Okay, now that you’ve taken care of that, I’ll continue my story. So I get this scathing email from him (yes I use words like scathing because I have a degree in English and I’m supposed to, plus it just sounds more dramatic 😉 ).
In it he is basically tears apart my book and tells me how I’m wrong for mostly everything I’ve written. How could I do such a thing? How could I write about certain people in the way I wrote about them?
He criticized not only the content but the structure as well. I was in shock and upset, so much so that I had to close the email and take several deep breaths.
Criticized Under the Guise of Friendship
This ex and I were still friends and, I thought, had a good understanding of each other. I trusted him with parts of my life and never expected such an asinine-showing of his derrière…yes he showed his a$$ and I was pissed. WTF!!!
I took some time to think about it and tried to see it from his perspective. But as hard as I tried I could not see how my book had anything to do with him. I never mentioned his name and I never gave any clue about the time he and I dated.
I came to the conclusion that his criticism was not really about me but about him.
Life Lesson #1: Anyone who takes offense and lashes out (even if it’s under the guise of “friendship”) about something you’ve done whether it’s write a book, poem, or song, has personal issues to deal with that has nothing to do with you. Often they will make it your problem but it’s simply smoke and mirrors.
Life (and My Book) is a Mirror Where the Flaws Show Up
In all honesty, my book was a mirror and what do mirrors do? They show you every flaw on your face, every spinach speck on your teeth, and every booger in your eye.
A mirror shows you…you. So that’s what he took away from the book. His ego was bruised because he was arrogant enough to think the book was all about him. But it is so far from the truth… Sure he may have had some of the characteristics of the men in the book, but other men I’ve dated had the same characteristics. Hint: That is why I wrote the book…dating the same kind of man was getting me nowhere! Ugghh!!!
Never Invalidate Your Truth By Apologizing
I don’t apologize for writing No More Crumbs. Why? Because I know it will help other women sit up and take notice of the relationships in their lives. They will see just how much ego plays in the deterioration and demise of the relationship; including their own ego and the guy they are dealing with.
To apologize for what I wrote would invalidate my experience and make me second-guess my decision to bare my soul to the world.
Of course, my intention was to never hurt anyone, but it is not my priority to suppress my message to make others feel warm and fuzzy.
Life Lesson #2: The truth hurts, but at the same time it sets you free. We all have the freedom of choice to face and accept that truth or reject it and keep walking around with blinders on our eyes.
Embracing My Freedom to Choose Self-Expression
My mantra for a few years has been, “People make choices and I can’t make them do what they don’t want to do…” This applies to me as well. I had a choice and I made it based on the knowledge I had at the time.
You may not have written a book, but you may have a story, a truth, and revelation you need to speak in your life. You may hurt a few people’s feelings and bruise a few egos, but do not remain silent.
Life Lesson #3: Speak and embrace your truth once you recognize what it is. It may take time and courage to do it. I promise you that the fear will be there but you are stronger than the fear. I had to be stronger than the fear when I pushed the button to get my book published. It brought on a moderate fire-storm but it didn’t get in the way of my bigger purpose.
Out of Pain Comes Purpose
We (women) all go through excruciating pain to birth a child and to even be born into this world. The same can be said about truth and doing the hard things that matter.
People may hate you or reject you when you decide to create a better life for yourself. Your guy may think you’ve lost your mind when you dump him because you are tired of being treated like crap or with indifference. Your ex may hold on for dear life when you stop arguing with him about doing the right thing and release him because you’ve decided to be set free from drama.
No matter what their reactions are, keep smiling and keep moving forward. Ultimately, you must live your own life. Ultimately, only you can decide what makes you happy.