“It’s better to be hated for who you are, than loved for what you are not”
I first read this quote in the book ‘Worthy of Love’. A friend from my recovery program had given it to me as a gift. Along with the quote was a saying, ‘Serenity is a compliment to a life lived with integrity, wherein you are yourself at any given moment, trusting that you will be met by unconditional love’. I love this.
I was a people pleaser. I never honoured myself; my desires, needs and wants. I would accommodate others even at the expense of my own values. It’s no wonder I was full of rage, a drug addict and alcoholic. I was unhappy – I had no integrity.
Through the process of recovery, I had to take a look at who I was, and why I was unhappy. When I uncovered these things (people-pleasing and dependence on the approval of others), I had to admit them to myself and to my spiritual guide Brian. An amazingly down-to-earth man, Brian helped me gain the courage to honour myself.
Who am I?
Among other things, I am a yoga teacher. I teach Jock Yoga – my own brand of yoga. I believe that not everyone who practices vinyasa yoga is coming to their mat for spiritual growth—there’s at the very least a small desire for a workout. I give that workout to my students. I don’t pontificate spiritual principles. I speak my truth and I honour who I am. I teach my own practice. I tell my story. I tell jokes, and I have fun. I act with integrity.
It is my hope that my actions will inspire my students to honour themselves —starting with their practice on their mat—and ultimately off of their mat and into their daily lives.
“Don’t be spiritual. Be honest.” Another quote I try to live by. My belief is that real spirituality is the uncovering of one’s authentic self, and the practice of living as that authentic person. That’s it. I say be true to yourself, no matter what that is.
The moment I started speaking my truths, I lost many “friends”, because I was no longer shifting and shaping myself to make them happy. So be it. The friends that stayed with me, and the ones I’ve made since are few, but they are real.
When I originally wrote this, my grandmother was in the last days of her life journey. She was losing her brief but valiant battle with cancer. I had traveled to my hometown Thunder Bay, to be with her, and to let her know I love her. In her warm and unconditional-loving way, taken from a long life of experience, she offered me some wise words to take with me into my life:
“Take care of [Honor] yourself–you’re all you’ve got. If you want to do something–anything at all–do it! Make YOURSELF happy.”
This I will do, Gramma—for me. And I will pass this wisdom on in your honour.