It's actually quite amazing and wonderful how messages seem to find me at just the right time this past year. (Especially this line from the article: "Know that you are a Divine being and you have a unique offering to share with the world that nobody else has.") Perhaps it's because I've become more aware and receptive to them, but I do believe magic happens when you are truly in line with who you are and why you are here. Over the past several months, a sense of peace, fulfillment and real joy has begun to settle deep within me. I know I am headed in the right direction...finally. This is a feeling that can only come from inside, and therefore as you move further and further down your path and into your truth, outside influences have less and less effect on you. I am in no way 'there' yet, but I am becoming less reliant on outside feedback and heeding my own intuition much more.
With that being said, the holidays are a unique time of year amongst extended family, when relatives who you may not see very often find it the perfect opportunity to ask personal probing questions and/or provide their (unheeded) feedback on your current lifestyle! Am I right?! I suppose I am the current 'black sheep' in my family, being as I am unmarried (the horror!) and in the midst of a career change (the audacity!). So I certainly did receive my (un)fair share of questioning from members of my extended family this past weekend. My personal favorite is "You're so pretty. Why don't you have a boyfriend?". Ummmmmm, not sure how to answer that one? What correlation do my appearance and my relationship status have exactly? Would it be more fathomable for me to be single if I were less attractive? There are many witty responses I craft in my head to questions like these however I'm not a mean spirited person. Most of the time I just laugh them off. The thing is when people ask questions or pass judgment on you, I think it really says more about that person than it does about you. I think it reveals more about their own insecurities, fears or regrets, and is colored by their own personal prejudices and experience. Which is to say, they are judging you for something they have never done. When you think about it like that, their comments become less pertinent to your life and your purpose and it is easier to brush them off.
I am certainly not on the 'conventional' path at this point in my life, but what does that really mean anymore? Conventional, or traditional in the American sense, would probably seem ridiculous to many other cultures (Hellooo, McMansions and giant SUV's). And there are so many people following previously atypical paths now that I think the definition of what 'conventional' is is already undergoing so much change.
This is not to say I don't value people's insight, advice and experience, especially when my own experience and information on a subject is limited. I certainly do. I love hearing stories from those who are older and wiser than me (and there are many!), but I am learning more to temper other's advice with what I feel is right for me and my life. This is a big change from someone who is a classic 'people pleaser'.
Any time you go through big changes, or do things that people consider non-traditional, there will be feedback - both positive and critical. The point of all this is, that when you are really tuned into who you are, the opinions of others matter less and less. At least that is what I have found along the way. I'm lucky to have some really wonderful friends and family who have been very supportive of me over the past few years, or really, throughout my life. I know these people truly love me for who I am because they want simply for me to be happy, however that manifests itself. Isn't that the wish we have for everyone we love? It is those people you should hold dear. And above all else, listen, act and live with your heart and with love. Everything else will fall into place...
Have you ever been the recipient of personal questions, or unsolicited advice?
How did you deal with it?