Digging Deeper…Embracing Yourself.

It can be frustrating and challenging when people who are assertive or considered risk takers are given a difficult time, sometimes to the point of being degraded and called names.  We forget these people have had a long emotional journey; they have accomplished that which many only dream of.  It seems a lot of us in this world think only of “success” in material terms, forgetting having lots of money and gadgets does not always make you a  better person, just like aging does not necessarily mean one will be wiser; success is different for each one of us….

It blows my mind when those who have chosen a different life style are given such a hard time.  It’s sad to see how some people cannot appreciate when someone has battled through trenches, has made peace with his demons, has the courage to live with the scars exposed and is learning to embrace all aspects of self.  At times when I see others trying to put down someone because the person is hurt or different, I get triggered and have to step out and collect myself; I then try to assess the situation and determine whether or not the situation requires my direct intervention–if so I do not hesitate to step in. There was a time when I wouldn’t take the time to assess things and simply fight for the underdog, put on the armor and declare war; time has taught me that the old saying “don’t argue with a fool for they will beat you with experience” is quite accurate (of course my reaction is not the same when immediate action is needed.  I believe most of us can easily identify an immediate crisis).  I will always stand up when necessary but I’ve also learned to pick my battles.  More than wasting my time arguing with people whose ignorance or false self confidence leads them to think they are better and “normal”, I try to let them be, for arguing with them would be as productive as me trying to break a cement wall with my head.  Instead I have learned  to focus more on guiding (whenever I can), sharing my experiences and cheering those who are trying to spend more time on their self healing and self development.  I try to remind them no matter how unworthy others may try to make them feel, no matter how much pain they may experience at times, they have a “God” giving right to heal and redefine themselves without caring for what others may think and without seeking  anyone’s false approval.

We forget we all have made mistakes and will continue to make them; it is part of life; mistakes aren’t the same as patterns of behavior.  There are those whose life struggle has been so deep yet each and every day they try their hardest to make good choices based on the lessons learned from their mistakes and life experiences and who each day work at healing themselves while building a “self”  that is aligned with their essence and spirit. Sometimes a strong demeanor does not necessarily mean a person has it all figured out, it just means someone isn’t willing to be silenced or be a victim.  These people each and every day are trying their hardest to be more themselves in a world that rewards “fake”.

So many people doubt themselves and choose not to follow their heart, choose not to speak their mind out of fear of not being accepted, fear nobody will listen or fear of being ridiculed.  The worst part comes when someone is about to embrace themselves, to re-discover there is more to life than to follow the crowd yet due to the amount of pressure put on them, they succumb; instead of growing they focus on pursuing material possessions, physical “beauty” only and momentary distractions.  In order to appear confident they choose to actually do its opposite by giving in; their souls know they are denying their own uniqueness for the sake of fitting in.  We forget people’s opinion of us will always change, sometimes they will love us, at other times those same people will reject us; what is the point of putting so much effort and focus on those we know won’t be there when the hard times come? What a waste of energy that is!

Sometimes we want to do something we know we would love or would like to take a risk at something which might change our lives for the better but we get scare; we focus on what others will say and how would they react–Instead of growing we deliver exactly what the Nay Sayers hope for…our failure.

So what can we do in order to stop caring so much about what others think?….  I was reading a book on owning your weirdness and proving your weirdness.  Owning your weirdness is being particular about something which others will look at as strange. What is proving your weirdness? proving your weirdness is DOING that particular/strange thing which makes you happy and helps you grow.  It does not mean proving it to others, do it for yourself.  You got to prove it works for you because that particular “weird” thing is what makes you so unique and helps guide you towards a better version of yourself.  When you prove yourself you will encounter different reactions from people–they will either criticize/condemn or will respect/emulate you.

Work on your weirdness every single day and you will develop confidence on your weirdness; as a result you will care less about what others think.

Another helpful thing to remember is that we live in a dual world. We live in a world that is perpetually counter flowing.  How can you use this fact to help you develop confidence on your weirdness?  It helps because it reminds you of the silliness of putting your self value on the opinion of others, for not everyone will accept, like or agree with you.  The important thing when we start to doubt ourselves based on the opinion or toxic actions of others is to ask ourselves Who are these people? Were they there when you were alone?  Where they there when you needed them the most?  Asking ourselves these questions can help keep things in perspective.

Try not to become like those who hurt you; stand your ground but do it your way not theirs.  Allow those people their opinion, remember it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
How people perceive you is a reflection of themselves and their experiences.  Since everyone’s experiences in life are different, then how they perceive you will vary according to their life experiences.

“When you know who you are, you work on doing what you love.  Whatever it is that makes you happy and makes you grow, keep on doing it!”

In this life there are two types of people doers and commentators, those who are usually talking badly about us, criticizing us, aren’t doing anything to find themselves.

LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE; keep on doing what you love and you will attract those who resonate with who you are.  At first you might lose pretty much everyone within your family and/or your circle of friends; this is due to the “Law Of Vibration” –the higher you vibrate the less you resonate with the multitude–relax, it is a normal part of the process. This reaction takes place because the more we work on ourselves; on redefining ourselves; the more we own our “weirdness”, that is something most people aren’t used to seeing, as such many will either walk away or attack….why? because they don’t like their perceptions of reality challenged.

