As often happens, I find a meme, decide to share it on our Embracing Health Facebook page (click here to follow us) and then get inspired to write a blog about the contents of that meme. Today is no different. Today I found a meme that is pictured below.
The sad truth is that people who put their health first, choose to buy organic, shun pharmaceutical medications, experiment with raw foods, swallow garlic cloves when sick with a cold, and get excited when the latest batch of kombucha is ready for drinking, are still a small minority in the big scheme of things. And people like this, little fish in big ponds, can often come up against ‘haters’.
Now just before I go on, I want to make it clear that I am not saying this is the track, the only track or the right track. The above example is MY track, and knowing that, I have had plenty of experience with people trying to pull me off it.
When I was young- 17 years old to be exact, I didn’t want to drink alcohol. I didn’t like the taste, I didn’t want to get messy like some of the girls I had been at parties with, I didn’t want to end up in a room with some boy and I most certainly didn’t want to vomit the next day (to this day I have a phobia of vomiting!). But at 17, you either drank, or you were a nerd, a loser, a geek, or a priss. So I would empty out a SubZero bottle, fill it with water and wander around parties sipping on that all night. I couldn’t take the ‘haters’. I didn’t have the confidence to just be me.
When I got terrible acne at 24, so many people close to me told me to give up on natural medicine. My parents begged me to take the drugs, doctors shook their head and told me I was a silly girl, I even overheard my work colleagues saying what a shame I was so stubborn and wouldn’t do the medication, I had been such a pretty girl…. It was this incident that made me find my confidence. I had found my track and I wasn’t stepping off it. Natural medicine was the way to go for me, and you know what? It did work in the end.
But let’s talk a little more about the term ‘haters’. They don’t hate you. They don’t even dislike you. Often they love you. What makes them feel uncomfortable is the fact that you have found your track and you feel happy and secure in the fact that you have your feet planted firmly on your own personal yellow brick road. The ‘haters’ are often still off in the poppy fields. Sure, it’s a fun place to hang out, but after a while, everyone will get that gut feeling that something is missing, something is not right, and they should be somewhere else. That is a seriously frightening thing to feel.
Often the people who try to sidetrack you are those people who know they are off track, but have no idea how to get out of that poppy field. They are stuck, and it scares them. They believe if they can gather a group of people around them who are in the same place, then it’ll all be OK. They won’t feel lost or scared, because they’ll have their friends all around them. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. I can tell you I have never felt more alone than when I left my path in my early 20’s, to start partying and drinking every night. I was surrounded by people telling me I was doing the right thing, but under my skin it felt so very wrong.
My message today is two fold. The first is just as the meme says “Don’t get sidetracked by people who are not on track”. Secondly, learn to love the ‘haters’. Understand they feel threatened and intimidated by your steadfastness. You have both their fear and their awe. And deep down they wish they were like you. Perhaps not exactly like you- they may not be about to turn their back on boozy nights out and Maccas the next day, but they truly wish they felt what you felt… The quiet confidence of someone who is walking their track with grace.
Walk your yellow brick road. And hold your head high.