Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling completely depleted? An instance where you know that your heart was pure or that your work ethic was solid yet a picture is painted that misrepresents the truth. I have. And I wondered, “Is this truly what you think of me?” I felt real heartache, cried real tears and stress crept into my space this month when a couple of unrelated things came up in my life. I was left emotionally uncovered in all of my humanness. In these moments, I was sad. I had not felt sadness like this in years. Then I had to take a step back from the situation and remember that people only understand from their level of perception. Some only from their level of self-awareness. So, I flipped the switch— I put my lipstick on, alternating my days between Fenty Beauty’s Uncensored, Nyx’s Girl, Bye, and Colourpop’s Skyfall. I smiled because I know who I am and what my intentions are. Each morning, I bopped down my New York streets to work with headphones on, while Jamila Woods & Lizzo played on repeat, blasting my cares away via my Tidal app and I relished in my magic. I created sunshine after the rain. I continued to live my life. In all of its mess and all of its loveliness.
I was reminded that even with all of the peace and openness that my meditation practice brings, intentional personal growth and inspirational quotes and memes read that inspire positivity- sh** still happens. We can do all the soul-searching and “owning your healing” that we want. We are still going to come up against situations that push us to our limits. It’s a fact that we all have to figure out how to see ourselves clearly in a world filled with the intentions to distort. Some are committed to misunderstanding you no matter what. And you will find that some people just refuse to accept your value. In these cases, see the good with the bad, stand firm in your worth, be resilient and keep it moving.
I definitely welcome advice and correction given with love and respect— to be clear, that is helpful to us all. However, I will reject behavior that is maliciously meant to dim my light simply because it’s shining too bright. At times people allow their insecurities to get the best of them. Instead of seeing their own enoughness, they try to bring you down or are so inside of themselves that they are unaware of their own toxic ways. Vibes don’t lie. I am a firm believer in focusing on the good, but let’s be honest. Some people are flat out jealous and thrive on making you feel less than. Not everyone has your best interests in mind. Some people are only out for themselves. It’s reality. Most times, I choose to see the good in people, but it is a disservice to the truth not to acknowledge when someone is choosing darkness over light. Ignoring it will not make it go away and if we refuse to see it, we cannot fix it.
What is the fix?
Communication can be a pathway to healing or it can aid in expanding the wound. Responsibility is important. Sincere apologies are important. We have to be responsible for our actions, our thoughts, and our words. Just because I believe in allowing thoughts to flow (see my blog post from last month), that does not mean that I believe that accountability should be forfeited. You have the power to choose what goes out and what stays in your head. Self-evaluation leads to more kindness. You treat others better when you feel confident in yourself and your abilities. We all can correct behaviors that are not aligned with the good in us. We have to want to change.
In the meantime, do not give negative people the power to control your mood. And if you do have a moment filled with all of the emotions… feel your feelings, cry if you need to- then find a way to pull yourself up and remember who you are. Trust your light and shine. Their opinions do not define your character. You do.
Tiffany Reneé is a writer, poet, mother, wife, activist and Ohio native, based in New York. She is a free spirit who loves to truly connect with others.
She believes that life gives us opportunities to learn and grow daily if we are open to see the beauty in the expansion. Family time, deep conversation, wine, cooking, music, laughter, and travel are a few of her favorite things. She’s a soulful dreamer from the Midwest who has always been drawn to the city lights and the possibility of choosing “more”.