By now you probably know the hit song by Taylor Swift, Shake It Off. Maybe you sing it as loud as you can in the shower and use your shampoo as a microphone. Maybe you sing it in your car like that awesome cop on YouTube. But my question is, in your own life, are you really "shaking it off?" Are you "shaking it off" like Taylor and "letting it go" like Elsa? Are you the Disney hero or pop star of your own life?
I hope you are. My shaking it off is more of a work in progress, to be honest. It's like I want to be a "shake" but right now I'm "partially melted ice cream." Sometimes I shake it off totally, sometimes I half shake it off, and sometimes I just, "hold in, hold it in."
I won't let "Hold It In" be my jam, though, because it's not a real song, and it sucks to hold someone else's meanness in. Shaking it off frees up your energy for new projects, opportunities, and ideas. When you shake it off, amazing things start to happen. Holding it in zaps and clogs our energy. It keeps up stuck.
Imagine yourself trying to dance while holding an elephant. That's what living with other's negative comments inside ourselves is like. Now picture yourself leaping on stage without the elephant. You can dance and twirl with ease! Doesn't that feel better? (The elephant is happier in the audience eating peanuts, anyway.)
Holding hate in is like holding poison. It's toxic. It's heavy. It slows down dreams and discolors truth. So, as Outkast would say, "Shake it like a polaroid picture." Shake it like a really furry wet dog that just came out of a really wet lake.
I have a secret about haters and trolls. They aren't the big scary people with power that we think they are. I have a YouTube channel and someone commented on my video, "Your singing is so bad that my dog heard it and died!" I recommend just ignoring and deleting hurtful comments, but for some reason I responded to this one. Sometimes I just want to remind people that there is a living, breathing, human-being reading what they wrote, not some robot person who's heart doesn't ache when they read something awful. The commenter actually wrote back, and guess what? It wasn't a troll at all. It was a really young, sad kid. She told me her dog really did die and she was so upset that she just wanted to blame it on someone. She said she really liked my singing and was so sorry.
I think most haters are some version of this little girl. They feel pain inside, and like Thich Naht Hanh (Buddhist monk) says, their hate is their own pain spilling over. It has nothing to do with us.
Once I realized this commenter was a sad, little girl, I wanted to give her a big hug! I've been that hurt, little girl... confused about how to process my pain. I've done things that I regret now because I was wearing pain goggles and couldn't see straight. We all have. But I've forgiven myself and shaken that guilt off, too. (Guilt also zaps and clogs energy we can use to live better and stop the very patterns we feel bad about.)
I know it's super hard to have compassion for haters and send blessings instead of getting mad back (I can only do it sometimes... Hey, I didn't say I was a Buddhist monk) but I do think it's the right thing to do. Turn the other cheek.
Jealousy is another reason haters hate. Things are bad for them and then they see fabulous-you singing, "Let It Go" on a mountain with tons of awesome ice creations. They aren't making ice creations so they don't want you to either.
It's so important that you don't let their insecurity stop you from creating and thriving. Either ignore their meanness or invite them to make ice creations with you. They can also be the Elsa of their life! As Frozen would say, "Love is an open doooooooor... "
Think about things haters have said to you in the past.. think back on your whole life. What are the phrases that play in your mind that makes you feel less than? Have you ever investigated if they are even true? I bet there is plenty of evidence that they are not true. Imagine yourself free from them. Be the person you're imagining.
Also, think about the things you say to yourself. You need to shake off your own hurtful statements as well! If you wouldn't say it to a dear friend, it's time to shake it off, too. Shake yourself off. Wait, is that possible? It's certainly not singable, but it's possible.
If something negative comes into my head I say, "I'm not a person who believes that anymore." "I'm not a person who is affected by that anymore." "I am a human maraca." (Ok, I don't say the maraca one.)
Don't let statistics/the media/other people decide your worth, capability and chance for success. What if you believe them your whole life and they are wrong? (Btw, they are wrong) You don't have to buy it their crap. The people preaching limits and lies don't have any more power than you do.
The more your audience grows in anything field, the more haters you will encounter. So look at the haters as a sign that you're making an impact. You're a brave person that is putting yourself out there. Focus on the supporters. You're doing what you do for them.
I take my painful experiences and turn them into songs, skits and I even writing a musical. I make them work for me and they become my power. Hate seems strong but it's really like the wizard in The Wizard of Oz, hiding behind the curtain. It's scared and doesn't know what to do. Love is huge and will always win because it's real power.
What are you going to shake off? What are you going to use the energy you save by letting all the hate go to do? Put the energy you shake off into your passion.
When you hold it in, you are like a block of old cheese that tastes like the refrigerator. When you shake it off, you are free and light. You're soy delicious. You're a berry smoothie.