I Am Okay Really is a guest post from Linda Lee, aka Dangerous Linda.
According to ShyamSpace.com, the word Gyaan means: “Fully integrated knowledge of the Self; the vision of Oneness; awareness of the Self as the only reality.”
Everyday Gyaan means all that stuff (above) every day, right?
In that spirit, I was invited to share a few ideas about my personal journey toward loving myself with you here today. Thank you, Corinne, for the opportunity!
I’m Okay Really
In the past I’ve had a hard time learning to love myself. It still sometimes feels like a tremendous challenge. I often feel self-conscious and inadequate. I think many people feel that way — perhaps you do, too.
For example, a couple days ago, I ran into a business colleague who had invited me repeatedly to collaborate with her, but then she would not return my messages or follow through on our plans. I felt like I was getting mixed signals from her, so when she started to make excuses again for not getting back to me, and she suggested we get together, I said, “Never mind – I can’t stand to wonder what’s going on with you anymore since you constantly don’t do what you say you’re going to do – good luck!” She quickly became very upset and the next thing I know she and her ‘business manager’ are calling me “mean” and accusing me of “appalling behavior” in a public forum.
Suddenly I flash back to ‘Baby Linda’ and I hear my parents screaming at me, “If you weren’t such a damn, mean, little, brat then we wouldn’t have to spank you all the time! Don’t you dare talk back to me! What is wrong with you?! You are disgusting!”
I feel shame, which is the opposite of self-love. I feel embarrassed. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fix my broken self so I can get along with ‘normal’ people.
The next morning, a friend sends me this message, “Linda, straight forwardness is rare…some people like to touch the nose the other way around.” I tell him I’m not quite sure of what he’s saying and he assures me he is supporting my forthright form of self-expression, unlike some people who think I am “mean”.
Another friend says, “What’s with that hostile guy who attacked you the other night, anyway? Holy aggressive!” I realize she believes my behavior was perfectly appropriate under the circumstances, and she’s as confused by my attacker’s actions as I am.
This morning, yet another friend congratulates me on having a “good BS meter”. She shares this link to a video about the power of vulnerability and authenticity which she says reminds her of me. (you can watch it here)
I suddenly realize I’m completely surrounded by supportive people I admire, who love me just the way I am. Really? I’m not an appalling b****? Who knew? I’m starting to believe it, too!
When people are repelled by my actions it doesn’t mean they’re bad or I’m bad. It mostly means that those are not the best people for me to hang around with. That’s fine, because it leaves more time and energy for me to bask in the love and appreciation of people who share my values and think I’m cool, which nurtures my own self-love.
Today I’m learning to love myself by living an authentic life based on the integrity of my personal beliefs with the understanding that some people will be attracted to who I am and some people won’t. Nonetheless I’m okay. with who I am. That’s my current, fully-integrated, loving reality. What’s yours? Please share your wisdom in the comments below.
The author is Linda Lee of Dangerous Linda who I’m proud to call my friend. Linda is a professional storyteller and a fantastic artist. I love her tell-it-like-it-is approach to relationships. Linda is a fun person to know, but she’s also deeply spiritual and very wise. I would urge you to read her blog which really stirs you to think.
Thank you, Linda for being you and being here!
Wonderful, Linda! Straightforward, candid, and honest – I’d expect nothing less from you. 🙂
Glad Corinne invited you to guest post. Isn’t she the best?
Hi, Martha! ~
Corinne possesses many amazing qualities, and one of the best is her ability to attract and build on the positive energy of a whole community of exceptional writers and thinkers — including YOU! Thank you for sharing yourself in the exceptional ways that you do! XOXO
Linda, great article! I am not a forward person, I hold a lot of what I would like to say inside because I don’t want to step on toes or hurt feelings. I realize that is not the best way to be because my health suffers for it. My husband, on the other hand, is totally different. He is one of those ‘I mean what I say, and I say what I mean’. It has taken me a long time to learn to not take it personally when he says something, that is just him. But, I spent a lot of time having hurt feelings when we were first married. Sometimes, it’s not WHAT is said, but the nature of HOW it is said. I like having someone be totally honest with me. I learn from it. But, I don’t appreciate when someone’s honesty comes with sarcasm or a seed of hatefulness.
Being you is genuine! Do not change to please others which is a difficult thing for most women. I appreciate your candidness and honesty in your comments, although sometimes I bow my head and hope that you don’t think the worst of me after reading my (Anna’s) posts lol.
Thank you for sharing this on Corinne’s site and thank you Corinne for inviting such an interesting writer 🙂
Hi, Mary! ~
As they say, “it takes all different kinds of people to make the world go round”! It sounds like you and your hubby have struck a nice balance 😉
I agree with you about the toxicity of sarcasm and seeds of hatefulness — there’s no reason to accept that from others! That type of ‘communication’, although often described as ‘brutally honest’, is not actually honest at all!
Please don’t ever ‘bow your head’ in my presence — I love you just the way you are! I hope that comes through in my correspondence with you! XO
Bravo Linda! An inspiration ;)…and a good lesson for us all to follow. I may not have been as candid as you, but that’s whimpy me. The learning to love yourself is what I aspire to. Thanks.
