Lately it seems so acceptable, even normal, to talk or joke about “needing” our daily glass of wine to take the “edge off”, or just to relax, yet so “strange” or almost “taboo” when someone says, “I am having a rough time keeping my shit together these days and could really use some support?” Isn’t it really the same thing? Or is sticking with the wine more like saying, “I’m struggling to keep my shit together but I’m going to numb that with my wine so that I can wake up and do all the same things tomorrow and hope it ends different.”?
I don’t drink, not because I think there’s anything wrong with it, or because I “have my shit together” but, in a nutshell, my Dr. told me not to. I now have almost no tolerance for any alcohol. Does that mean I never enjoy a glass of wine, no, but it is rare, and I’m still surprised at how uncomfortable I seem to make people by not drinking. Why is that? Is it that people think I’m judging them negatively for drinking? Do they think it’s bad that their drinking? If not, why would I? Do they think I’m saying, “I don’t need it”? Would that mean I think they do? Why would I think that?
I actually used to wish I could have that wine, sometimes to “take the edge off”, but more often just to blend in. But what would that mean, that making others feel comfortable is more important than my health? Actually, if I didn’t have three sons counting on me to be their mom, I probably would have chosen to blend in more often, but not anymore. And that makes me wonder…how many others are in a similar situation? How many of us are just trying to blend in, and Why?
I see Facebook posts, hear jokes in exercise classes, and even see diets that make sure to include that glass of wine. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help wondering why so many women, many moms, caretakers and professionals, find it more acceptable to talk about their wine habits then about why they “need” it? I fully understand and appreciate that, for some, it’s truly the enjoyment of the beverage, and for others it serves as a sort of meditation because they make a point to sit, relax, and breathe while enjoying their wine. But what about those of us who drink our wine, or take our anti-depressants/anxiety/etc. pills, because we need them? Do we really “need” them…or is it just a habit?
Recently I was at a cocktail party and I felt as though I was witnessing a competition over who has that first glass sooner after getting home; it was received as normal, even admirable. As if the more we needed the glass the more overworked and underappreciated we were and, somehow, that was being worn like a badge..? What is up with that? I get it, it’s what our society has become…blah blah blah, but really? Are we REALLY ok with that? Are we happy? Who cares how much you work, how many things you have, etc. if it doesn’t make you happy? Who are you doing it for? Do you think that anyone who loves you wants to see you NOT happy?
What if we, as women, just decided to be honest with each other instead of trying to impress each other? What if we just started talking to each other? What if we just started being true to ourselves? What if we worried less about what our social medial followers thought of us and more about what the people who truly loved us thought? Would it change anything?
I decided to be “brave” at the cocktail party and I asked some of these questions… Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’ve learned not to value myself based on others opinions…it pretty much went over like a lead balloon. Maybe it’s just me, but I wish I had spent more of my life cultivating mutual, supporting relationships than I did numbing, blending and pretending not to need anyone, that everything was “fine”, or even “great”.
How many of you judge others the way you perceive them to be judging you? I’m guessing not many, and that’s why I’ve decided to give others the benefit of the doubt that their not judging me either. What’s the point, it’s not like we are going to change anyone’s mind anyway. What people think about you has much more to do with what’s going on with them then anything that’s actually going on with you. Think about it, if you’re having a great hair day, do you even notice anyone elses hair? But what happens when you go out feeling self conscious about your hair?
After a while, you’re bound to reap what you sew, so be careful; this is your one life, spend it being YOU, not who you think others want you to be. You are unique and special, you were not born to Blend In, you were born to Stand Out, to be the one and only YOU!
Your entire life is made up of tiny little moments, starting now. Who do you want to be and what are you willing to do, be, or not do or be, to achieve that?
Listen to them, give them a chance
They may have a point you’d never thought of
An angle you never would have looked from
A new way of phrasing the same material
Or most importantly
An opinion you don’t agree with
Listen to learn what they think, not to find the weak point
Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it is wrong
Think of a reply after you take in what they said
A conversation is not made up of opportunities to fire
Stop looking for them and wait
Wait until you understand
Listen like an open door not a filter
Take it all in
Selectively listening is just as bad as not listening at all
Middleground is the best ground
Respond with intent to teach, suggest or understand
Not to prove one wrong and one right
Listen to what you don’t know
No one knows it all, although some know more than others
Everyone can learn from the simple act of conversing
Division is the one common enemy of conversation
We see it everywhere
Pressured to pick one side or the other
Talk with each other not at each other
There are more than two sides to everything
Opinion is a spectrum not a division line
Respect and be respected
by Will Ross
It’s wonderful if others believe in you, but it’s only necessary that you believe in yourself.
There is only one YOU, be the U in Unique- the most successful people in the world got that way by being completely themselves…think about it 😉
The voices in your head are merely recordings of your past. Your deep inner knowing is the truth for your future.
Sit quietly and listen, feel what your body is trying to tell you in a language with no words.
Notice the voices in your head…they are nothing more than your past experiences, childhood memories, etc…your “Nurture”, not necessarily your “Nature”.
As a child, you don’t always have the choice of where you grow up, who you are surrounded by, the experiences you are exposed to, and so on. Yet these are the very things that have created those voices you hear in your head today. From this moment forward, however, you do have the choice! You are no longer that child with limited control over your life, with limited ability for reasoning and distinguishing…today you are a capable individual, capable of making your own decisions, forming your own opinions, behaving the way you feel best represents who you want to be, and choosing to live accordingly.
Your true self, the person you were born to be, has always been within you. Now is your opportunity to reconnect but it will require awareness, patience and trust. You will need to become aware of your “thoughts”about a situation vs. what is true. You will need to be patient and not let yourself react without a pause to consider what you are feeling. The hardest part may be to trust your “feelings” as much as you have trusted your “mind” up until now. You will need to listen carefully; if you have ignored your inner voice for a long time, it make take a while for you to recognize when “its” talking, it make take a while for “it” to recognize that it’s being listened to. Trust and consistency…
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau
Fill your mind with the voice of your own heart, make your thoughts intentional.
This is your one life, you are unique for a reason; BE YOU, not who your mind believes you SHOULD be. Never forget to include yourself on your list of most influential people in your life…you are the only one guaranteed to live with the consequences of your choices.
Trust your feelings, create new recordings in your mind, your past is behind you but the rest of your life is just beginning…enjoy the process!