I am the kind of person people tell themselves they want to make proud.

            I am the kind of person who people put on a pedestal because they think I have myself together.

            I am the kind of person who people withhold things from because they think I’m going to look down on them.

            I am also the kind of person who never asked for any of this, or made people feel like they had a reason to treat me that way. 

            After watching the coverage of Gayle King remaining collected in the face of R Kelly; many people applauding her for her strength, stoicism, calmness, and way she handled a grown adult man lashing out at her violently on national television, I felt her in such a major way. Here we have a woman who didn’t ask to be part of a narrative of perceived strength—effectively erasing what could have been very real fear on her end—whose professionalism and emotional control” is being elevated to an extraordinary level of strength, when she was simply showing up to work and doing her job.

I am by no means saying I am like Gayle—in fact, I am 100% certain I would have cried if I had been in her position—but I am saying that, just like her, me showing up and doing the work translates as strength, or like I am worthy of being placed on some arbitrary pedestal, when it is simply dedication to doing what I have been called to do. And sometimes doing what I have been called to do is terrifying, painful, and difficult to push through, but people’s projection of perceived strength erases these very real emotions that I have a right to feel. 

            When you prioritize your healing journey and listen closely to messages from God/your instincts, it will look like strength to people who are dedicated to not listening. When you remain committed to growth, no matter how much dead weight you have to shed to get there, it can make some feel like you will judge them if they are not doing the same. 

Recognize projection when it presents itself. Realize that you are not to be held accountable for the way other people have projected their fears onto you. Don’t be like me—don’t try to shrink yourself and allow people’s projection to penetrate your mind and make you second-guess yourself. Remember there is nothing wrong with being committed to turning your life around and receiving what is for you in its Divine timing because you have worked hard to receive it. Be proud that you’re doing the work. Realize that doing the work is a lonely road. 

Doing what you’re supposed to be doing includes training and armor against any setbacks or attacks along the way. Let Gayle be a lesson to us all—when you’re doing the right thing, nothing and no one can shake you.

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