Something happened this past weekend that for lack of a better word, I found "interesting.".Some might look at it as informative, but the only substantive thing I can really take from it is that people think highly of my friend Molly and I already knew that! Still, I surprised myself in two ways; first, that truly old insecure habits of thinking are not so easily rid of and secondly, I am getting so much better at working through what makes me cringe. Most of the time these days I have a genuine strong sense of self, that "Empress Dammit," that while sensitive to other people's feelings finds their critical opinions of her fairly insignificant.
So, as you read this post, you may think I am off on a rant or feeling sorry for myself. That's not the case. My hopes in exposing my most vulnerable self as well as my process of recovery from, after years of trauma and abuse at the hands of those I should have been able to trust, a very unhappy life is that even one person reading this will know that they are not alone. There is hope. There is happiness in self knowledge and joy in recovery!
Some of us go through life always feeling like that unpopular kid, the last one picked for the team, the only one uninvited to the party. Everything feels personal. This can come from years of domestic violence, chronic criticism from those close to us or one traumatic event such as a sexual assault that brought our world crashing down. Or our self esteem may have been slowly crushed by nothing so dramatic. I seek to help those who constantly question their worth by comparing themselves to others, feel as if nothing they ever do is enough, or that no one sees them for who they are.
This is my process of claiming myself. This is my process of breaking through some deeply embedded negative programming! If writing about these things can help ANYONE, it is worth it.
So, buckle up, this blog goes several places. There's exciting news and creative ventures, and interesting (at least to me) observations that lead to some heavier fare.
*As usual, there are a lot of little linky "Easter Eggs" that may take you off on a tangent if you like. Some are fun, some are a bit "blue" and not for everyone so be warned.
Here we go!
Molly and I have had a website idea in the works for some time. I bought the domain name we wanted over a year ago and it’s been “that thing we are planning” for way too long. So, this past weekend, I vowed to at least get the page up and running! Now we’ll be forced to work on content if we don’t want it languishing!
Information! I Want Information!
While working on the bios, since Molly wasn't there to tell me what she thought was important, I decided to put a post on Facebook asking people who know Molly well to give me some information on accomplishments of hers I might have missed and anything they thought worth mentioning. I got an amazing flood of rich commentery in response. Since most of it was about her character and people's experiences with her and much was perfectly worded, I got the idea to keep our bios as is, but also to add a "What people have to say about ..." section at the end.
Of course this meant that I would need to do the same thing for my bio, so I threw it out there, shortly after I posted about Molly, tagging a lot of the same people as well as some who have known and worked with me for years. The response was dramaticly different. Let's just say, people didn't have much to say, or much of substance to say about me. They did have nice things to say, but, results ranged from comments on how pretty my photo was, to jokes, to simple answers with one or two basic compliments from some of the same people who gave Molly a paragraph.
This may sound like a "sour grapes" attitude, but no, for whatever reason one round of comments was a flood the other a trickle.
Granted, some of these people have known Molly much longer than they’ve known me, but I thought they knew me pretty well. If someone asked me to say something about any of the people who I asked for comments, I could and would certainly do more than a generalized sentence. Maybe that's just another thing that makes me different from most people. I really know the impact a comment or compliment can have so I tend not to skimp! Some of the briefest responses came from people who I've gone through hell AND high water for and from people who have seen me continuously be of help to others despite going through the worst of personal circumstances.
The point was not to force me to balance out the "Things people have to say about Molly" section by "making up" equally weighted compliments about my character for the “Things people have to say about Lorelei” portion. In the past, people just saying I was pretty in a picture would have sent me over the moon! Now I appreciate it, but not so much when I’m looking for something of more substance that I can post on a bio! Surely people know my character and deeds by now!
So, the experience left me:
- A bit frustrated
- A bit curious. Why did I get such vastly different responses?
- A bit vexed as my old insecurities started to pop up
- A bit warm and fuzzy about some of the nice things that were said
- A bit amused by some of the comments that weren't what I was looking for.
The Empress Dammit ,
On Learning How To Accept Results
You Had Rather Not.....
Thankfully, now that I have “The Empress Dammit” attitude, I'm not feeling hurt or slighted or reading things into this as I would have in the past. (This is not to say, I didn't have to go through a little process in order to come to that point as you'll see when you read on) I didn't really get what I needed and that is the crux of it. I don't need to make up a personal reason to explain why I didn't get what I needed.
