Saturday, July 27, 2019

Have The Courage To Be Disliked

It seems like as of late, while sipping my early morning coffee, I'm stumbling upon memes, inspirational quotes, and videos that have hit home. Maybe it's the Universe doing a lil' shimmy shake. Fate. I don't know. What I do know is that this morning it happened again. Simple. Once sentence.

Have the courage to be disliked.

I sat back in my chair and mumbled, "You've got to be kidding me."

Almost 6 months ago, I found out that my dear friend, Sue, passed away. We had been friends for over 20 years. Sue was almost 70. She wasn't just a friend. Sue was also a wise elder and mentor who I had the utmost respect for.

Sue was liked by many. She had a big heart and would help those in need including animals. She grew fruits and vegetables and put them on the side of the road to feed people. In 2015, Sue helped a lot of families who lost their homes in The Butte Fire.

But, Sue was also disliked by many. She was brutally honest. Didn't sugarcoat anything. Had no tolerance for laziness or attitudes of entitlement. She often went face to face with parents who allowed their kids to be disrespectful and/or mouth off.

Lisa often joked that Sue and I were alike in those departments, but I always told Lisa, "You think I'm bad? Sue trumps me in all of those characteristics. She scares me. My lady nuts aren't big enough to mouth off to her."

It's true.

In fact, when I first met Sue, I almost didn't like her. She intimidated me. I was one of those smart-mouthed women in my early 20's when I met Sue.

Enough said.

Over the years, as our friendship strengthened, we were there for each other during some rather tumultuous times. Her replies to my rants and the advice she doled out to me were never sugarcoated.

I didn't get special treatment or the cotton candy version just because we were friends. That's one of the many things I adored about Sue.

About a decade into our friendship, I was going through a difficult time. During that time, I was also running myself ragged.

The first thing Sue told me was, "Your biggest problem is that you're afraid of people disliking you. You need to stop that shit. Let go of that fear. Once you do, you can move forward, make changes, and eventually, things will fall back into place."

It's one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received from an elder. 

In the weeks to follow, Sue and I talked about her bit of wisdom in depth.

"You want to know why our friendship will last a lifetime?"

I exhaled. 


"Because we've always been brutally honest with each other. We've both been through some rough times and not once have we let each other ride the pity train. We don't put up with excuses or taking the easy way out. Sure, we've each given the other attitude, but those didn't last long."


"Lisa. This is why a lot of friendships don't last. You want to know who your real friends are? Start speaking up. Start speaking the truth. Stop blowing smoke up their asses. Start putting your foot down. Stop being a doormat. Stop putting up with the excuses or the ones who never follow through. When you start doing that, not only will you start being disliked, the people who are not really your friends will filter out."

More great advice.

I needed to be reminded of that today for many reasons.

Sue is no longer around to talk to or have those in-depth talks with.

But, her wisdom is something that I have held onto and will continue to embrace until my last breath.

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