I’ve seen the quote in my image used more with the word man instead of woman. However, I’m taking this and using the woman version to make my point.
Over the past couple of years I have noticed how people are more than happy to steal your power. This would not be a big deal if these people were not lead to steal your happiness. While at the time I would let this get me down or I would find myself dwelling on words said, or words left unsaid, I’ve found this is not acceptable. We create a mindset for ourselves that become detrimental to ourselves. Here’s the tricky part though. Words have so much power. Power that I want to take away from them today through writing this.
The thing about having your power taken away is that sometimes there’s no time limit on these words that bring us down. Someone could have spoken these words to us last week, words spoken to us three years ago. Sometimes we even remember words spoken to us in middle school. We can go down two different paths. For years I have discovered I replay events in my head. I’ve given people far more people than they deserve. That boy in school who asked me if my favorite food were Twinkies because of my weight. Those people who would make remarks when I walked into a buffet that if the people at their table wanted food they needed to get it now because clearly I was about to eat them all.
A lot of the words I’ve heard in passing throughout the years had to do with my weight. People deemed me lazy. If I just put my mind to it than I could do it, but I chose not to. I’ve lost weight before. I lost seventy-five pounds to be exact, but I took a huge step backward the last couple of years. Part of that’s due to words. The truth is I did the same with my writing and my art. I shut down when I received two comments on a site I wrote for once upon a time. One involved my weight from my picture and the other my writing. This made me create a rule for myself not to read many comments made to my posts. I also have a rule that I do not read any of the comments made on posts I write for other sites.
My therapist pointed out something to me the other day though that made me tilt my head. What if on these other sites people are saying good things? What if people are confirming that they like my writing? For the first time ever I have realized there can be good what ifs. Part of me wants to read the comments of course because we are only human and we want to know what people think. Due to the depression and how I instantly shut down before I told myself it was more important what others thought who I wrote with and for than others and ONLY those who do so in a constructive way mattered. Constructive is good, but those little digs and comments meant to get to us do not have to mean anything. Why give someone lurking behind their screen and keyboard THAT much power? The truth is I don’t have to.
This is something I bring up because of an instance in college I’m not sure I ever truly got over. I predicted down to the wording what a fellow classmate would say during one of my critiques. In many ways it was brutal. This classmate made no suggestions previously and to him my work was a joke. No matter what I did it was a joke. I think in many ways it stemmed back to a moment with a color wheel when we first started where I bought all the paints to paint it. From that point forward in this classmates eyes I was the girl who cheated. I was the girl who took shortcuts. I’m not apologizing for only getting basic art in high school. I’m also done giving these words power. I’m down replaying words I could have said to this person.
We all take shortcuts though when we have not learned what a course has dubbed we should know. We don’t necessarily cheat, but we get the job done because that’s what we have learned. What people didn’t know was I played with color theory afterward. I then learned far more in my painting class than I ever could have imagined. Regardless, I gave this person’s words so much power. I’ve let these words stop me on occasions and convinced myself that I’m not good enough. I found myself needing to explain like I did just now. I found myself needing to justify wanting to create. I even remember this student telling me that this professor coddled students without talent and dumped on the ones that did.
Although art is objective and we each have our own likes and paths of getting to where we need to be, some people think their words, their opinion, are the end all. Your words are not my end all. I love the art I have created. I want to get back to creating. Will everyone like it? I don’t know. Something tells me that at least a few people will. That’s just how art works. Movies, paintings, photographs, poems…they all come from within a person. We don’t like everyone. Why would we like everyone’s artwork? That’s life. For those people I can help with my art, my writing, including myself though…I owe it to them but more importantly I owe it to myself. Creating is generally letting something from within out and why ultimately we tend to take those criticisms so hard because they are a part of us.
This is not a bad thing. We are not meant to like everything or everyone. What we are meant to do is stop letting people dictate to us what we should like or who we should be. We have to stop letting people steal our power. We have to stop letting people make remarks about our lives that they know will sting and get to us and know that their opinion does not mean anything. This includes people who push others away while claiming all the reasons you made them do it. They do not deserve to continue to hold power over us so I’m breaking up with rejection. I’m breaking up with the remarks purposely meant to hurt me. I’m breaking up with toxic people because those people do not have a place in my life.
We deserve to be happy. I deserve to be happy. If we want to live in the past by going to conventions and meeting our idols, we deserve to do so as long as have the money. If we want to go to as many concerts as humanly possible, we just have to pray that our hearing doesn’t get destroyed. If we are going to work for someone who does not put us on blast and make us feel worthless for minuet things, we need to remember all the good we’ve done for that person. If we are told that we are taking the easier route by doing the job we should have been concentrating on all along, we have to let those words go. They mean nothing. If we keep giving those people power we will be in a constant state of misery no matter how much therapy or medication we push on ourselves. Trust me.
At the end of the day, we have to remind ourselves that no matter what people think of us this does not make it true. We know this ultimately, but somehow we still let those words get to us. So this is my stance. I’m not saying that words will never hurt me again or I will not dwell on some of them, but ultimately my goal is to dwell on them a little less. My goal is take my power back because I deserve it. My goal is to take that power and create other goals that make me happy. Because at the end of the day that is all that matters. Goodbye rejection. Your remarks mean nothing to me.