Monday, November 03, 2008

Shhh!

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." -Elbert Hubbard

I've spent much of my life being a people pleaser, with a bit of an approval addiction. If I just do, say, be what is expected of me, I will be liked. No waves will be made. I'll keep the peace. 

The problem with that line of thinking and behaving is that it doesn't exactly promote a very strong sense of self. It makes one vulnerable to being controlled, and worse yet, not very interesting.

There was a time in my life when I really had to dig deep down inside and ask myself, "What are you so afraid of? Why is the approval of others so important to you?"

Then I took it a step further and realized that the people who I most admire are not the ones who tell me what I want to hear, but the ones who have strong opinions of their own and who aren't afraid to make them known.

Keeping quiet out of a fear of disapproval might be the solution to avoiding criticism, but it certainly isn't the path to really LIVING! One of the ways I have sought to establish my voice in the world is through my blog. There is still the temptation to self-censor out of a compulsion to please others--the temptation will always be there. Still, this is my forum for self-expression, and it has been useful in giving me a place to make my voice heard.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through and other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open." -Martha Graham

8 comments:

Mrs. G. said...

Starshine, just the fact that you recognize your go along/get along tendencies is huge. The older I get the more I committed I am to being real(though not rude, there is a difference). Sometimes the risk is not being liked, but that's OK too.

Katie said...

You know, I read this thinking, this is me. OMgoodness! This is me.

A blog is a very powerful thing, that I never knew would help me grow in the ways it has.

That sounds weird but you get the point...

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

So glad your blog has helped you to express yourself without censoring your opinions and beliefs. :) You rock,and there's no reason to hold back.

C said...

Blogging is great, isn't it?! :) So glad it's helped you to express yourself more. You are awesome and clearly a beautiful person inside and out!

BTW, I tried to add you on my NaBloPoMo friends list, but for some reason I can't figure out how to! LOL!

Autumn's Mom said...

I'm glad you are able to find your voice here. I still struggle with that on my blog.

Saucy said...

Oh, Starshine. I'm afraid I stepped into a big pile of poo on my blog today but I hope we can still be friends. I merely suggested that as a Canadian, I think Obama might be a good choice... but I have the UTMOST respect for McCain (had a bumper sticker on my buggy when he ran last time) and isn't it wonderful that you all have the choice of free speech and a vote? Oh, good luck to you tomorrow as you safely and surely cast your vote however you wish... and may it all unfold in true American glory.

I took a lot of flack today in my comments and it's left me a little beaten down. Your post today lifted me up, I can find my voice, but everyone doesn't have to agree wtih me.

Starshine said...

Oh, Saucy,

I read your blog post, and I thought it was so cleverly written. Don't worry! We can DEFINITELY still be friends! I would venture to say that most of my blog buddies have a different political outlook than I do.

Take heart...this, too, shall pass! And in the meantime...look how many comments you got! Who knew all those readers were out there just waiting to express themselves on your blog. I only wish that some of them were a bit more polite!

josey said...

starshine,

thank you for the reminder. ah, this is so me tho i'd never admit it (til now. hehe.). i'm a pretty easy goin goofy gal, and what's funny is that i find myself censoring more on my blog than IRL! funny, hey?

i have opinions and beliefs about a lot of things, but i'm always afraid i'll attract negative attention and i'm so nice it would probably make me cry. LOL! but you know what? i HAVE been struggling with a sense of self for a long time now, and i think i'll take this post of yours to heart...:)

thank you again! (((hugs)))

and saucy, while i didnt choose the same boyfriend you were hoping for, i am still hopeful :) i LOVED your post. creative, from the heart and funny. dont worry bout those anonymous comments (and others)--we all have a right to our opinion, including YOU! sometimes us Americans just get our panties in a bunch cause...well...we seem to like it. LOL!! just move right along!!!

anyhoo, i'm done rambling now! ;)