When you challenge people’s reality you will get resistance.   They may say to you “you are wasting your time, you need to accept things as they are.”
Many times is because of generation differences, it’s harder for them to see your vision.  Other times it has to do with not wanting to step out of their comfort zone.   You may encounter such resistance as to have them say what you are doing is a waste of time because “things won’t change” , “this is how life has always been” or they may ridicule you and tell you what you are doing is EASY.  Let me give you an example……

I’ve always been congratulated on my analytical mind and the essence of the content I provide, however while I was attending school and then university, writing in English was a challenge. It took me quite a bit of time to put my words in a way that would help others understand clearly whatever I was trying to explain; I have always attain top grades but when it came to writing in English, I had to work hard to obtain them.  So you can imagine my doubts when I chose to create “Beneath The Layers” and to start writing.  I had no doubt on the value of the content just as I do not have doubts when I sit one on one with someone; because I know there is a big difference between understanding someone who is sitting in front of you vs understanding what a person is trying to convey in written form.  I have always felt confident reading and writing in my mother tongues; writing in English is another thing.  When I started, I made more mistakes than I do now and for a bit I got cyber bullied by people who in public act as if they could not hurt a fly.  I got laughed at, ridicule and they even told my partner that he should tell me to shut up; of course their use of language was far more vulgar than I care to repeat here.  I felt hurt, angry, annoyed and then I stopped to think.  Who were these people? If I were to judge them by the use of their own language I would say they weren’t too far advance.  I had to ask myself what was my goal, my mission, my dream, my passion– I wanted to share my learnings and experiences with others who may be suffering in silence, others who may not have the necessary means to sit one one one at the clinical office or who are too shy or too restrained by their anxiety to go anywhere–I reminded myself that I speak 3 languages fluently and learning my 4th.  I had survived immense adversity and I was not about to let the ignorance of others stop me.  I created Beneath The Layers to help those who felt my writings resonated with their spirit.  I invest many hours of work on my page on top of my own work and responsibilities yet the content of my page is free and will remain so; when anyone donates to help maintain the page, I welcome it and I appreciate it more than I can express here.  No matter what I have made the decision not to stop expressing myself and sharing with others due to bullies or price.  So as you can see, we need to stop and ask ourselves who are those people who try to put us down to stop us from pursuing our dreams?  Who is anyone to stop you from reclaiming yourself?  No one has the right to keep you down in order to feel better about the lack of substance in their lives.

Whenever you encounter those who ridicule you for being different and spending time in the greatest journey ever; the journey within;  remember those who ridicule you aren’t doing anything.   They are afraid to look in, they are the ones doing what is EASY.

Asses those around you properly, are they there to support you? If they are they will give you guidance and ideas to help you reach your goal; if that is case then listen. It doesn’t mean what worked for them will work for you but there might be something there, a lesson perhaps, that will take you to the next stage.  If you get people who put you down and make you feel bad about yourself, then why on earth would you take their advice? The only reason one would take their advice is because of doubt.  Doubting yourself is natural, don’t beat yourself over it; it takes time to develop confidence and to believe in yourself and your dreams.  It takes time to trust yourself completely; I’m still working on that;  it’s a long lesson but one worth working on.

Carl Rogers spoke and wrote extensively about Unconditional Positive Regard; to summarize it, it just means to “give yourself permission to mess up”.   If you give yourself permission to mess up without punishing yourself, you start loving yourself unconditionally and you start recognizing how special you are.

The more you accept how special and unique you are the less you will mess up because you will start seeing yourself as amazing.  You will truly start to love yourself.
Most of us only think we love ourselves but very few of us recognize loving ourselves completely means loving ourselves even when nobody else does. Loving yourself means standing up for your weirdness, your dreams and your beliefs even if no one else does.  Loving yourself means standing for what is fair even if others think you are rocking the boat.

It’s easy to believe we love ourselves and accept ourselves when we follow the crowd.  For those of you who think is easier to follow the crowd, the real challenge to test your theory will come when life challenges you and just about everyone of your so called friends or family walk away. Will you love yourself then?  If you can then you are on the right path and are more enlightened than most of us but chances are that won’t be the case because you have not taken the time to discover who you are at your core and to embrace that; with all its light and its darkness.

When life kicks you down consider yourself blessed because your soul and mind will expand that much more.  Wisdom does not arise from perfection; wisdom is the result of our mistakes and the lessons we gathered from them.

Life can be a rollercoaster; one which can challenge everything you believe in–it can bring you to your knees.  What matters is how you come out of it… will you be bitter? will you coward? will you be angry all the time? or will you take the lessons and keep moving. Will you learn and try to help guide those around you?

Life can bring drastic changes–at the end not many people will be around you, but those who are a reflection of yourself will.   If you like what you see in them, if you can respect them, if they inspire and challenge you to be a better person, to step out of your comfort zone, then you are in the right path.

Ask yourself how much time do you spend thinking about toxic people.   How much time do you spend thinking about positive people and how much time do you spend thinking about yourself.  When we are worry about what others think we spend 80% of our time thinking about people who don’t even knows us; trying to figure out how to fit in.   We then grab the remaining 15% and we spend it on thinking how positive people think of us.  That leaves us with is 5% (if that) to think about how we perceive ourselves….see how messed up that is?

If you want to stop caring about what others think of you and you want to be more in charge of your life then I suggest you do the math differently.  First comes yourself, then comes those who help you along your journey; challenging you, cheering you on;  last are those who are toxic towards us.  Ultimately the perception of ourselves is more important than the perception others have of us.

Be mindful, do not let others project their fears and insecurities on you; if they do, recognize it isn’t your thoughts but theirs. Do not stop working on yourself, even if you take small steps, keep at it. It is better to dare to try than not to try at all. If you fall down, get back up; if others laugh at you, look at them straight in their eyes and say “is that the best you got?” and then keep walking for people who like to abuse should have no room in your life.

Do not let others stop you from becoming the shining star you were born to be!


By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!

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