I've heard the same comment a million times from friends, family and even acquaintances I've just met: “You have a great personality, but you’re pretty naïve.” For many years, I've taken this to heart, and in a pretty negative way, thinking there was something wrong with me.
I've tried to “suck it up” and toughen up in hopes that I’d finally achieve this badass trait everyone keeps telling me to acquire. I'm glad I can finally shut down the critics and be true to myself.
Being naïve is something positively special. The way I see it, it’s pretty simple: Being naïve means I still believe there is good left in this "no pain, no gain" world.
I've come across assh*les, judgmental people, hypocrites and manipulators, and to a large extent, I trusted them all from the get-go. To most people, this would signal a red flag as to how foolish and naïve I am; I agree with the naïveté part (I beg to differ on the "foolishness," however).
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It
Still, their approach didn't lead me to put up a wall or instantaneously declare them to be no good. I simply welcomed them with a clean slate and let them objectively make their cases.
Granted, I had my fair share of disappointment from said assh*le, judgmental prick, hypocrite and manipulator.
But, not only is that a part of the past I no longer need to justify or fix, I also never regret a thing. Nothing good ever comes from wishing things went differently.
With so much deceit and anger around us, we forget that there is always a white to contrast the black. Even more, the two opposites are together for a reason: to teach us something valuable.
There is still good and love out there, which is the mantra I want my life to follow. If that means being naïve, then so be it.
I've learned that by building up more walls, we don't just block out the bad, but the good, too. We’re not just keeping the bad people from hurting us, we’re also keeping the good people from helping us.
At every step of our lives, it is important to take risks, and maybe, that risk is being a little naïve and taking a leap with the assh*le or the hypocrite or the manipulator.
What they do to you is on them; it is their karmic baggage, not yours. When you give others a chance, it opens you up to universal love and respect.
We've dragged this characteristic through the mud and shunned the naïve into the dark because they don't live up to the "strong" mentalities we've grown to worship. Being naïve does not mean you’re weak or stupid.
It is quite the opposite, really. But, rarely do we make the time to contemplate this other notion, which means that you’re more than willing to extend kindness and compassion long before you make a judgment call. It is believing that every person is innocent until proven otherwise.
When we get hurt because of our naïveté, a small piece of that wall we built breaks down and we become vulnerable. It is in this vulnerability that we can truly grow to let go of the drama, judgment and hate — for ourselves and for others — and embrace love, unity and wholeness.
It is easy to grow up and detest this small speck of our personality because it doesn't align with what everyone else wants us to be: tough and guarded.
It's difficult and, yet, incredibly courageous, to find comfort in what others see as weaknesses. It is by opening up and standing firm with the support of your values that you will find the calm in even the harshest of storms.