If you have never met me, you don't know that I work in the beauty industry. Every day I work with people of all backgrounds in the pursuit of feeling better about themselves. Being a Cosmetologist, my goal is to send those people back out into the world with one less thing bringing them down. You might be surprised how much a haircut can lighten the load and help people feel more confident and have a more positive perspective. I hear about the struggles they are going through and I see more than anyone else how they feel about themselves and their lives. We have both enriching conversations and simple talks about the weather, but what I've learned about people and the world in the last 11 years, is that we are all going through the same hardships and the same joys. The biggest difference is how they show up at different points in our lives. The struggle however, tends to be the same. If you stop looking at the world from such a distant perspective and look close up to the people you encounter on a daily basis, you will see how much everyone is really just doing what they can with the skills they have acquired.
Look closely, take it all in. While we may all be struggling in ways and excelling in others, it's important to realize how beautifully different we are at the same time. Instead of holding that against one another with judgment, replace it with a sense of individuality. No one in this world is what you are, no one is walking the exact same path as you or gifted with the same strengths. When looking in the mirror before you leave for work in the morning, remind yourself how absolutely amazing you have the potential to be. You see it everyday when you are doing something you love or when you are doing something you excel at. You have the potential to embody that person you wake up craving to be. The journey to finding that person, more often than not, comes from your willingness to work for them. Work for that person you want to be tomorrow or in a year from now. Find your WHY, set your intentions, and know that like everyone else on this planet you are in control of where you end up.
We are intrinsically responsible for ourselves. If we spent as much time nurturing our lives as we do being worried about everyone and everything else around us, we would be a magnificent culture full of wonderfully developed souls. Take a moment to remind yourself that if we are all in this together, all going through the same journeys, what makes anyone else's negative opinion of you worth more than your positive opinion of yourself? Not to mention the opinion of the people in your life who actually know you. Limit the amount of people who you actually take constructive criticism from and show those people that you are open and willing to listen. Without a healthy amount of criticism, we can never grow. You will perpetually be stuck in the same cycles of your never evolving world. However, if you choose the wrong people and opinions to listen to, they start tearing down the beautiful building blocks of your soul. That's what needs to be sought after and considered, constructive criticism. Find that tribe, the one that has your back in a healthy dose of honesty kind of way. Life is about building blocks. How tall and beautiful you build your life has nothing to do with your mortgage and everything to do with how beautiful you build the foundation and windows of your soul. If someone is not seeing your soul, how can they judge you? How can a world that refuses to look closely at the individual souls of it's people categorize them at all? Your truth is not someone else's truth. We may be a team in this world, but we are all playing different games. What game do you want to play? What kind of person do you want to be and surround yourself with?
Don't force your truth on someone else. Whether it be your beliefs or your lifestyle, there is no place for your judgement in someone else's life. We are all here with the ability to lift others up with our positivity and with our realness. In my life, I have always leaned into honesty and realness as much as I could stomach at different points in my journey. Many times it has been to a fault. You see, when it comes to dealing with our weaknesses, we are all trying. Over the past couple years many life experiences have drug out my vulnerability and helped me grasp the idea that my shields, even though my intention for them is to protect, they also cause damage on myself and those they touch. I can be very judgmental, overly critical, and those intentions in the past have been to be real but they have also caused pain. My truths cannot be my friends truths and my journey will always be mine. I've softened and I am continuously unfolding into the person I want to become. My intentions I set daily, criticism I accept daily, and negativity from myself and others I fight daily.
Circumstances may be different or they may be the same, what matters is your direction. Take the focus off of the outside world, turn your eyes inward. You cannot take care of any circumstance until you have taken care of yourself. You cannot fight any battle until you have specifically chosen your side to fight for. It's not about political parties or religious affiliation, it's about your truth and your path. Find your vulnerability and reach for more than what you have been before. Focus intensely on your growth and I promise your circumstances will follow.
Books to read:
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley