Do not, and I repeat, do not, allow someone else to have control over you. This is an incredibly broad statement but personally hits home with me. It is much easier said than done, I understand. Our outside circumstances should not dictate who we are – yes, they will mold us; they will challenge us, but they should not take away our sunshine. At work, I had someone tell me about how happy I always look – how no matter how much of a workload we have, I’m always smiling. Normally I just shrug my shoulders and smile, but recently I felt the need to explain (not like I need to defend my attitude but it was important to me to discuss it with this certain individual). To give you a brief background – she is a dear colleague whose had some very trying times as of late. In fact, the parts of her life she has shared with me had me in tears. She can’t hide her emotions and often numbs herself from dealing with them. She then sees me who, as difficult as it is sometimes, I’m smiling, often times laughing, and almost always sees the silver lining at least in the workplace. After the holidays, when we were catching up, she made a comment to me – She said “You are always so happy. I wish I had your life”. Now, normally this is a compliment but because I know her on a deeper level, it saddened me in a sense. Your life is what you make of it. So in response I said “Well, look, I was lucky enough woke up this morning. Because I know what bad days look like, I will smile as much as I can on days I’m feeling okay.” Because like everyone, I have my own personal struggles. I know the anxious thoughts that control my mind, and on days my anxiety is nearly nonexistent, I cherish even more. The following day, that same coworker came to me and expressed gratitude. Apparently, I had hit a nerve with her and it really moved her.
We are more than what we show. Unless you know me, really know me on a deeper level, you are unaware of my feelings and vise versa. Who are we to judge one another? It is often times not easy – rumors fuel people. It’s often a knee jerk reaction to spread gossip without having any facts to solidify them. I’m tired of allowing others control who I am on the inside.
Just recently, I had a couple instances of the rumor mill coming back to me. Here we are, living our lives, dealing with every day highs and lows, setting new goals for the year, fill in the blank, until bam. “Hey, so and so said this.. Is that true?” It’s not the source – I’m blessed to have caring people who bring the questions directly to me. I respect and love that in fact. But to know that people whether it be strangers or “family” are continually spreading false rumors hurts my heart. In this particular instance, I know the person directly. To think that people can be that inconsiderate and plain mean breaks me. Who are we but the words we speak and the actions we show? How about supporting one another instead of tearing others down? I was upset, enough where I wanted to call them and confront the situation. But wait, that is not who you are. Don’t do it. I was not going to let someone dictate my actions and change who I know I am. Instead, I shriveled in tears disheartened by it more than anything. How can people be so insensitive? And then I stopped. After self analysis and conversations, I realized something. I’m still me – I know who I am and I will continue living true to that.
This is not easy, but it’s necessary. I can already foresee that it will challenge me this year but maybe this new outlook can change it. Stay with me for a moment; Think of a quote you like to live by. Now, that quote is just words unless you utilize them. For example, “this too shall pass”- when going through a tough time, remind yourself of this and train yourself to snap out of it and not let it bog you down. We are not going to grow as people if we don’t make changes within ourselves. If I always stick to my natural reaction to situations, how am I going to see progress?
It’s challenging but required, and boy is it a long, enduring process; a winding road with hills and valleys which I’m randomly reminded of. We cannot control others but only ourselves. Stop giving others power and be confident that you are living your best. “Don’t let anyone steal your joy.”