“Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.” ~Scott Stratten
When I started this business a few years ago, I committed to being always and 100 percent me, never compromising my identity or pretending to be other than the flawed, imperfect, still-learning, still-changing person that I am. I also committed to ongoing growth and evolution as a human, and believed my efforts to become a continually better version of myself would only serve the patients with whom I get to work on this journey.
(Which is also why I get frequent acupuncture myself and see a therapist regularly.)
I also decided that I would share my experiences as I deemed appropriate, particularly for the lessons I’ve learned along the way that feel especially important in my life.
And I have done this. Both in individual sessions with patients and through the articles I publish on this website. I have felt good about this process. Both in a one-on-one context in my treatment room and in the writing I have shared thus far. Even when I assume no one is reading my words, this process has felt important somehow.
This week, I was faced with some harsh, unexpected feedback and criticism on a piece of writing I published a few months ago, from an unlikely source from my past. And I’ll admit that initially it stung. And that I briefly wondered if maybe my decision to be so transparent about my path of self-discovery and open about my experiences was an ill-advised one.
But then I remembered something I read in a book by Brene Brown, in which she talked about having a list of people whose opinions matter to you in your life.
And that, ideally, the names of these people all fit together on a single one-inch by one-inch piece of paper.
Because while we shouldn’t care about what everyone thinks of us, it is important to have a few, select humans who can help us stay on track with our values and our integrity, whose opinions matter to us because they’ve earned the right to that role in our lives. (And, hopefully, we’ve done the same in theirs.)
And so I choose not to carry around the negative energy that was flung at me unexpectedly. Or to care at all about what this particular person thinks. Because she’s not on my list of people whose opinions mean something to me in my life.
And so I’m going to keep writing. And keep sharing my story.
I’m going to continue bettering myself and letting the lessons I learn inform my work in the world.
Because while I know that putting myself out there in a public space puts me at risk for similar types of negativity to be directed my way again in the future, I think the payoff is totally worth it. And, ultimately, I’m here to help people in any way I can. Even if it means fielding a mean comment every once in a while.
So, thanks to everyone who has ever read anything I’ve ever written. And commented. Or shared my words with others. Or even just found something useful in something I’ve said.
I’m thankful for all of you.
May we all continue to share our stories and be open and honest about our experiences. And reflect thoughtfully, then let go where appropriate.
And ignore the noise in favor of listening to those whose opinions really matter in our lives.