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Sometimes you shine too bright

I can recall the time when I was employed as an IT professional with a very well-known defense contracting company in the Washington D.C. area. I had a supervisor who would watch me like a hawk, and I didn’t understand why. I knew I was doing my job to the best of my abilities; I did everything I could to be a good lil’ employee (I silenced and minimized myself) and I took a break from school to focus on my job. I was being told that myself and my contributions to the team weren’t good enough. I was accused of not working hard enough to prove my value to the company and that I needed to be glad that I wasn’t standing in the unemployment line.

“You better be lucky you still have a job,” my supervisor jokingly taunted, in front of all my co-workers who laughed at me. I was always the target of his disapproval. Like clockwork, he would pull me to the side on a Friday evening (roughly around 3:30 pm) to let me know that I wasn’t demonstrating the “go-getter” attitude that the company normally saw in their most productive employees. Mind you, the man sitting next to me, another co-worker, that was getting paid way more than me — but did half the work — would come into the work center an hour to two hours late, clothes wrinkled and half asleep. Not only did he show up to work about two hours late but he would go and take a nap in his car at lunchtime. And everyone saw him in his car asleep. Yes, including company leadership, meaning the same supervisor who was telling me that I wasn’t doing enough. This man wrote one report the entire time I worked with him, yet I was the weakest link of the chain, according to my supervisor.

I’ve had people question my work ethic, attack my work, carry out character assassination campaigns and stabbed me in my back. It wasn’t until I was about 35 years old when I realized that the attacks weren’t a result of anything I was doing or hadn’t done; a lot of it was a result of jealousy.

I didn’t see nor understand what the issue was because I have never been the jealous type.

This doesn’t mean that I’ve never experienced the feeling of jealousy, but I can honestly say that I’ve never tried to act upon those feelings. A lesson the elders in my family always reiterated was “what goes around comes around” — meaning you get back what you give others. So, I try and be as nice to people as possible, smile often and demonstrate a calm spirit of peace, acceptance and patience. I understand the power of the universe and how the laws of attraction conspire to give you what you give others.

Trust me when I say it’s difficult to do, but it gets easier with time and age. Believe me, I catch the “shade” being thrown in my direction. I know who has an issue with me; I can feel when someone doesn’t like me because their energy towards me speaks volumes of how they view me. I even know when small cliques of individuals have conspired against me because they all have the same energy when I interact with them. At this stage in the game of life, I can distinguish the false from the real.

But I find peace in understanding that their issue with me isn’t even about me. It is a projected manifestation of how they see themselves. Every negative thought, feeling or emotion they’ve experienced in life adds to the “weight of the yoke;” they seek to hitch you, too. They want you to carry their unprocessed emotional garbage — and I am here to tell you that this is not your wagon to drag.

Here’s a few reasons why they don’t like you:

First, there are times when your mere presence as a being of peace, love and light forces other people to raise their vibrations. You operate at a higher frequency than they do, which is irritating for those who choose to be slanderous, backstabbing, gaslighting and egotistically narcissistic towards those who go higher in consciousness.

When former first lady Michelle Obama said “when they go low, we go high” she was speaking in terms of not just rising above the challenges of dealing with difficult people, or even knowing your overall worth; instead, she was speaking more so in terms of making the decision to choose who and what you give your time and energy to. Not everyone or everything deserves your attention, and not everything that happens needs to be addressed. Sometimes it’s best to just sit back and watch things play out as they should. Karma always delivers the best-tasting recompense, served cold, to those who deserve it.

Second, I live by this saying: “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference,” by Mark Twain. I have learned at 42 that miserable people always find a way to drag others into their pool of self-pity, insecurity and bemoaning, lending credence to the cliché of misery loving company. And when a fool welcomes you to their game of ignorance, they will always beat you with experience.

Third, some simply can’t stand you because you shine a little too bright for their liking. Your skills, talents, work, beauty and overall appeal stand out among the crowd. You don’t shuck and jive for their appeasement of cookie-cutter conformity. You love being “you” while they still haven’t figured out a version of themselves to love unconditionally.

Fourth, and I can’t stress this enough, when you are open and honest, trustworthy and transparent, you become what I call bothersome to some people. These are personality traits and characteristics that they either don’t have or aren’t used to experiencing in others. They will have preconceived notions about who they think you are as a result of social stigmas and stereotypes, and people hate being proven wrong. In order to get you to come out of character, they will use personal attacks and insults on your appearance, your education, your job skills, relationship status, etc. as means of forcing you to become exactly who and what they thought you were when they formulated their misguided opinions of you.

Know that people attack you because they don’t believe that you are real or genuine. They convince themselves that their treatment of you is justified because there’s no way anyone can be that nice, that “deep” or that “real.” No one who looks like you is really that educated or articulate. If you have nice things, you must have done something to someone or for someone to get it.

I get it now. I fully understand that people will hate you for simply being who you are without asking their permission to do so. The character assassinations are all based upon feelings of intimidation and personal insecurities. In loving and embracing your true and authentic self, you tick them off. You have what most of them don’t have — self-love! People who feel good about themselves never attack, diminish the worth of or try to discredit others to feel more powerful. People who conduct themselves in such a manner have little self-esteem and are carrying a lot of anger and jealousy within.

Do not operate on the frequency — do not go low enough to let them dump their “baggage” on you.