December 20, 2015

I Am Not Nice: On Living Life in Color.

watercolor woman

Warning: Strong language ahead!

I’m getting real sick and tired of being told everyone’s absolute truths—their hypotheses. If X then Y. Follow the formula, play by the rules.

If you eat meat, you might as well just say “Eff you” to Mother Nature.

If you drink Starbucks, you hate Jesus and might worship at a homemade altar to Monsanto. 

If you share your heart and ask too many questions, you’re a troublemaker and not to be trusted.

If you won’t sleep with a married man, you’re not nice.

These are all messages I’ve received in the last week. One week. And I’m over it. I get one chance to do this life thing, and I don’t give one single hoot about what anyone’s absolutely certain about.

What I said to the tall dark and handsome married man is what I would say to anyone who feels the shame-based need to tear others down for politely disagreeing:

You don’t know me. You don’t know my heart. You don’t my story. And so I say to you with all of the love in my heart: You can take your opinion and shove it up your ass.

I want to be around the people who are curious, who say, “I don’t know about that, but I’d like to learn.” My favorite people on this earth are the ones who do their own thing, courageously blaze their own trail and let me blaze mine without telling me I’m doing it wrong.

Because if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s this. I will not be lying on my deathbed saying, “I wish I would have been less curious. I wish I would have just followed the rules. I wish I would have been small and quiet and polite.”

When we get these messages telling us who we should be, what we should believe and how we should act, there are two common reactions:

1. Hang our heads low for being so stupid and then blindly follow along with this new truth that doesn’t feel true—but if you say so, I guess it’s okay.

2. Decide that these people and their messages totally suck and are worth less than the dog shit on your shoe.

But neither one is right. The only person qualified to tell you what’s best for your life is you. The only person who gets to decide what’s okay for you and what’s not is you!

Hopefully you’re following a strong compass that’s pointing to a kind and loving true North, and if not, I would encourage you to find one. Having that compass makes it lightyears easier to treat yourself and others with grace.

Also, find other people who ask too many questions, who think maybe there’s a win/win strategy somewhere in this game called life. Find the people who think that your bleeding heart and outrageous imagination are exactly what the world needs.

The people that send messages of black and white—of win/lose—are the ones who need your grace the most. Living in either/or gives them a false sense of control and worth. Following the rules is a deposit in their self-worth bank, and ticketing the rule breakers is double. They collect your shame like a parking violation and add it to their account.

But it doesn’t work like that.

I’m willing to bet that we’ve all been guilty of this before, eh? I certainly have.

Someone at some point in time showed us a better way. Someone loved us well enough to see the light. It’s time to start returning the favor, every day for the rest of our lives.

The best thing you and I can do is live our lives on our own terms with open hearts and open arms for those who live in the world of black and white.

I’m going to live this wild life, one curious and courageous day at a time. I’m going to do it my own way.

And you know what, it’s not going to be “nice.”

It’s going to messy and colorful, and I’m going to have to say “I’m sorry” now and then because mistakes are inevitable with a life in bold color.

I am a woman. I am an original. I am one of one. I am a bleeding heart and outrageous imaginings.

Just like you. And you. And you.


Relephant Read:

Rules For Not Giving A F*ck. {Adult Language}


Author: Krista Winbigler

Editor: Toby Israel

Images: timies art/Flickr // Gareth Newstead/Unsplash


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Krista Winbigler