Just over a decade ago, it happened for the first time.
At 7am after my routine 4:30am workout, I was walking across my high school campus and said “Good Morning” to a guy I always see.
On this particular day however, he stopped and said, “You know what? I hate you. You’re way too happy in the morning and it’s irritating as f**k.”
I didn’t know this guy well at all. In fact, we were barely acquaintances.
In high school, I was a lot more reserved than I am now. I worked insanely hard, was quite friendly, had a lot of leadership roles and many friends, but only one or two best friends that I told things to and held close.
I did not yet understand anything about belief systems and certainly was not in a mental position to shrug it off or even know what to say back. I was not comfortable with confrontation and worked hard to stay drama free.
When he said this, it was like a knife went through my chest and came out the other side.
This was the first time someone cut so deeply into the core of who I was – my happiness and authenticity – and proceeded to leave a scar.
A few years later I was in a prestigious leadership through action program at Arizona State University. There were two professors, one of which I was very close to. I babysat her kids and looked up to her tremendously. I adored her and took what she taught and how she guided me very seriously.
One night we were in break out groups and I was in a peak state, flowing with immense passion and telling her and a few other people in the class about a project that was absolutely rocking it.
At one point, she threw her head back, laughed and said “Have you taken your medicine today?”
My face immediately turned red, my heart sank into my stomach and I said “I don’t take medicine.”
She said, “I know, but with all that energy, you might need some.”
There I was in a peak state sharing my most authentic self and passion and once again, knife, chest… and you know the rest.
Multiple times in my life, I’ve been hated-on for my happiness.
In fact, it happened again last week.
I’ve been ridiculed for my passion, my drive, my focus.
I’ve been told to slow down, take it easy, do one thing at a time and not move so fast.
I’ve been squeezed into perfect little boxes, only to find my limbs randomly popping out because I just didn’t fit.
These experiences caused me to develop beliefs about myself that told me I wasn’t good enough as I am.
I shouldn’t let my passion lead because then I won’t be loved.
I shouldn’t ask others for help so I can prove I don’t need them, I’m not weak and I can do this alone.
And on… and on… and on.
Of course, simultaneous to this (because life is not linear), there has also been an immense amount of love.
An immense amount of success and excitement sprinkled with amazing new experiences…
An immense amount of people who love the passion, want to be part of it and join my teams sight unseen because, as they say, just know it will be amazing because I’m doing it.
An immense amount of opportunity…
So here’s the thing, my amazing partner in world changing shenanigans…
It was never about me.
When people jab at you, it’s not about you either.
It’s about their insecurities. They make it mean something negative about themselves when they can’t match your energy, passion and drive.
YOU and your SHINE are needed.
YOU in all your power expressed are CRITICAL for this world.
YOU, as you are, are PERFECT in your imperfections.
It is NOT your responsibility to convince someone who isn’t ready or simply isn’t one of your people to be one.
It is NOT your responsibility to change or conform to make someone else more comfortable.
It is NOT your responsibility to heal the whole world.
It is, however, your responsibility to be ALL you and do everything you can for as long as you can to make the dreams in your heart, in alignment with your purpose and soul a REALITY.
Not someday, TODAY.
There is no additional time now to wonder if this is the right thing to do… you will discover yourself THROUGH the work you were born to do.
The work needs you and YOU need the work.
In the process, call people up to meet you where you are. Invite them to your world.
Drop down a hand, but NOT your standards, confidence or self worth.
Do not take it personally when someone does not understand you or like who you are.
It’s okay. It’s not about you, it’s about their life experiences and beliefs about the world.
Onward, my unstoppable comrade.
Run towards it and do not ever look back.
Hand in hand, back to back, together we rise,