I remain more than a smidge curious about the reasons why people didn't extol many of the virtues I'd like to think, they think I have, when they knew I was “listening.” And I’m kind of disappointed that the inequity in feedback will prevent me from doing the things with the bios that were inspired by those wonderful comments about Molly. I think it would have been swell!
In all honesty, it was hard not to make comparisons, impossible not to pause and hold a comment like, "A woman of the highest, more precise integrity!" said about Molly (and so very true) up against, "bunnies love you!" and "such a lovely smile" (Also true, just not nearly as impressive) and not deflate for a minute!
How do I respond to this "feedback?" Is there any need to? I thought I was putting much more out into the world and to have what is mirrored back be so out of focus instaed of what I expected makes me want to question if I am doing enough. Yet, there are so many times when people see me so clearly and I know I am on the absolute right path!
I have to admit that for that first moment, I saw the disparity between the comments and thought, "I guess I have to try harder." Try harder to do what? Be a better person? To be taken more seriously? Do more for people? Do a better job of being seen and heard? What? What do I have to do?
Oh goodness! While I will always want to do more to improve things for others! I have to say, I am doing just fine! I'm working hard. I'm seeing progress. i'm even getting close to some of my goals. "I'm good enough, and I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"
Molly and I are both fabulous people. Molly deserves all that praise! If I think I deserved higher praise than I got, It doesn't follow that I should measure MYSELF by other people's opinions of MOLLY!
I’m still working on it, but I realize I have come a long way in not taking things personally. Molly would be the first to remind me that, no information is exactly that, no information.
First off, it's Facebook.
People might see your post or tag or they might not. They might intend to comment and then other things (hopefully real life) will distract them. We can’t know why people respond (or don't) the way they do (or don't). The response or lack thereof is only part of the info.
It could be that people have plenty of nice things to say about me, but they feel awkward when I am the one asking them for the info. Perhaps the results might have been different if Molly had put the same question out about me to the community. Perhaps not.
It could be that despite all I do, people really don't SEE me after all. I hope that’s not the case. It could mean or not mean a whole lot of things, but until I get the actual info all it means is I can’t include all those lovely things that people said because it would be glaringly odd to have one bio gushing with compliments and the other iced with lighter fare.
Ultimately, I'm grateful for all the comments people made and for another opportunity to learn. And, even though The Empress is entitled to make judgement, I'm accepting all comments as what they are, gifts given freely and with good will. I may not be able to use them on the website but my heart can make very good use of them. Thank you all for your kind words and willingness to help!
News! Glorious News!
Come to the dark side! We serve our cupcakes with rum drinks!
Warning! You could get tipsy just reading the page!
Just The Posts Maam!
* I have omitted the names to respect the privacy of the friends who made posts!
The post about Molly got 23 "likes" and four people left fantastic comments! I got 11 "likes” and comments from 10 people, including my mom who I had not tagged (Thanks Mom) and several people who don’t know me, but are friends of the people I tagged. Rather than compare them and say I had kind of an epic fail, yet not a total fail, I say, eh, it’s Fac-E-Book!
Digression Opportunity: Why does Molly call it Fac-E Book? Watch THIS
Post 1: In WhichMolly is Fabulous!
On the list so far, CAYA, You Tube, Laughter Yoga, Anthropology, ritual theater, work with pagan organizations, tarot.. So, what else?
(This is in reference to Molly’s wonderful blog, “The Wishbringer” which posts bay area events weeky and also has a feature, “Permission to”)
Lorelei Moon YES! PERSON1! I did mention her blog and there is a link to it!
PERSON 1: She's a fabulous welcomer. She makes it look so easy to greet you and make sure you feel at home in a new situation, and then she makes you feel glad you came back. And by "you" I of course mean "me."
(This also, is so true. Go to an event and Molly is often the first person to greet you, hug you, andmake you instantly feel at home!
PERSON 2: Friend to children, babysitter extraordinaire, and fairy of serendipity!
Lorelei Moon Ooh, PERSON 1, I like the way you word that. And it is something I would like to get across! Thanks!
PERSON 3 · 19 mutual friends
A veritable font of information and a fantastic hugger!
