Lately I’ve encountered a lot of judgment. I wrote a non-fiction book about my personal journey towards burnout. It includes stories from my childhood which reveal behavior of my relatives that is less-than-favorable. The story is not about them, however, it’s about me and how I became so sick. The background was a necessary part of the story but it’s not the whole story.
I’m amazed at what people take from my book. Some people object to an arbitrary paragraph, failing to see the big picture. One person seems to think I wrote the book to attack people. Some people think I made things up. It’s my story, my experience, my memories and my journey. It’s a story where I’m vulnerable and admit my own failings and mistakes along the way. It’s honest, vulnerable and it took a lot of courage to write and publish it.
I find these judgments puzzling because the purpose of the book is to help people. It’s to show people what it looks like to get that sick, how it happens and I also provide strategies for others not to get there. I’m on a quest to show people what stress can do and to help people avoid the depth of illness that I experienced.
This week I also encountered a lot of prejudice towards spiritual beliefs that may be different from one’s own. Just because someone’s beliefs are different, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or evil. I find it fascinating how much we hate being judged and yet how we all do it to others so freely. And so often it’s the people who have been judged the most who are so eager to judge others. Maybe it’s such a habit that we don’t realize what we are doing.
Perhaps this is just one aspect of becoming a non-fiction writer of something so personal. It takes courage to write in the way I do but it is my style and I have no choice. I can’t begin writing fiction because it doesn’t appeal to me and it wouldn’t feel right. Maybe it’s just part of the package of my new career. It also provides great insight into those who judge me so willingly and it guides me in knowing where I stand in my relationships. It’s a gift, in a sense.
I am not deterred and I continue to write what I write. I’m very happy to be a contributor to an online publication called Talent Talks now. It’s an exciting addition to my portfolio and I’m thrilled to be part of it. I’m focusing my efforts on my public speaking in the first half of this year. It requires a lot of preparation and it does stretch me in ways that are uncomfortable at times.
But growth is never simple or easy. Many people don’t understand my career change, my change in beliefs or my lifestyle but that’s okay. I understand it and I accept that this is the path to where I’m going. I’m busier than I have ever been and that is outstanding news for someone who has a relatively new career. I have also received some fantastic reviews in person, on Amazon and Goodreads. I’m choosing to focus on those from real readers who are in my target market.
I’m enjoying networking, I’m working on my speeches, writing articles and pursuing interesting side projects that bring me great joy and learning. Life is very good if I focus on all the good and turn away from the judgment. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, to offer them encouragement and to respect their beliefs. My time and energy are better spent on those who love me and build me up. After all, we get more of what we focus on, so let it be on love.Follow me: