Its my monthly non travel post, so that means it’s Cuppa and a Chat time you lovely lot. I know its a little later in the month than usual, but there is a fair bit going on in my life right now! Forgive me??? So, in this cuppa and a chat, a different subject to the one that was being posted originally, I want to talk about the cost that can be involved in staying true to ourselves. I want us to discuss how speaking our truth can come at a high price, and ask you if you feel that the cost is worth it. I also want to explore if social media plays a part in how true we are to ourselves these days. Grab your cuppa’s people, its time to talk about how it can come at a expense to our heart to remain true to ourselves. We are going in…..
As ever, I like to tell you a little about the background to the cuppa and a chat posts. I feel it gives you context and an understanding/example of where it comes from. So lets start with what you perhaps already know. I would imagine, if you have been around my little corner of the internet for a while, that you would know by now that I am not afraid to stick my head above the parapet if I feel strongly about something. I will not ever be drawn into battles that are not my circus, or trivial things that are unimportant, not ever, but neither will I people please if asked an opinion etc. I am passionate and upfront about what I believe in, but have no issue with someone disagreeing with me, or showing me another point of view. I had many discussions with people relating to the post, and learnt a lot! After all, its good to share experiences and opinions. I am a grown adult and a strong woman. I like adult discussion!
As human beings, we are all different. Some of us love tea, some never touch it. Some of us dream of foreign lands, some of us are home bodies. Some of us choose the fruit at desert, (weirdo’s) some of us (me) grab the cupcake. It is totally natural for us as people to have different likes and dislikes. That is the same with people in your life. Some people will love you, some will not care for you and that is ok to! (We spoke about this in the post Your just not Everyones cup of tea, pop over and read that one after if you fancy it).
However, recently I was a little blindsided by something that I saw, that I knew was directed at me, but not said directly to me. I had seen the comment totally by chance and accident as I don’t follow them on social media, (maybe the universe had my back and I was led to it???…) and I felt a bubble of hurt swell up. Now, it could be because of the stress I am under at the moment with my family life, but I was definitely more sensitive to the passive aggressive comment than I would usually be.
The situation in brief was, (and there is no shade here, I wish them well) this person had obviously disagreed with something that I had said about a current topic. But, instead of bringing it to me and having a discussion, or helping me to see their point of view, they took to playground gang behaviour and side swipes. What hurt the most was that I had a genuine affection for this person, and I thought, a relationship. I had always been honest with them if they asked me a question. Always tried to check on them in tough times. Wished them nothing but good wishes. Showed support to them by sharing opportunities that were not in my niche. Genuinely cared about them! I was hurt and confused that I was not afforded that same level of respect back.
Many, many years ago, before I started working on myself inwardly, my hurt would have converted into anger and I would have bitten. I would have fought with fire and gone for the jugular. In those days I would have pushed the hurt back, replacing it with anger for self preservation. These days, I always cool my engines and give my mind time to work through it. I try to see where their nastiness comes from, look at how they could be viewing the situation, try to see their side. I let myself feel what I am feeling and work through it. I acknowledge that it hurts, and deal with that rather than letting anger rise up. I also accept that my nature is pretty upfront, my friends are all the same, so I suppose I have the unrealistic notion that everyone is? I acknowledge that and its a lesson.
So what cost do we pay to remain true to ourselves?
But one thing I will never do, is apologise for feeling how I feel and speaking my truth. I have no doubt in my mind that I could have perhaps worded things differently in my statement, I was pretty blunt and unfiltered (as I know I tend to be when I am passionate about something). But I am also only human, I sometimes speak from a place of emotion and did so on this day. I am totally self aware enough to know that I temporarily allowed my ego to word my statement, not my heart. I had taken the post down long before I saw this barbed comment, as I had quickly realised my desire to be heard, my frustration at the situation momentarily outweighed my level headedness and my words were careless. Then, after seeing the comment, I did some reflecting and meditating on what was said. I realised that my perhaps my delivery was to blunt and while most people got my point, it could also be seen as harsh. I would have apologised for that had the discussion been brought to me, but never my passion for the cause.
So for me, the cost of remaining true to myself was the breakdown of a blossoming, albeit casual relationship. I am sad about that. I like people and as I say, I felt a genuine compassion towards the person. Of course I would feel an element of sadness. But, I will not compromise myself or stop walking my own path. I felt hurt, a little shaken, but very quickly knew that I would not hand over my personal power to anyone. Their quickness to take a swipe at me, rather than tell me that they disagreed, made me see that I had afforded them more respect in my past honesty, than they were affording me. It doesn’t make them a bad person, just different to me and I will always walk away from negative behaviour. Jeeezzz I have enough on my plate and you can only meet someone as deeply as they have met themselves can’t you. Not anyone’s fault, no one is better than the other, it just is what it is and everyone is on their own journey. I’ll get over it…
It did make me wonder if social media facilitates the way people react. Was it easier for them to react that way because of the facelessness of social media? If we had been standing in a room together, would a discussion have more likely taken place? We would have agreed to disagree and moved on? Has social media made people lazy conversationalists? Made people more ready to go mean girl than discuss? The written word can be misconstrued after all can’t it? Does social media have a part to play in the cost we pay for speaking our minds? A friend of mine, Binny from Binny’s food and travel diaries, speaks often about her passion for wildlife selfies (I have linked to one of her posts, have a read) She has received some kick back and rudeness from that on social media, rather than people contacting her for an adult discussion. Is it easier to be mean from behind a screen? I would love to hear you thoughts on this.
Anyway, I decided then and there that I would not allow anyone to make me feel crap about myself, or suppress my passion. Again, were I not going through the daily fight to keep my head above the water that I am facing with Nik’s cancer, their comment would have just been dismissed from my mind. Block, send them love, shrug, move on. But it did make me realise that sometimes, being true to yourself can come at a cost. In my case, being made to feel crap for a while and the loss of a relationship. I also know that from any situation, no matter what it is or how crap or painful it is, you can always learn.
In this case, I learnt that at times, despite my years of soul work, I can still act recklessly in emotion. I learnt that my expectations on how I saw a relationship had caused me pain, but it’s not their fault they saw the relationship differently. I learnt that my passion for the subject I had voiced an opinion on was high, so I should do something more constructive to channel it (more about that in a future post). I learnt that my current family situation can make me more susceptible to hurt, so I should be a little more cautious who I allow near. I learnt that someone else’s opinion of me has never mattered, and reminded myself that nor does it now. I learnt that actually, I am willing to pay the cost when I believe in something. I also learnt that my Mum, despite me being 46 years old, will still want to kick anyone’s butt that upsets her baby……lol
So you beautiful people, over to you. Tell me your thoughts on this subject. Have you ever had to pay the price for speaking your heart? Can you also be reckless when you are passionate about a subject? Do you find that you hold onto your words for fear of repercussions? Has being on social media made you more outspoken or less? Do you find that you suppress the things that rile you up? Does your need to be liked outweigh your need to be a voice? Have you been subject to backlash for speaking your mind in private or work? Do you think as a society we are encouraged to people please and “not rock the boat” I would love to hear what you are thinking, what experiences you have had. As ever, all opinions are welcome and encouraged. It is a chat after all!