Sticks and stones

We all want to be liked.

That's why it's oh-so-painful when you discover that someone, for some reason,

does not like you...

or what you say...

or how you look...

or what you do...

or how you talk...or walk...or chew...

or any number of things.

It is so easy to become consumed by other people's opinion of you.

Growing up, we've all heard the adage, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me," and yet...

Names can hurt. 

We are not always immune to the opinions of others.

We are human.

So much so, that Linda McCartney, a photographer in her own right, revised this adage to read: "sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will break your heart."

I can feel its' truth even as I write this...

particularly when such words are expressed by our loved ones or absorbed during our formative teenage years when likability and fitting in is paramount.

We seem to carry some of these wounds throughout our lives.

At times, we are able to swat them away like an annoying fly that means no real harm.  

Other times, however, we seem weighted down by these wounds...living in fear that they represent the shameful truth of who we truly are.

What we mistakenly fail to recognize, however, is that the power to determine who and what we are resides within, not without.

By accepting as truth, the words of others...

without question...

without challenge...

without contemplation...

without consideration...

we are, in effect,

forfeiting our power.

We are allowing others to determine for us who we are and how we show up in the world.

And THAT is a mighty disservice to ourselves and whom we choose to be and become.

Last night, my daughter and I were reading a book and came across an astounding epiphany by the 1930s comedian and actor W.C. Fields:

"It ain't what they call you; it's what you answer to."

With these simple words, Fields challenges us to place power squarely where it belongs: within.

The opinions of others may have merit at times, but they mustalways always alwaysbe filtered through our own minds first.

So...

filter well...

discern well....

decide well...

because in the end, you alone determine what you choose to believe or not.

People will always have opinions.

They may...

judge you...

pigeon hole you...

ridicule you...

dismiss you...

degrade you...

discount you...

but don't you dare let any of that

define you.

Only YOU can decide

who you are,

what you are

and

how you serve

your life and this world.

Be magnificent.

Be powerful.

Be you...for you.

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