90-to-40: Funhouse mirrors

Day 7:

So here it is... just one week until my 40th birthday. I've written my ass off - even when I didn't want to or when the topic was uncomfortable.  Up to this point... I've tried to be as straightforward as possible while maintaining some integrity.

But... no one who has ever achieved great things has ever taken the safe road. At times in my life, I have been bold and daring. I don't feel like I've achieved that yet on this project.

While I am not trying to prove anything, I am trying to challange myself and find a new level of personal growth. So... I'm just gonna say this once (and, I'm really saying it to myself).

I am tired of defining myself by how others see me and I will not accept it anymore.

If you are not with me, you are against me. If you do not support my dreams, you are crushing them. If you are actively hurting me or the people I love with your personal hang ups and judgement... then you will likely be left behind.

It doesn't mean you're bad. It doesn't mean I have anything but love for you.  And... it doesn't mean I wish bad things for you. But... if I am not "good for you" then you are probably equally "not good for me." And... that is okay.

That may not sound too groundbreaking,  but it's big for me. Up to this moment, I haven't felt the need to make such a declaration of independence.  While I may have shown it with my actions, I feared how it would sound to say aloud.

The fact is that I'm not really speaking to any one person in my life right now. If you worried it might be you... well then you probably have a guilty conscious. I'm speaking to the part of ME that allows others to view me with contempt, treat me with disrespect or expect me to put up with selfish, hurtful behavior.

Life is too short to absorb negativity from those who try to magnify my faults just to feel better about themselves. I'm tired of seeing my reflection in distorted mirrors. I need to have people in my life who help me see and understand the good things about life... not the bad.

I've let too many emotional vampires bleed me dry. My forties will be about showing gratitude for and honoring the positive relationships in my life. This decade will be about what is possible... not what is impossible.

Past mistakes are in the past. Today... and tomorrow don't have to be mistakes. I don't have to accept limiting and hindering situations out of obligation, social norms, or fear. I can redefine who I am, how I am treated, and how I treat others.

I once heard that "we do not see others as they are... we see them as WE are." What I am saying, then... is that if I see myself as how you see me... I'm really just seeing a projection of you. And... I understand that the reverse is also true. So... I'd better start finding the good in you, or take a long, hard look at myself before judging you.

Bottom line... I will see the best in you and expect the same in return. But it cannot, and will not be one-sided. I am far too old for that.

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