I didn’t want to be called a “Donya,” a Spanish word that translates to “Madam.” It’s actually a show of respect.
However, the word has also earned a sarcastic connotation in the Philippines — well, at least, in the resort where I’m staying.
I’ve heard quite a bit of negative feedback, criticisms and complaints from the owner and other staff about the behavior and attitude of their guests who they have labelled “Donya’s.”
I was oblivious to what they meant. I don’t remember using it nor hearing it from others — at least, not with the same tone of sarcasm.
Apparently, when a woman is referred to as a “Donya,” it means that she is snooty and moneyed — or behaves or pretends to be moneyed. Arrogant. Demanding. Difficult to deal with.
Afraid to be lumped together with such “Donya” guests, I chose, unknowingly, to gag myself.
I didn’t speak up — even if and especially when I already needed to assert my rights as a guest.
I kept mum even if I should have been asking, if not demanding for services and privileges that’s rightfully deserving of and should be accorded a guest.
Earlier on, the owner had already expressed her reservations about what she perceived of me and my standards. She was so afraid that I wouldn’t like the resort’s rustic setting — which is, ironically, the very reason why I chose it! It’s understandable though that many find it incomprehensible how I could choose a native cottage as my dream house. But it is who I am!
So, my covert message to them —
No, I’m not like your other guests that you complain about. I’m different. I’m not a whiner. I’m not a difficult guest. I know how to get along. I’m easy to please. I’m not high maintenance. I have simple needs. I’m not a “Donya.”
Can you see where I’m going with this?
I was overly concerned with proving them wrong. My fear of criticism curtailed my own freedom of self-expression.
I wanted to fit in. To belong. I was afraid to be rejected — just as I was when I was born 52 years ago.
In other words, I was, once more, looking for….
Approval. Appreciation. Acceptance.
These are three of the 5A’s that a child needs for healthy emotional and psychological development. (The two others are Affection and Affirmation.)
Needs that if unmet during childhood, will result in issues and destructive behaviors and unhealthy patterns later in adult life.
Needs that if unmet result in deep wounds.
And when the wounded individual is unaware of them and allows the wounds to have power over them, such wounds will make the wounded person hurt and wound another. Unhealed wounds or those that are not attended to will also make the wounded individual inflict pain upon one’s self.
All these needs — all five of them — weren’t met during my childhood which resulted in deep emotional wounds in my psyche.
I’m being reminded to assert myself and ask for what I want, need and rightfully deserve — be it as a guest or not, and be it in this resort or anywhere else I end up in my future travels and destinations.
Assert myself I will and I must — in a respectful way — as a human being. Period. Regardless if doing so would make others perceive me a “Donya,” or any other labels and judgments that may be hurled at me!
Who cares, right? And so what, right?
It may easily be a non-issue to others, but it is my core wound, remember? And the Universe, thankfully, has just given me a timely reminder and much-needed nudge.
I need to allow myself to freely and joyfully express who and what I truly am — with no reservations, no justifications, no explanations, no excuses. And with the sheer intention of expressing myself.
And for me to do so wherever I may be, and with whomever I may be interacting — be it amongst like-minded’s (aka fellow ‘deviants’ who can easily get me) or those who are clueless about my make-up.
Whether or not people get me — and not many will or do — I simply need to give myself permission to beam my Light simply by being who I am.
Being too hard on myself is a pattern that I still find myself falling in and out of.
However, rather than berate myself, I’m reminding myself instead that it is inherent in this journey towards balance and integration that issues come up, over and over again. It is a concept that I get intellectually but have yet to truly embrace and embody.
“One of my teachers once described this process as moving up a spiral. Every time you come around to the same place you’re a little higher up, a little better at recognizing it, a little better at coping, until you’re finally looking down from so high up it’s a tiny thing. But sometimes I have that, “am I just doing it wrong?” feeling. I’ve also noticed that sometimes after I feel I’ve completed an issue it comes around again a time or two and then, when I handle it well — or sometimes say to the Universe, “I think I’m done with that one now:–it seems to fade away.”
Perhaps, that’s what I need to start doing — declare to the Universe that,
“I’m done with this now!”
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