If you have lived long enough to take a few trips around the sun, you have probably at some point been on the receiving end of gossip or contempt. More often than not, unwarranted. One of my favourite quotes goes, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” It’s either that, or you are human and have made some poor choices. As we all do. Either way, you need to rise above the talk.
At one time in my life, I was a real people pleaser. I cared a lot about what people thought, until I was faced with an extremely difficult situation. If I loved my children, I had to stand up for what was right. No matter how much backlash I would receive. Which I received a lot of, because no one understood what was really going on. I was the talk of the town, I was yelled at, I was frowned upon. In fact, I had zero support. For the first time in my life, I had to learn how to be okay with be unliked, ridiculed, and alone. Guess what, I survived. And surprisingly, I thrived. I learned what it’s like to be free, and you can too.
Here’s the thing, whether the gossip has some truth to it or not, why would what other people say define you? Do they know your heart? Your motives? Your thoughts? Unlikely. People make poor judgement just by that alone. The only thing a gossiping person defines is their own character, not yours. Chances are if you are having to take a stand for something important, people are going to react. There is no escaping it. But opinions are only worth as much as the credit you give them.
We have to answer for everything we do and say, so be conscious of your choices. When you have made a poor choice, accept that, learn from it, and move on. Don’t let those voices hold you back. When you have taken a stand for something important, keep moving forward. The backlash means you are doing something right. People don’t like to be shaken from their comfort zone. But in time, the truth has a way of revealing itself.
Next, put things into perspective. Learn to forgive. Have you ever talked about someone? Have you ever misunderstood a situation? Or have you ever given your opinion out without a second thought? You probably never knew the impact it might have had.
There is no truth in shame, no wisdom from a gossip. Don’t waste your energy trying to prove yourself, use it to improve, stand up, rise up, and rise above.