...you hold your head high when you can clearly hear your own sacred voice. When you begin to understand that your internal voice is your unique sound of Spirit's song.
When you love the sound of your soul's voice like an operatic Diva, you begin to realize that what other people say does not own you even though it will impact you. You begin to realize that it cannot diminish you unless you allow it...and slowly...
The words, what other people say, becomes nothing more than the background hum of living. The white noise of life. You find yourself smiling as you realize that you are one of those rare Human Beings who feels no shame but inhabits their life as they live it, head held high.
Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Listens