There are times where I find myself shrinking back into worrying about not ruffling the feathers of others and while it's great to be considerate of the way that people feel, I let my consideration cripple me a lot in the past. I always worried about talking about something that would offend someone or doing something that someone may not agree with. It was a constant wheel spinning in my head of "stay away from saying/doing this" and I got tired of living that way. When I catch myself slipping back into that because someone I know or admire may feel differently than I do, I have to ask myself, "and?" 

The word 'and' symbolizes something very special to me because it's basically my internal wake up call. It stops me dead in my tracks when I start to feel like maybe my feelings or what I'm doing isn't validated just because someone else may think that it's stupid. The word 'and' asks me if whoever disagrees with me on something is that powerful to make me suddenly feel small. The word 'and' asks me "well, is this person God? Are you going to have to stand before them on judgement day and give an account of your life? No? They're going to have to do the same thing one day? Okay, stop acting like they're above you and control your validation." The word 'and' is powerful and keeps me in check. 

I'm still learning and moving through life so this isn't to indicate that I'm always right. Sometimes I'm dead wrong but I can take responsibility for that and I work on changing bad habits in order to move forward. So, if I've ever ruffled your feathers or simply made you think, "well I don't think you should say/do this because I feel that it's irrelevant," I say to you, and? Grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax. You're okay and so am I.