Lorelei Moon OMG! Yes! I must include the hugging! Perhaps we should have a little “what people have to say about us” section after the so called serious list of accomplishments. Hmmm.
PERSON 4: A woman of the highest, more precise integrity, a fantastic writer, an incredible storyteller, the geek who knows everything, someone who truly loves you even when she is being stern with you, a thrift store genius, full of excellent health information, a beautiful ecstatic dancer, a great drummer, a wonderful priestess!
Lorelei Moon So, looking at this I am now thinking perhaps I will have the blurb of interests and accomplishments followed by "what people have to say about Molly" I think that might be fun.
Post 2: In Which A Whole Lot of,Well Not Much, Happens
but People Do Have Some Nice Things To Say About Me.
(This is someone whose work I admire and we joke around on each other’s pages frequently)
PERSON 6: · (8 Mutual Friends ) What a cute pic! such a lovely smile!
Lorelei Moon Uh, Will, that's not exactly what I was looking for, but thanks.
Lorelei Moon Ack! It's a Stuart Smalley moment! "I am just a fool.. I.. I don't know what I'm doing.. they're gonna cancel the show.. I'm gonna die homeless and penniless and twenty pounds overweight.. and no one will ever love me.."
Nobody's going to have ANYTHING to say about me are they?
PERSON 7: that pic is soooooo you!! i love it!!!
(While I appreciate the compliment on the picture, PERSON 7 is someone I know well. i really admire her and we’ve both been there for each other in tough situations so I was surprised she didn't say more.)
Lorelei Moon Ok, I may have made a grave mistake here! (oh gosh, there's an unintended pun as this photo was taken in a cemetery) I appreciate all the comments on the photo (oh heck I love a compliment and I will save it for my next shitty day) but what I was hoping for was content for my "About Lorelei Moon" bio section on Molly's and my site.
PERSON 8: That when it comes to singing Fleetwood Mac....no one compares!!! Hahahaha
(PERSON 8 met me at a party where Molly and I sang and danced to most of a Fleetwood Mac album and it was a blast! Our joint mission on FB seems to be making each other laugh, frequently!)
Lorelei Moon: PERSON 8, when I was younger I sang very low (could even sing base) and my band used to push me to do Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks songs so I learned to do a pretty good fake. It helped that I was a little gypsy witch who loved shawls and fabric. Now my range has stretched a bit and I have to work to do it!
Person 9: (2 Mutual Friends)
can't wait to check it out!
(She had originally typed that she had checked it out, hence my response)
Lorelei Moon Person 9 what did you check out? Or was that just a misstype? I haven't given the link yet for the new site. Or did you mean my current web site? www,loreleimoon.net which also needs yet more work! It never ends!
Person 9: I meant I checked out your page...forgive me, I am a little tired & goofy right now..LOL!
Person 1; You are vivacious. You are good at asking for what you need and being thankful when you get it. You are a good appreciator. (Did I spell that right?)
(Person 1 as in Molly’s comments. Thanks Person 1! This is a woman I like and admire greatly and I know she means it!)
Person 10: What a great picture.
(Person 10 is someone who doesn’t know me well yet,but has observed me working pretty hard and definitely knows some things about me so I was glad she added more!)
Person 10: You are honest, a good communicator, and very generous.
Person 4: You have an unflagging cheerful disposition, and bunnies love you!
(There’s some irony in this as Person 4 and I have had some disagreements about my being negative in the past but I think she gets me now! Huzzah! The next one, made my day!”)
Person 11: Always able to find the bright side of even the worst situations, pet caretaker extraordinaire, voluptuous siren, The Empress Dammit.
My Mom: Intellectually curious and open-minded, brave, adaptable, friendly.
(Thanks Mom! I’m surprised she didn’t say something about my always being willing to try things and go places she’d be afraid to. This is one of the nice things my mom says. She thinks I am brave!)
(And Here is where it just disintegrates to silly. I give up!)
PERSON 5: Likes sick, twisted books about mermaids and zombies.
Lorelei Moon: PERSON 5, Yes, I m a sick twisted mermaid who is a zombie before she gets her coffee!
PERSON 5: THERE IT IS! I knew I could coax it out of you!
(That last bit, just may need to go on my bio after all!)
The Sound Clip below sums it all up nicely! Thanks Gilda Radner! Now Press the Play arrow below!