A lot of people will never walk in my shoes and I dare not ask them to understand where I am coming from when I say this-- but I refuse to let anyone bring me down. It's happened before and it's something that I promised myself I'd never let happen again.
If you have confidence in yourself and know that you've done things and gone places that you'd never imagined you'd experience-- what can anyone say to bring you down? Never let anyone try and belittle you or make you feel inadequate. You know in your heart that you are a special person and that you've done things to make yourself and whatever higher power you believe in PROUD. You don't need to brag... or tell people what you do, where you went to school, what you've accomplished just to get recognition. But you KNOW within yourself you are special... and really, what else should matter?
I call that piece of self knowledge one's inner light.
As long as your light continues to shine... at the end of the day, that's all that matters. Everyone goes through ups and downs but one of the things I've learned is the importance of my inner light. Don't allow anyone to take that away from you or change your own perception of who you are. Once I realize that someone is just waiting for me to fail or "mess up" -- I realize that they are not someone who needs to have a strong presence in my life. Some might say that I'm being negative or not giving people a chance but it's important to always recognize the truth in what people show you. You shouldn't have to justify your intuition or self knowledge to anyone. I don't search for perfection but, I do search for loyalty and love in everyone. If I don't see that you have my best interest at heart, then I usually only let you but so far into my life. And there's no need to waste my time or energy explaining the decision or rationalizing why I don't want to be a story on someone's daily gossip timeline.
Don't let anyone dim your inner light.
Michael held onto that inner light until the very end. With all that he had been through in the 50 short years of his life, he could still speak about "L.O.V.E.". That is so admirable about him. No matter how wrong people did him, no matter how much betrayal, or turmoil he had been through... he knew who he was. And no one could ever take that away.
Lessons from Michael: No one is perfect. You may not be a perfect person, but refuse to let anyone tear you down or extinguish the light that shines from within.