This post is due, in part, to another blogger who’s writing I have been very much enjoying (Virtual Brush Box). As part of one of her past posts she wrote what seems like a throw away phrase:
This phrase has been sitting in my mind since I read it and the timing of my reading it seems pleasingly opportune.
I had heard it before but right now, at this point in my life, it’s meaning seems deeper. In the past I have known people who made it abundantly clear that they thought of me as lesser. They let me know, with their words and actions, that they not only considered themselves as superior to me but that I was specifically inferior to them. Having made it a point over the past few years to rid my life of those people, should I meet anyone new who tried to inflict those opinions on me they would get very short shrift.
But the feelings you absorb by being surrounded by those people are hard to relinquish, they sink deeply into your mind and colour your perceptions for a long time. They leave shame and guilt in their wake.
I have worked long and hard to be able to say ‘Don’t laugh, it’s paid for’ about EVERYTHING in my life. I battled my demons and subbornly refused to settle for less than the goals I had set myself. They were small, personal, individual goals that are likely to be meaningless and irrelevant to anyone but me. I am not a millionaire. I do not own designer handbags. I do not drive a huge car or take month long holidays. But everything I own is paid for…by me…I doubt if the same can be said for those people from my past for whom enormous status symbols, even bigger weddings (several of them) and Instagram perfection are the only important things in their lives.
I can hold my head up knowing that (almost) everything I do is motivated by my desire to leave the world a better place because I was in it. Again, I find it hard to believe that those people from my past have ever even considered their impact on the world…other than what benefits it could bring to them.
‘Don’t laugh, it’s paid for’ applies to the lessons I’ve learnt, the values I’ve decided for myself and the strength of will that will never again allow those people access to my mind.
So thank you once again Virtual Brush Box (she also recommends exceedingly good books). It is impossible for us to know what effect our words will have on the people who read them but I believe in giving credit where credit is due and ‘don’t laugh, it’s paid for’ has comforted me significantly this week.