That is what is so appealing about you Linda, your forthright nature. I always believe if you are true to your heart and be a heart person you will always be right and also be surrounded by friends who respect you for that.
One lesson I’m still learning is the importance of keeping a ‘clean house’ by continually releasing the people who don’t appreciate or respect me for who I am to make room for the ones who do…This experience re-emphasized that Truth for me.
Thank you for your kind words and loving support! XOXO
Wonderful post…liked reading this. Thanks Corinne.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing the LUV, Janaki! XO
Hi, Ron! ~
I believe you nailed the Truth of the matter with your comment…
The point is not to try to make everybody communicate in the same ultra-candid way I do — if they did then I wouldn’t be ‘dangerous’ anymore — haha!
Everybody gets to be themselves and then we each get to decide, based on that criteria, who we want to play this game of life with!
I want the guy running with scissors on my team!!
Marie from Rock The Kasbah
Linda! I too am broken and combat shame on a daily basis. And I am so proud to be in your company. Because you are f*&(I^*g awesome!
Linda, I admire your assertiveness and confidence. You really are more than okay. I enjoyed reading this.
Corinne. Great post today, as always.
Oh you both are wonderful people. Most of the time, we become more harsh in judging ourselves than other people because we put more weight in what others might think or say of us.It is okay to assert yourself and to choose your own circle of friends. You know yourself better than all of us 🙂
And you are loved no matter what. Thanks for sharing this 🙂
When I first met you I thought you were so young and gentle that I might scare you away. As I get to know you I’m continually amazed by the depth and breadth of your personal power. Thank you for all that you are! XO
I saw a lot of that unfold, and you know what I think. His actions and reactions, were a reflection of how he saw himself. Just as your actions and reactions were. You were being straight, because that is who you are (and becoming) more every day. He was a reflection of his own deceit of self, I think. For me personally, it is the heart break of being reminded that not everyone we deal with is genuine. I forget that from time to time, as I am sure you do too. It is always a little heartbreaking both because of the realization that they are hurting themselves most, and because it does hurt to be deceived. Wonderful guest post! <3
Hi, Lisa! ~
Yeah, what you said… 😉
The one element in your comment I would gently challenge is this: “…not everyone we deal with is genuine…”
I believe everyone is genuine, whether intentionally or not. As James Allen points out in his great classic ‘As A Man Thinketh’: “Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.” That certainly played out in this case for all to see.
When you have a chance, I hope you’ll watch the video my friend sent me about authenticity and transparency (here’s the link again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o ) It’s about 20 minutes long so grab a cup of tea of a glass of wine — you will LOVE it!
I have not known you very long, but what I do know is that you’re genuine, fun and beautiful. I find honesty, in a positive way, is the best policy…that way people know where they stand & they can take you or leave you. You just continue loving you…love always knows best (smile).
Lovely, heartfelt interview.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi, Andy! ~
WoW — what more could I want than to be “genuine, fun and beautiful”??? Thank you!!!
What a truly awesome read. I can relate on so many levels as you. My self confidence is sorely lacking- but people seem to think me brash because I say what I think and I mean what I say. I learned a long time ago if someone asked me for advice or for my opinion my first response is always,” do you want me to tell you the truth or lie to you?” and Yes, you are Okay. Not everyone in the world can like us. I learned that a long time ago too. When people say they are going to do something they should follow through–but some people have no cooth and I think what you said was perfect and put her right in her place. I’m sure she was shocked at your response–but good for you! And remember, only small minds talk about people and if they’re talking about you, there leaving someone else alone.
Hi, Angie! ~
I think you’re joking when you say, “…my first response is always,’do you want me to tell you the truth or lie to you?'” Right? haha!
Although I’m not a Quaker, I’ve been introduced to some powerful concepts of theirs by friends, such as the spiritual practice of being “MOVED TO SPEAK”. According to the NYYM Glossary of Quaker terms, being “MOVED TO SPEAK” is “An experience in the quietness of the meeting, of feeling led by God to speak.” ( http://www.nyym.org/index.php?q=glossary )
In my experience, asking God (or Spirit or my Higher Self…) if my honest advice or opinion is called for in any particular situation is more helpful than asking even the person I’m conversing with 😉
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your ideas! Do you have a blog? I wasn’t able to connect with it by clicking your “link”…
I knew this had to be Linda. How I enjoy your posts and here you are a guest and I enjoyed reading this as well.
Somehow I cannot be as straightforward as you, Linda. Guess I’m wired so. And for that precise reason, I admire people who can be straightforward just like that. My sister calls me a coward because I talk about certain issues but don’t raise my voice when I have to. I feel pressurised sometimes.
Corinne, thanks for inviting Linda here. And, she’s very very good!
Hi, Susan! ~
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your loving support ;-x
Marie: You rock! What else can I say? One day I’m going to give you a big hug in person! XO
Yes, I am happy in my own skin!
