Ladies, Choose Your Peanut Gallery
I have been wanting to get on the site and share about my yesterday, bursting in fact! I got home too late last night, and then today has been lovely and busy. Sundays I go for breakfast with my Grandpa, and then I had a painting quote to do, which turned into a colour consultation. That was always my favourite part of painting full time, helping people choose their colours. And doing more painting these days, I picked up a new colour deck, which makes that stream of income feel more like home. When my painting business was huge, that was what I was known for – really amazing colour selections – and that made me so proud. As I left the customer, who loved my colour selections and was so openly grateful and relieved for the help, I felt really accomplished and satisfied and proud.
This week’s topic has helped me to really notice the effect of validation on my energy levels, the desire to “move forward” and how connected I feel to the successful outcomes I am working so hard to create. When I am well validated externally, I know I find it easier to be confident both in the moment, and in the future. Of course that is assumed – and my mind knows this intellectually – but it is really an incredible thing to watch how immediate a successful outcome is created following a chain of validation. It is also an incredible thing to watch the opposite, how an invalidation knocks the wind out of my sails, and then a negative chain of results unfolds.
This is a critical awareness for me. My family dynamics include a ton of insult humour as a social style, while also a lot of teasing, so I am exposed to many invalidations a day. Of course they mean zero harm by it, and to them, between each other, this IS fun and funny, but to me, it just hurts. It’s important for me to be very clear about how I perceive these interactions. It makes me sad to be keeping them at arm’s length these days, but it is just so obvious how necessary the disassociation is. And not just family (so those I don’t choose ha!) but also the friends I interact with and WHEN. For example, yesterday, I walked a labyrinth. I don’t do this often, but when I do I am filled with great energy and creative thoughts afterwards. When I was done, I texted a friend who totally inspires me, and yet can so often be, well poopy pants about life, tell me what I want to do is not possible, or non-responsive.
The instant I pressed send to text him (which was the inspired action, so sayeth the Labyrinth) I knew I had potentially thrown my fabulous energy and creative thoughts out of the window. (Good one Labyrinth, I think I gots it this time!) And yes, he did respond with “you’re weird”; then that’s too expensive, won’t work; and finally, yes your beads are “unique”. I could hear his tone. Hard in a text to be sure, and of course I could just be perceiving the eye rolling, but I definitely knew how I felt. I was super grateful to be already in THIS conversation, that’s for sure! I was on a definite high one. I felt great from the “rain day” Artist Date I was on with my bad self because the art show had been cancelled, I had just hung out with another old friend and she is even funner than she was in high school, and the creative thoughts rolling around in my head after the Labyrinth made me feel like I was on top of the world. I felt already totally successful, happy and satisfied.
The first text “you’re weird” hit me, I felt myself slump, and then I immediately bounced. I knew I had shared that feeling with the wrong person. I knew I had literally “upper limited” and needing to come back down to the frequency I recognise – stuck, confined, “almost successful” – I created the reflection of my smaller self, my inner critic, who prefers to stay stuck and struggling against what seems impossible. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I pretended not to notice, played into the “teasing” and the pooh-poohing very consciously. I’d really like that friend to stay in my life, he’s amazing and definitely never means to hurt me or invalidate me, yet at this delicate and tender time in my success – some fantastic balls are in the air! – it works against me to spend too much time, or too much of my good energy in conversation with him. It brings me down, makes me feel small and stupid, and then I feel even worse about myself after I have “tap danced” my way out of the conversation so that his feelings don’t get hurt. He reflects my uncertainty, our interaction reinforces that I don’t always communicate well (I have no idea what he may or may not have been doing, or if he was even open to cheering me on in that moment), and his style makes true for me that I attract someone who feels good when I am hurt. That’s a lot of projecting and a lot of making him responsible for how I feel. I almost ask him to bring me down! I hire him to make me feel bad. So unfair to him.
I’m not going to change the fact that he’s a Negative Nancy, esp since that’s not his intention at all – but I can definitely change the fact that I let his insulting social style affect my energy and my success. That’s a choice, and most important, it is a choice about the direction my life goes after those negative interactions.
More important, I can choose where that amazing energy and those creative thoughts go when they arrive. I could write them down, bask in them, go for a walk in them, have a nap on them, or if I need to share them, I could call a friend who loves those kinds of thoughts too. I definitely have people in my life who enjoy and celebrate that part of me, and even better, want me to be successful.
Coming home, there was a sign on a business:
To be successful you must first believe that you can succeed.
I think that sums it up quite nicely! Going forward, I am needing to be very careful who I choose to share my energy with. There are absolutely people in my life who support my amazing positive energy and my creative thoughts. It’s time to spend more time with those folks! That would make the other relationships with the people that I love, who don’t quite get it, yet or ever, also more enjoyable.
I think too, that I am unconsciously committed to saving the people I love from negativity just in general. So often it is not perceived as negative to them, so it’s my own judgement. Essentially that means I am trying to change someone who does not want to be changed. That is my “anti-vision”. These blogs that I am so dedicated to bringing into the world are being consciously created to help the people who want to be changed (is more conscious and in control of their lives); that’s my vision. I want to give 100% of my energy to that!
The last three paragraphs here really touch on an experience I had today. A friend had offered to help me with my big task (application) as she has been through something similar before, quite recently. I was so grateful for her help, even before she arrived, because I knew I needed someone to walk me through the forms – I’ve been struggling, for all sorts of reasons, for weeks.
At one point I was expressing concerns, worries really, and she told me I am so negative and that I can’t let it stop me. (And I’m not, but my worries may be slowing me down.) The negative comment hurt. Mainly because I fear that I am negative, and as a result people won’t want to spend time with me. The difference perhaps here is that I am seeing the downsides and possible negative sides of this situation, but that doesn’t mean I AM negative as a person. I let her know it hurt, and she absolutely apologized, twice, and told me she really did know what I was going through and she had been through it. That made me feel much better – it was the validation I was looking for: that this task is really hard and it’s understandable that I might be struggling and stressed about it.
In the end, I believe our friendship is just fine despite this serious moment and she really was such a help. I didn’t want to be changed in that moment, I wanted someone to tell me that how I’m feeling – and acting, procrastination central over here – is valid. But these feelings aren’t how I feel all the time, and I don’t believe I’m a negative person (maybe a bit of a realist). I know that I want the validation to come from within, but sometimes, it’s nice to have that message come externally as well.
And I really like this one: To be successful you must first believe you can succeed. That’s a nice one to read today.