"Ding Dong, the witch is dead." That was the tweet.
stung deeply. I guess it was meant to.
But, it also wasn't devastating.
It would have been. Two years earlier, I would have cried. I would have retreated and tried to pull the blanket over my head. I would have been really hurt. I would have taken and absorbed every drop of blame, both the deserved and the undeserved. I would have been completely broken by the criticism.
But this wasn't two years earlier. This was now. This was two years of learning who I was and who I wasn't. This was two years spent living and making mistakes and learning from them. This was two years of friendship with a mentor who repeatedly taught me how to let things roll off my back (one of the hardest lessons I've ever learned). This was two years of learning to listen to the people who cared about me and who mattered to me.
It used to be that everyone's opinions mattered to me. I wanted everyone to like me. I needed everyone to like me. And so, everyone's opinions made up what I thought of myself. I even changed myself to fit who I thought other people wanted me to be because I needed their opinions to be positive ones. Even, I guess, if their opinions of me (while possibly favorable) weren't actually who I was.
But I've slowly come to understand that everyone liking me is never going to happen. Positive opinions from everyone are never going to exist. I had to come to a place where I understood that this was okay. And this was okay because there did exist people who loved me for who I was, who liked me for who I was and am. I came to learn that it wasn't the criticisms of the world that mattered, but the criticisms of these people. That if I was okay with these people, the people who were important to me, then it wasn't so important that I be okay with the whole world.
So, a year later from this "Ding Dong the witch is dead"? It still stings a bit. And it still hurts. But I don't let the criticism cripple me because I know who I am and I know who's important.
I hope you won't let the criticism cripple you, either. You're loved by someone, and it's them who matters.