Linda, I’ve been accused of the same thing. I tend to speak my mind. Some people think that’s mean or rude. I would never try to hurt another person’s feelings on purpose but if I see BS being tossed about as truth I come out with both guns firing. Okay, so maybe I need to work on my defensive nature, but “mean”… never. People like us are often misunderstood but once a person “gets” us, they know that are safe within our friendship and that we are kind people. Gee… I think this post struck a nerve.
Hey, Leah! ~ Since you & I share a birthday, I must admit your comment reminded me of this:
“As the sign of wisdom and truth, Sagittarius loves to ‘tell it like it is,’ especially when it makes people laugh. However, your honesty doesn’t always come in the prettiest package. You’ve been known to bruise feelings with your bluntness…” http://www.astrostyle.com/Scopes/12_Signs/scopes_sagittarius.htm
Got your back, Baby ;-x
Sunshine for the Soul
Honesty is something to be treasured, although I do believe that it should be done tastefully, in good manners- with good intentions 😉
Sometimes we just have to speak the truth, to be true to ourselves.
I have a tendency to second-guess myself at times, but I’m working on it!
Hi, Sunshine! ~
I definitely agree with you on this: “Honesty is something to be treasured, although I do believe that it should be done tastefully, in good manners- with good intentions.” And very well put!
Your comment reminds me of my previous post “Authentically Speaking” (http://www.dangerouslinda.com/?p=221 ) which I think you or others might also enjoy! In particular this quote from that piece comes to mind: “A special note about ‘brutal honesty’: although it may feel powerfully cathartic to you in the fleeting moment, it’s often simply brutal to the receiver.”
Thank you for inviting this clarification because I want to sing the praises of ‘honesty’ — I do not want to be misunderstood as condoning ‘brutal honesty’ 😉
I love your authentic self and straightforwardness. I think I could use a sliver of it.
xo, laura emily
Hi, Laura Emily! ~
There’s plenty more where that came from — haha!
Thank you for your kind words! XO
I love it Linda, it is one of the things I love about you, honesty is a rare thing these days, I can thank my daughter for showing me that. I try to be honest in all that I do, sometimes that however means that I do not share my thoughts, because they won’t matter to people that live in their own reality.
Hi, Daisy! ~
You bring up a very good point, which is that because something is true doesn’t mean we need to say it. But, sometimes we do need to say it. The bottom line is that we each get to choose, rather than being told by others, when it is appropriate to speak our Truth.
Reminds me of a favorite passage from the Bible:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” ~ Matthew 7:6
I have learned that lesson the hard way, too — haha! Thank you for visiting and sharing your wisdom! XOXOX
I am honest too at times too often, most people appreciate my honesty but there are a few people out there….I mean really out there!
I love your straight-forward communication style and you are one of the funniest people I’ve ever met! Thank you for all that you are XOXOXOX
Yes, Autumn Eliza! And such a beautiful skin it is — well done! I wish I was a poet, like you, because then I would be able to couch the truth in poetry which may be not so likely to offend…XO
..wonderful post..loved every word of it..
Hi, Rigzin! ~
Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation! I appreciate your kind words!
To love myself is something I have yet to learn…….I don’t care if the world loves me or not.. I do care that I have been shunned by many people including my own church because I have a mental illness..that’s all people see… they don’t want to know me for me ..only my diagnosis.. I do know I have a very big heart and I love big….so I walk away from those people scratching my head and go on to share my love with those that want it…As always….XOXOXOXOOX
Your comment reminds me of my favorite episode of Once Upon A Time last night — the ‘beast’ could not accept his true love because he did not love himself. “No one can ever, ever love me!” he cries. But, the beauty, Belle, does love him and it makes no difference because it is lost on him.
We cannot possibly accept any more love from others than we can believe from ourselves.
Great post Linda! I love your honesty. I’ve learned that no matter what in life we need to be true to ourselves because in the end we only have ourselves to answer to.
Jessica: You’ve got it.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” ~ Orson Welles
Thank you for visiting and sharing your wisdom! XOXOX
Awesome post! You’ve got to be true to yourself and speak your truth. Of course not everyone agrees with your truth so they view it as bad. Good for you for sticking to your guns and living YOUR life.
Hi, Amanda! ~
Thank you for joining the conversation — you sound like a pistol!
Do you have a blog? I’d like to visit and check you out, too!
Hi, Myrna! ~
Thank you for your kind words!
One of the best blessings of writing a ‘guest post’ is the opportunity to meet new people like you! I have visited your blog and it was ‘love at first sight’! Looking forward to getting to know you better through your posts and comments!
My Inner Chick
–You are a woman after my own heart.
Brava! Bravo! Manifico!
I adore a woman who speaks her mind!! At least I know where I stand.
Hugs from MN.
Hey, Chicky! ~
Thank you for the cheers!
Did you say you’re in MN? I’m in MN, too! On my way to check you out…
I loved reading this post Linda! You are honest and true to yourself. We need more people with that kind of courage to say what they feel and think. Too many people sugar coat everything and walk away talking behind the other person`s back. You are beautiful and never forget that!
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