19 Comments
Mar 28, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

First of all, thank for this. I’m glad you didn’t trash this, because who hasn’t gone down a fucking rabbit hole of shame and self-doubt based on a shitty comment thrown our way (though perhaps less of us have done so due to being a public personality, it’s happened on my side of my iPhone in Instagram comments, in “leadership feedback” from my previous team, and from my own MIL. Love the perspective switch. It’s so hard! But can change so much.

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I still don't think I did the switch justice; one moment i was trying to figure out what was wrong with me, like I could swim to the bottom and fix it; and then the next I was like, oh wait, I could just not care. This could not mean anything at all. I hope that captured it but true to form, I always want to throw things away that don't feel nailed to the tree. Love you. thank you.

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Once again I can relate with what you have shared. “I am so fucking tired of introspection” kinda sums up what I’ve been feeling lately. It seems never ending! But I know myself pretty well after the intense work I’ve put in this year, and maybe the Olympic level introspection is not always the best use of time. I’m starting to appreciate and like myself more and more. Next time I will try to let it BE instead of immediately 100% believing someone who doesn’t know me at all. Let’s see how that works…Thank you for this important reminder.

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"Olympic level introspection is not always the best use of time" right! Also I think it's important to mention that doing the olympic level introspection for so long was how I was able to come to the realization that it isn't alway necessary. 🤯 <3 Let me know how it goes for you...

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Hah! Good point. Oh to be human… ☺️

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Mar 28, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

I've been wanting to formulate some kind of question around this topic to your newsletter - something like how do you not die when you receive negative feedback especially when it is cruel but also when it's not. Because I think I would hide under the covers or if I were to go outside the words would reverberate through me for the rest of my life and I would never experience even momentary peace. This fear keeps me from doing a lot of things and it is also unavoidable, even if i don't have an online presence, by just coexisting with other humans. Anyway, the question felt too specific and I couldn't figure out a way to ask it without giving you my whole life story. But, damn, this essay got right to the heart of it and I am so grateful that you posted it.

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Jess, thank you for this. I think if you want to submit a question I'd be down to answer it because it's nuanced, and it's changed over time, and I think also the level of scrutiny I started out with was so miniscule that it was doable. In the early days, it was things like "say nothing do nothing be nothing" and I would probably never say that to someone today, but that felt important back then. Like, we just launched a podcast and we have 5s and 1s mostly and that feels good; it feels like we're doing it right if people love it and hate it. Also, it was just really good practice. I'm terrified of people hating me or judgming me, I want to disappear and not be seen, I don't like meanness and unpleasantness, I'm a pacifist, and yet I've had to deal with people hating me misunderstanding me judging me; like there are entire groups of people that believe I'm a horrible terrible joke of a person; there are people that just want to fight with me and get me all riled. I am not quite sure I would wish this on anyone, but for me, I am pretty sure having to brush up against all of this has been important. I don't care about things I used to care about which means i'm not ruled by things I used to be ruled by; I have all these opportunities to choose kindness. It has been an important experience and it's created this space to truly be who I am. Like there's not much standing between you and me; there's no performance right now, no posturing, no trying to make you think this or that, to stay or to go. And I find that really liberating. This isn't well thought out but this isn't about being a personality on the internet; this is really about being a human and breaking up with all the social contracts we have, or being a human being and choosing kindness, or a lot of things. I will tell you: if you face what you are afraid of, it does stop running you. The words stop reverberating, you find more peace. I'm sure it doesn't sound that way in some of these pieces, but that is what it feels like. xx

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Mar 28, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

THIS line is absolute gold "At some point it occurred to me that the content of the whole experience didn’t matter at all; my resistance did." I am going to start observing when I am in a place of resistance (which happens a lot) and try to let it be what is occurring. T I have been in a place of sheer anxiety over the past week and being able to witness my resistance has the ability to be a game changer for me. Thank you for this piece of wisdom and for NOT leaving this in your drafts. I needed to hear this. Much love to you.

