To the haters…
You broke me. I admit it. I once put up a hard front, pretended I didn’t care. Fuck them, I’d say. They have nothing going on if they’re gossiping and making up stuff about me, they’re unhappy and looking to tear others down. And while that’s very true, it doesn’t change the fact that you got inside of me.
But it hurt. It did. You didn’t even know me. Or in some cases you did know me and I expected more. But that was my first wrong move… expectation is the source of all suffering, after all. I didn’t expect people to be so ruthless, so hard, so uncaring.
I didn’t expect people to intentionally try to ruin my business, intentionally try to tear me down. I expected not to be able to help everyone. I didn’t expect to build relationships and care about you only to have you to stab me in the back while I was working hard to help you.
Maybe I was naive. But each time hurt more than the last. And every time I questioned – “maybe it was me”, “what more could I have done?” “Maybe I should just quit, I’m no good anyway” “Maybe they’re all right”.
The voices got inside my head; I stopped believing in people, myself, the good, the fun. I forgot who I was and tied even harder to please those very people. I became guarded; expecting people to hurt me. Since we get what we focus on, I attracted a lot of it.
“She’s not worth the money”. “Who does she think she is charging those prices?” ” No one likes you”. “She said…” It was like being in primary school… but worse, meaner, more ruthless because they were coming after what I did, my career, what I stood for, what I built, who I was. I often wondered what possessed people to be so intentionally cruel and mean.
I slowly started weeding those people out. It’s not always easy to turn down business but my sanity depended on it.
It still hurt. It took me a long time to get over it. Even though I moved on, I found myself still withdrawn from things and people, a little more jaded and cynical. I believed a little less. I stopped trusting people. I had grown weary and found myself alone, lonely and fearful. Not at all the type of person I really was.
My self worth bottomed out, my self confidence took a nose dive. I battled with what I knew to be true – that I was really good at what I did, that I really cared about my clients and while I wasn’t perfect, I was trying my best every day. I put my clients ahead of everything. I was there for them 100%. I gave too many discounts. I let people pay later (which often ended up being never), I changed schedules constantly to accommodate people. I worked on my days off. I worked late and cancelled personal things to accommodate.
What I’ve come to learn about myself on this journey of life, self discovery, looking within, healing is that it was a self fulfilling prophecy. I had a deep rooted fear that I wasn’t capable (imposter syndrome) and subconsciously I was attracting people who would reflect to me what I needed to see in my life. I wasn’t walking around thinking this… I was caught up in the “what did I do… what could I have done… how could I do things differently… why would they say/do that about me? And even how could they?” That noisy conversation was masking a much deeper hurt inside of me.
It wasn’t until I explored these topics, who I was, who I was showing up as, why I needed everyone to like me, why I needed to please everyone, and why I cared when I knew it wasn’t true, did I realize any of this? When I looked within I realized it had nothing to do with what anyone else said or did.
And while the things people said or did broke me, it broke me in all the best ways. It forced my walls to come down. It forced me to feel a level of pain, frustration, anger, hurt, uncertainty that made me look for relief from it. It forced me to have such low confidence and self esteem that I finally realized I didn’t know who I was anymore.
That made me go looking for something because where I was, that was not in the plan. I didn’t know what I was looking for but I knew I needed relief from the turmoil I was living in.
“How had I gotten here?” “Why was this all happening when I was a good person?”
Let’s just say the next 3 years could be written into several juicy saga’s – exploration of self, human behaviour, why I did what I did, why I was the way I was. And while it’s really convenient to blame others for the things that were happening, it wouldn’t provide me any growth.
I might be right that people are assholes, that people can’t be trusted, people are cruel. But the only person’s life that is affected is my own. In the end, not only did I understand why I am the way I am, but also why others are the way they are and this provided a level of compassion and empathy that I did not have for others before.
There’s a lot of stuff that makes us do what we do and I’ve learned that just because people don’t like you it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. And if someone says something about you, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
What I learned most was gratitude for the entire experience. I would never have sought out anything else, I would never have explored myself, I would never have done the work that ultimately changed my life had I not had these experiences.
I would never have grown the way I have or into the person I have become. Because of the these experiences, I made choices that led me further away from where I wanted to be, trying to overcorrect and make up for my apparent flaws and failings, until I no longer recognized myself or the path I was on. I believed what they told me about myself because I had no real sense of who I was, what I stood for. I was looking for approval and to be enough outside of myself. The truth is I already had low self esteem, low self confidence and I was always trying to please so that I could see myself as enough. Until I saw myself as enough, no one else would.
I learned to look within for answers instead of outside of myself. If I know I am authentic and if I know I am capable and I know who I am, nothing anyone says or does outside of me matters – because if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.
I won’t get into the details of my life or what made me so susceptible to what people thought, being a people pleaser or taking things so personally, but what I want to impart to people is – you have no idea what someone has been through in their life, you have no idea who people really are or their story or what they’re going through, so if you’re a person who is gossiping, spreading rumours, participating in tearing people down, I implore you to look at yourself and question why you’re doing that.
Why do you want to hurt people? Why do you get joy out of spreading lies, rumours or gossip? Why are you happy to see someone else fail, to experience loss, hurt, pain?
When we look within, we can get answers that give us peace, space, integrity. I won’t pretend I’ve never also been that person, because I have. I think if we’re honest, we can all admit to it at times in our lives. But there comes a time when it’s important for us to see who we are, how we are behaving and how we are truly the source of our own pain.
The good news is, we are also our own source of happiness 😉 We can always choose a new way. Often we do this because it’s what everyone around us does, but we can choose to change and looking within gives us a new perspective on what’s hurt inside of us that makes us want to hurt others.
PS… I’m very serious when I say thank you to those people who hated on me, were mean to me at any stage of my life from childhood to this morning. If you were all good peeps to me then I wouldn’t have have had the opportunity to grow into the person I have become and I am so proud of the person I am now. I wasn’t always this way and I forgive myself for my own past behaviours. If I was ever mean or hated on you… from the bottom of my heart it wasn’t intentional – it was from a hurt person and not realizing why I was doing what I was doing. Hurt people hurt people. If we want to change the world, we have to change ourselves first.
PPS… Don’t forget to join my Facebook Group for Wild Souled Women; the women who are forging their own paths, who are looking within, who aren’t perfect, don’t want to be but are real, raw and sick of living a life of “should” <<– if that’s you, join your tribe!