What if we were open to be challenged on occasion, instead of being defensive and holding firm to a position that may not even serve us?
On the very same day I accepted a position as an Editor for The Good Men Project, I failed miserably in upholding the mission of the media company I agreed to represent.
As an independent, professional woman and as a mother, I’ve done a lot of growing in the last several years. In fact, I claim to have made a Brilliant Transformation.
This transformation occurred because I overcame more than 20 years of debilitating depression, beat two chronic health conditions, made a career transition, and most importantly started LIVING consciously—instead of continuing to go through the motions of living life unconsciously as I had for the past 43 years.
Part of living consciously means being accountable, authentic and transparent in the way I relate to others. As such, I appreciate friends, family members, and business associates who keep me honest and question me when my communications or motivations don’t come across as genuine. In other words, I want others to call me out on my bullshit. For clarity, I define “bullshit” as holding back, glossing over important details, being in denial—or my personal favorite— being “ridamndiculous.”
That’s how this incident started. Just a few hours after receiving contracting paperwork for the editing position with The Good Men Project, I posted one of “those” memes. You know the ones I’m referring to—the memes that don’t portray men in a positive light. The memes that depict women as victims or pawns in men’s games.
I generally don’t share those memes on my page. I try to keep things on Facebook light, sarcastic, generally positive and uplifting. However, at the time, I had a friend going through a rough breakup, and I was personally dealing with some relationship strife. I shared the meme without much thought. A fellow contributor for The Good Men Project commented on the meme and held me accountable for it. While I was initially embarrassed, I was truly thankful.
As an editor for a media company that leads a “conversation about the way men’s roles are changing in modern life—and the way those changes affect everyone,” I had no business posting anything that could be construed as derogatory towards men. More importantly, that’s not who I am, or how I want to be perceived as an editor—or a lover of men.
While I made a public apology that surprised (and delighted) a few people, I didn’t apologize for the kudos.
I want to make a bigger statement than that specific apology. I want to issue a challenge to you and the entire community as well.
What if we were all open to be challenged on occasion, instead of being defensive and holding firm to a position that may not even serve us?
What if we were thankful for friends and family members who help us be accountable instead of shunning them for questioning our judgment?
What if we all gave our circle permission to call us on our bullshit?
What this Doesn’t Mean:
This doesn’t mean having our motives and mindset questioned is always fun. In fact, sometimes it can be downright painful.
However, it also doesn’t mean we are always in the wrong. Sometimes, it can lead to growth for the other person when we have an open-hearted conversation.
Likewise, it doesn’t mean once our motives, directions and/or actions have been called into question, that any changes must take place (either because we don’t agree, or because through discussion a different conclusion was reached, or for some other reason).
What it MAY Mean:
Through the conversation process though, one or more of the following outcomes MAY occur:
We MAY have to reconsider a long-standing belief, and/or adopt a new one.
We MAY be wrong on occasion.
We MAY have to apologize.
We MAY have to make amends.
We MAY be able to reconnect with individuals we lost touch with because our previous beliefs didn’t align.
We MAY have new opportunities arise because we are now open to new possibilities.
We MAY abandon previously held beliefs that were simply held because we always held them (they were adopted from our family for example) and yet weren’t necessarily true for us, but we had never bothered to question them.
We MAY experience totally new insights as a result of questioning these long-held beliefs.
We MAY even have a Brilliant Transformation!
What it Could Lead To:
I believe that on a collective level if individuals were more open to listening to others’ points of view instead of clinging so tightly to their own (even those that may not even resonate with their current world view), there would be far less fear and hate and much more love and understanding.
Will you commit with me to being authentic, being open to being challenged, and owning up to situations when it’s necessary to apologize and make amends?
Let’s do this!