Gossip is a Form of Connection… and I Don’t Want a Part of It

A couple of years ago I heard a group of people making fun of me after I left the room. In a fury, I started writing a short and not-that-sweet blog post about it- a post titled “Gossip: It’s Low Vibe Energy.”

I often write about the things in life that irritate me, and almost immediately felt better afterward. I’ve written about the things in life that are painful- heartbreak, my experience in treatment, depression, and trauma. I’ve revisited stories of high school bullies and people who pushed me out of their life. I’ve talked about my alcoholism before people could start whispering about where I had been for a month or my poor behavior in the past. I’ve tried to own my side of the street, and took back my narrative before others tried to construe the truth- or think their words would break me.

I’ve noticed how gossip isn’t necessarily meant to be malicious or cruel toward other people, though. As a person who used to have a habit of taking everything personally, I was deeply hurt when people gossiped about me. Whether it was a flat out lie or laughing at my misfortune, I withdrew from connecting with people out of fear. For years I kept to myself and avoided interaction whenever possible.

This all began to change when I moved to the city. In San Francisco, being quirky was widely accepted. In New York, it was encouraged to drink during the day. In Boston, well, people were more concerned with themselves than even giving you a second glance, let alone gossip.

Now back in my hometown of 14,000 people in the city proper, of course gossip runs wild. Whether it’s school board scandal or frowning on changes in the community, people thrive on the dirt. They feed off of it.

I’ve learned an important lesson though- one even more pertinent than owning my narrative:

A lot of people use gossip to connect.

They talk about others to feel heard. They whisper about people behind their backs to gain some sort of validation from their peers.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Connection is a powerful thing, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with sharing their own truth. They connect based on other people, shallow aspects of life, and material gain. They judge other people by what they have or what they’ve accomplished, but not what’s inside their soul.

Today, I connect based on truth.

I’ve been invited to meet old friends and I’ve received messages from acquaintances who are merely curious about my personal life. I’m aware not all of these people truly care about me as a person, but they do care about what sort of drama or problems I may have.

It’s okay, though- I’ve beat them to it.

I’ve already shared what’s really going on with me throughout the web, and I hope to have more opportunities to share my story with the world. Whether it’s public speaking or writing, I know my experiences have helped people learn they’re not alone in their struggles.

My own struggles have brought me strength, for I have overcome them. Gossip may still be low vibe energy, and it’s not something I will participate in today. I wish the best for those who have snickered behind my back or tried to watch me fall; because today, I continue to rise. I hope they find their own way of doing so, too.

Five Ways To Live A High Vibe Life

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I’m a big believer that life is what you make it.

Circumstances may not always seem to get better on the outside, but we do– we have the choice to change within, and to grow stronger from the challenges life throws our way.

There have been a variety of things that have helped my life improve over the past couple of years.  Happiness is cumulative; we don’t magically become content overnight, but each and every day we have the opportunity to add positive things that will build over time.

Start Your Day With An Intention

Having a mental map of what you want to accomplish each morning is important to start the day on the right foot.  Do you intend to be kinder?  Are you hoping to be more grateful?  Would you like to remain mindful?

Maybe your intention is small, but it’s important to remember it throughout the day.  It could make all the difference in turning a frustrating day into a beautiful one!

Eat Clean

Giving up meat and most processed foods has been a slow-go; although I have dabbled with going meatless for the last few of years, it wasn’t until recently that I took it seriously.  Boy, does clean eating change things.

My energy has sky rocketed, workouts are more enjoyable, and I’m doing my part to help the environment.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

I’m proud to say I’m a happily sober person.  I used to begrudgingly tell people “I don’t drink,” but today I own my sobriety.  It makes me who I am.

Being substance-free has empowered my life in so many ways.  My intuition is keen, my health has improved, my mind is clear, and I make better decisions.  I no longer wake up in strange places, or do I say things I later forget.

Many of my role models, such as Brené Brown and Wayne Dyer, have written about the benefits of living alcohol-free, and how being sober has enriched their lives.  Why would I want to fit in with the drinking crowd when I could be helping someone who may be struggling by sharing my own story?  That’s badass, if you ask me.

Stay In Your Lane

This was the best advice anyone has ever given me.  When you get into the middle of someone else’s drama (especially when it doesn’t pertain you), you’re immediately sucked into their low vibes.

Sometimes we try and be “fixers,” and that’s totally okay- but know your limits.  It’s great to want to help people, but understand when it’s time to step back.

Gossip in general is low vibe energy, and remember- when you point the finger, there’s three pointing back at yourself.  Many use gossip as a bonding tool (haven’t we all?), but it’s some of the most harmful and hurtful types of bonding there can be.  Be mindful of the company you keep- are they benefiting and enriching your life, or causing you chaos?

Make Time For Joy

As you go about your daily commute, stop and smell the flowers.  Take the time to go in for that latte.  Play in the sprinklers.  Enjoy the sunset.

The most simple pleasures are sometimes to most beneficial- remember not to take them for granted.

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You’re Not Responsible For What Others Think Of You

As I walked through the Harvard Coop the other day, I passed the self-help section for inspiration.  Per usual, something stuck out:

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Just when I needed it, this book struck me (and now I’m #1 on the waiting list to check it out at the library… more thoughts on it to follow!). 

Over the past few months I have been working on setting healthy boundaries, staying in my own lane, and speaking my mind without cowering down.  Not only have I been attracting people who have been in alignment with my values, people at a lower vibration haven’t been approaching me as often.  Some people in my life have even thanked me for my honesty; I’ve shared things they may not have said themselves and have helped to inspire them to be a little bit more transparent.

Although I’ve never thought of it this way, it’s a courageous act to put an end to relentless people pleasing.  As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”

If I were to walk into a room with 10 people, there would be 10 different opinions of me. Do I need to take each one to heart?  Do I need to conform to please each and every one of these people?

Of course not- that would be silly.

One of the biggest freedoms I have found is being happy within my own skin, independent of what the outside world has to say.  One of my biggest joys is to connect with other people on a deeper, meaningful level, but it’s not possible to please everyone.

First, you must be comfortable within your own truth.

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