I recently came across this superbly accurate post on “being yourself”, expressed in the most elegant fashion that I could never muster.
It struck the rebellious teenager in me and I loved it so much I decided to write this post. Excuse the rough edges – I don’t usually talk like this, but at times it’s imperative to get angry and gansta yo!
One of the refrains I remember from teenage-hood is “Get over it.”
So simple, so direct, so cool.
Your friend complains to you about her nails? “Get over it, princess.”
You failed your calculus test? “Get over it. Try harder next time.”
Princess got the same ball dress as you? “Get over it. Find a better one.”
The too-cool teenage me never expected that 15 years later I would discover profound metaphysical depth and incredible cosmic wisdom in such a simple phrase. It’s essentially saying:
Get some perspective. Get over what other people think. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stand in your own power.
Brilliant. 100% correct.
Sounds obvious. But sometimes we have no idea of the stupid places we cramp our power because we’re afraid of losing street cred. And this fear blinds us to our own greatness – we shrink ourselves, think we’re not good enough, and make our world small and insignificant.
“Ohhh my god, if I wear that to the party I’ll be dead.”
“Ohhh my god, I can’t believe I ate that piece of cake. Now I have to run 50 laps to burn it off.”
“Pfffft, if I can’t fit into these jeans then I’m just a failure…”
Can I say… Get a life?
Do you think Nelson Mandela left a legacy in the world because he worked so hard to attain a beach-ready body and then he was able to unite South Africa?
What about Oprah? Did she let her body size determine her success because she didn’t fit into the classic Hollywood mould? Yes she’s struggled with weight, but she used the struggle and turned it to power. And now – she sits in her throne and she is over it. Ain’t nothin’ gonna stop her reigning supreme in her Queendom. Bow down mo’fo’s. Kiss the ground she walks on.
So, my points are:
I hate it when people punish themselves for nothing. Precious life energy wasted. Why the heck do you feel “guilty” when you eat a potato chip or a piece of cake? What rule of law did you freaking break? Why have you sentenced yourself to punishing exercise when you could be changing the world? You haven’t broken any cosmic laws – you’re just stuck in the prison of your own tiny-consciousness head.
I hate it when people obsess over what their body looks like from the outside. Honestly no matter what you look like it will never be enough. Industries take it very seriously to keep you trapped in feeling “fat and ugly”. Don’t buy that sh*t! Work on your inner beauty so you’re smart enough to break out of that trap.
Gain some perspective people. Gain some power people. Stand in your own friggen greatness. You already have it all. Now use it for some good instead of tearing yourself down!
OK, the teenager’s stayed past her curfew. Let the present me wrap up:
In saying all of this I’m not suggesting that we should just brush everything under the rug to “get over it”. No no no. We brush nothing under the rug. Deep personal issues, family issues, relationship issues etc etc. that need addressing, need addressing. Don’t get over it – deal with those. There are profound lessons to be learned from pain and struggle – go meet your teacher. That’s a time for getting through.
B-u-t… if it’s a small thought of doubt, judgement, or “why don’t I have abs” – that’s the time to step into a larger perspective and see how petty and insignificant your worries are. #firstworldproblems much?
I’m not even saying you have to stop thinking negatively. In fact, you can have your guilt, have your moments of “not good enough”. But do not stay in self-destruction for too long. Step into a bigger perspective and see how microscopic you’ve reduced the purpose of your life to. You can feel insignificant or that your life sucks, but please do get over it.
Sometimes all we need is a reality check to see that actually, we have it all.
We are all very privileged to be living in countries with clean running water and free wifi. Billions of people don’t have that. So, I can live with not having long eyelashes. I can get over that.
Heck, I’ve done my time in the Prison of Self-Punishment and Never Good Enough. And on tired days of looking after my toddler, cooking, cleaning and not getting to bed on time, I can unconsciously slip into old habits and lock myself in prison again.
But these days I’ve become a jedi prison breaker. As soon as I realize I’m there I muster up the energy to get out pretty soon – usually 30 seconds. (But at first it took daaaays, even weeks. You get more skilled over time ;))