First, Step into the Arena

May is my month of unconditional support and positivity. Why? Because, I’m neither supportive or positive and I thought that maybe a change would do me some good. For whatever reason, I’ve been gifted the natural ability to always seen the resulting end of anything…a movie, a relationship, or career choice, and it’s never good. I can’t remember the last time I thought “wow that’s a great thing!” for someone else. Perhaps it’s a bit of jealously (embarrassing as it may be) perhaps it’s because I’m a Scorpio and the stars have been written to slat my perspective toward ultimate doom. That’s not to say that I haven’t been happy for people in my life. There are times where I’m genuinely happy or excited for someone, or when I think things will work out for them, but ultimately I approach everything searching for the catch – those little hairline fractures in the foundation that will ultimately cause the entire structure to come crashing down.

Recently, a friend of mine started getting really into motivational….things, and my natural inclination was to find out the fundamental flaw in the system. Is it the lack of any formal training in aiding in fundamentally changing people’s life? Perhaps. Is it the weird cult like following these people tend to cultivate – only to promise uniqueness but produce an army of sheep that feed only back into the machine? More than likely. Was it the strange connection to network marking companies that fundamentally leave people worse off than they are before? 1000%. But regardless, instead of just offering support for her, my reaction was to focus on all the reason why it wouldn’t work.

I’ve had a number of friends do things that are eye-roll worthy, but nothing really irks me the way instagram therapy does…which brings me to the arena. I’ve been on my own “journey” if you will, and it’s brought me to a number of places (mostly lined with crystal grids and candles celebrating the new moon) but it’s also brought me to my own small contingent of people who profess motivation and inspiration. One afternoon while attempting to unlock my own secret (see what I did there) the Universe triggered Netflix to place Brene Brown’s special on the top of my recommended list. There were a number of parts that spoke to me, but in particular the notion of not listening to critics who aren’t in the arena. And while, I think the main take away is supposed to be for those who are in the arena and being criticized, I realized I was the critic who was not in the area. Who was I to judge her for putting herself out there? Even if it fails, it’s not my duty in life to protect her and I can only be there to support her when she needs me.

The truth is, if I’m honest with myself, I’m in awe her lack of fear of failure, or her ability to at least confront it. There are many things that I don’t think I would ever do, purely because I suffer from imposter syndrome in every aspect of life. I’ve been on a kick to find joy in my life, and the only way to do that is to banish the anti-joy. The anti-joy is the criticism or the fear of the skepticism. The joy is leaning in to the elements of life and hoping for the best. If you are what you think, that thinking no one can be successful, won’t ultimately lead to success for anyone.

So here’s to stepping into the area….or watching in support from the sidelines. And to finding peace with all those who we are critical of…unless they’re in our area, in which case, all’s fair in love and war.

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