After yesterday’s post I received a disgruntled phone call. I’ll lump both parents into one phone call, although there were two, separate, distinct, blood pressure raising phone conversations. They were NOT so pleased with the information the post implicated. “I’m just open to a lot of things, get over it!” Although my Dad did make me worry about giving too much information away about my friend “Katie” (which was her assigned pseudo name), and that it may be an invasion of her privacy. I did panic at the suggestion, sent her a frantic text, and anxiously awaited her response. I told her what I wrote and asked if it was okay. Finally, my blackberry vibrated with, “lol. Yeah, but can my name be Estelle instead?”
All the conversations created so much angst. I reached out to my brilliant friend Shelley and asked if the post was too “revealing.” Shelley so kindly said, “Your voice is perfect. You have the right to speak your truth. You are NOT responsible for the reactions of others. Their discomfort is their’s, their emergency does not belong to you.” Shelley doesn’t know it (well, now she will…), but she’s always been a bit of a hero of mine. When she was the manager of Sonic Yoga here in Manhattan, and I was just the karmi dedicating my time for a yoga practice in return, some dude went ape sh*t on her for no reason. Something triggered his anger, and he went off on Shelley, yelling, threatening, etc. It’s such a peaceful studio. I’d never seen anything like it! Shelley maintained her composure. She never raised her voice, coolly listened, and calmly responded. She never lost herself in HIS anger. I think about this interaction probably every other day, when I find myself up against a ball of energy and emotion from someone else, and remembering that “…their emergency does not belong to [me].” I do not need to get lost in THAT.
I’m always worrying about scrutiny and judgment, but when it comes down to it, I need to ask myself every day whether or not I’ve gotten closer to MYSELF or further away. The responses and reactions of others are not my responsibility, and it’s about learning how to grow into, as my cousin Steph put, my authentic self. It’s cultivating the courage to be true to that self, and learning to trust it’s truth and voice. Shelley’s words ring “…The more in tuned I get with that sassy goddess the more in alignment my actions become” (www.shelleyadelle.com).
I’m finishing this post at B Cup Café (subtle chuckle from moi…), and the perfect song so conveniently wrapped up this writing experience. I’ll end with the wise words of Tom Petty:
“Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin me around
but I’ll stand my ground
…and I won’t back down.”