A reader, who I’ll call Sandy, wrote to say she was making progress with doing what she wanted but her friends and family continued too judge her choices. Sandy pared down her lifestyle so she could quit her good job (meaning money), which she hated, to work part time in a flower shop, which she enjoyed, and have more time to pursue her interests and she loved her life.. People questioned her decisions like she had done something wrong. She asked for advice about how to handle it.
I went through that when I left DoorMatVille. People were so used to me the way I’d been and felt like they were seeing a new person, which in a way I was. I’d been a good girl who did what was expected of her. I became a teacher because I married one and I was pushed to do it. After years of living for everyone else, I wanted to own my life. I had been bored for years. So I got divorced.
Around that time I took a dare from my students who said that a white woman couldn’t rap. It stimulated my creative juices and motivated me to prove to the kids not to let their color or sex stop them from pursuing their dreams. It led to me becoming the first white female rapper and one of the first the first women to start a record label.
I was happy but many people thought I’d lost my mind. It can be hard for people to relate to what they’ve never desired or experienced. Most people would be scared to cut back on income like Sandy and I did. When you live on a traditional path going in a different direction can seem scary, or wrong.
When I was rapping, my family was confused. My mom didn’t know how to explain my career to her friends and kept suggesting that I return to teaching. No way! I was happy doing music. But even when I said that to critics, they couldn’t understand how I could be happy living without a steady income. I was doing something that seemed crazy to them. Sandy’s people felt the same way. Since living sparsely seemed too hard for them, they questioned why she’d do it.
In a situation like this, you have to accept that it’ OK for people not to understand,, since they may never, no matter how happy you say you are. Have some pat answers ready, such as:
* “I’m very happy with my life, are you?” I get a lot of confused looks when I ask this. Often the ones questioning your lifestyle aren’t happy.
* “I made choices that work for me. I’d appreciate your accepting that.” If they continue to argue their point, just say you refuse to keep defending your choices, and shouldn’t have to.
* “Why do you keep questioning me? I don’t question why you stay in a job you don’t like, just for the money.” if they ignore this question, add,
* “I’d appreciate your letting me live my life in ways that I love without being challenged.” Or
* “I’m happy . do you not relate or understand what that means?”
It’s your life so you shouldn’t have to defend it. Many people who question what you do are jealous because they’re not doing what makes them happy. Just keep enjoying the life you’ve chosen and don’t get into discussions about how and why you can live the way you do. Just keep reiterating that you’re happy and refuse to defend it.
Join The Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment—“I commit to do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small, for the next 31 days.” and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 2014 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook. Watch the video made with Hoobastank’s song–The reason–that illustrates the power of self-love.