I don’t do resolutions.
But, it’s 2-0-1-7 and I’m taking a basic inventory. How am I feeling? About my physical and emotional health? About my relationships? About my parenting? What do I want to know and understand more clearly about myself? About the people and the world around me?
Where am I feeling dread? What keeps me up at night?
Am I brave enough to face these things?
I’ve noticed a pattern in my behavior recently.
There are situations. These situations leave me feeling frustrated and hopeless. I feel misunderstood by those involved. We all have areas in our lives where this is the case. In jobs, relationships, whatever.
I began taking note of how I felt while attempting to reconcile these situations, specifically the physical reaction in my body – racing heart, sweaty palms.
Then, I noticed what I was doing as a result. In almost every instance, I interrupted the conversation, inserting my thoughts and opinions; becoming angrier and angrier with every word. In my insistence on getting my point across, I was arguing, trying desperately to prove my ‘rightness.’ My frustration turned to bitchiness - I was becoming the bad guy.
I was reacting instead of responding - not a good look.
But worse, I allowed that person and that situation to influence my feelings and behavior. In doing so, I handed my power over on a silver platter.
@@ When you react, you’re operating out of your pain and brokenness.@@ Which is why it’s important to identify those broken spots and begin the healing process.
So, let’s go back…
Abuse of authority has been a consistent theme throughout my life. The thread started young - with caregivers and parents, and made its way into my adult life with bosses, husbands, friends, etc.. It happens this way for a lot of us, especially girls. We seek what we know.
And, as we become adults,we sometimes give our power away to the lowest bidder – just to feel normal. It feels right because sadly, it’s what we know.
We do this by creating dramas we feel safe in and allowing situations that perpetuate the cycle of abuse and thus the loss of power.
We react in frustration and in anger, to avoid the responsibility of standing up for ourselves and claiming our truth. It helps us avoid facing the pain of what’s really going on.
So - anger. Misused anger is a smokescreen - a diversion used to hide from this ugly truth and the part we play in it. It's a mechanism for deflection.
The same goes for gossip, blaming, and criticizing.
Here’s where the change (and the shift of power) comes in…
Don't attack. Don’t argue and engage just to prove you’re right. Identify who and what is hurting you. You might need to set a boundary. @@You can’t allow those who consistently hurt you full entry to your life.@@ Agree to spend less time with that person. I would recommend not cutting them off completely. But do set limits in the areas where the pain is consistently facilitated. Then let them know what you're doing and why you're doing it. This is the only way any real change and healing can take place.
This shifts the power by putting the focus on what you will and will not tolerate in your life instead of someone else's behavior.
This part is the hardest for me. Say what you mean but don't say it mean. I would rather be a bit of a bitch, it’s easier that way.
I want to say, ‘hey, fuck you.’
But what I’m going to say is, ‘hey, this is hurting me and here’s how I’m not allowing that anymore.’
It’s hard – but doable I think. For me. For you.
Taking your power back.
That is a great thing.