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OH GOOOOD!!! I wrote this entire thing to say THAT. Because it's a big deal right? It's the resistance to what's happening that makes it all so much worse. PHEW. Thanks Roni. I love you and I'm so glad it hit.

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Mar 28, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

This is kind of tangential but it may relate to what you and Emily have been talking about on Quitted when it comes to work culture/hustling/being really identified with work - Why is it that people feel license to make attacks that are so personal? Is this another pernicious outcome of our work culture and "personal branding" - that, in our minds, we can no longer separate the actual person from their work/job/creative output? Why can't someone just say "I don't resonate with your approach in your work any longer and this is why" or "I don't agree with xyz and this is why"??? I know it's naive and futile to expect that people act with a basic sense of comportment on the internet - that doesn't mean that it isn't disappointing or doesn't hurt when they fail to do so, time and time again.

Trying to salvage and protect your emotional openness and sensitivity while navigating the noxious world of the internet and not letting the personal attacks become this all-consuming thing (that can torpedo your vacation in Italy!!!)... that feels like really vital and necessary - to stay in contact with that tender part.

I totally think there is a double-edged sword when it comes to introspection that isn't talked about enough, especially when it comes to doing personal development work or being on a path or recovery. I myself have felt really burned out on it at certain points - especially when the gaze or the focus I've used to inspect my inner life has been overly harsh, narrow, focused. It's like that gaze needs to be a little softer, loving, more fuzzed out for it to really be a sustainable practice. As Lama Rod Owen said "If we don't do our work, we become work for other people."

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Ahhhh Lama Rod, so fucking wise. Kailey these are serious points. I think to the first, I have no fucking clue but I also know that this guy I was following on instagram doxed someone and I sent him a strongly worded note before unfollowing him (I unsent it, but that whole "I NEED TO TELL YOU WHY WHAT I THINK YOU DID IS WRONG" part is real. This past year, my [xx] and [xx] have been very upset with people who didn't get vaccines, the far right, etc., and then I get mad at them because I'm like "you're mad at them for being intolerant but you are judging them and writing off their humanity" and see that whole thing where I'm judging them for judging them; I don't know if that's it but I think, there is something happening with us where we are so disconnected and intolerant; my guess of what it is? Hyper-individualism, loss of community and connection, othering, late stage capitalism? I haven't honestly thought about the why now, but I could guess and I might not be far off if I did.

But think of this. Shanti Deva said, in 800 AD, we could try and cover the world with leather, or we could put leather on our feet. So many back then they weren't getting cutting and insulting DMs, but I think we've always had to find ways to be in this world and not be of this world.

Lastly: yes. In my experience, a total double-edged sword. Ily.

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That's about the size of it...https://youtube.com/watch?v=2ABxl46Ovv8&feature=share

Big Mountains of Love to All ❤

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"Then I sat down in one of those flower covered fields and did what probably all the searching humans who came before me on this land had done, which is pull out a journal and do Byron Katie's four questions." :) I just love your writing and connect to it so much, you inspire me to write my thoughts down more. I get hurt feelings by someone on twitter taking my comment the wrong way so I can't imagine what it's like being in the public eye. Reading you process through this was great.

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"But it also was kind of exhausting because I am so fucking tired of introspection." amen to this. I am not saying that all the work I have done on myself doesn't matter, at all. But I am realizing that so much of the insight and wisdom etc. does not usually mean ish when it comes to my reactivity or my emotional life. I am pushing 60, and Amy's comment about Olympic level introspection hit it on the head for me. Not usually the best use of my time these days. I am so glad you are here writing this newsletter, I look forward to it every week. ❤️

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I did not see that last line coming until I scrolled down to have it hit me in the face as i read it. Absolutely perfect.

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Jul 4, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

More likes, all love <3

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THANK YOU!

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All this. Yup.

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All this. Yup. BTW, you are not insufferable imho. You got trolled.

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