This morning someone (let’s call him Brian) left a Facebook comment on a blog post of mine. He said, “You were robbed, twice. There’s nothing spiritual about it.”
He was commenting on a post I wrote about how I lost two pieces of clothing on a recent trip. The loss was a small event, but it reflected the current state of my life– emptying out the old identities to create space for my truest self. I shared the post on Facebook yesterday, and several friends chimed in with their thoughts and stories. I loved the comments. In fact, that’s one thing I love most about writing– telling my stories makes others think about their own stories and in the end, we all feel more connected with each other and with life.
But then, there was Brian, who threw a stinky wet blanket over my party.
I was angry. I was defensive. I was grinding my teeth. What an idiot, I thought. This moronic east coast white-breader totally victimized by life, he’s full of shit and has no clue about where he is! (Yes, I have a sharp tongue when I’m angry and defensive. It hasn’t served me for once, but I never seem to succeed in learning better manners. That’s why I developed the skill of making fast apologies. Otherwise I wouldn’t have lasted this long.)
But twenty seconds later when I calmed down a little, I asked myself, “What are you defending, Natasha?” I know that whenever I feel defensive, there’s always juicy stuff beneath. Because what’s strong does not need defense.
Only the part of me that’s feeling sad or scared, that doesn’t fully align with my truth, yet has eluded my conscious scrutiny, shows up as a tendency to over-protect myself whenever pushed.
Have a celebration whenever you feel defensive. Because you’re just given a golden opportunity to discover the inner barriers that are preventing you from coming fully alive.
I asked myself, “Is Brian right?” Yes, he is. Somebody did take my coat and scarf. I was robbed. So he IS factually correct. “Then why are you so angry?” I asked.
“But I’m right too,” A little voice in me immediately shouted. “I’m more right!”
Aha, that’s it. I suddenly realized what I was struggling with– I’m afraid to be wrong. A part of me was scared that my truth was the “wrong” one, that somehow I was not “getting it”, that I’d one day be lynched for my crazy ideas…
This is an old fear of mine. And if you’ve ever had a unique vision about something that not everybody can understand, I’m sure you can relate. (Alright, I’m being unnecessarily repetitive here, because “a unique vision” = “not everybody will understand”.)
But the thing is, being right and being true to yourself are totally incompatible. If you dare to offer the world what’s uniquely you, you’ll always be wrong, in the eyes of someone. Get ready for strange looks and a general lack of companies. The reward? Truth is it’s own reward.
The only way of being right is to shut your mouth and not say anything new.
Screw it. I told myself. From now on, I decide to give up being right. Because, really, all I care about is to be myself. That’s what I came to this world for. And I’m not going to waste any time on anything else.
Miraculously, the moment I made that decision, all my anger and defensiveness dropped away. All that was left was a sense of freedom and refreshed clarity.
When you are fully committed to your truth, you won’t feel any need to defend yourself.
Like this post? Sign up to receive new contents.