I’m sure you’ve heard it said – “hurt people, hurt people”.
If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you know that shifting out of victim mode is ‘my thing’. I am a huge proponent of looking at things from another angle so as to gain confidence and power versus sitting on the pity pot and wondering why one has a ring around their ass.
Let’s be very clear – relationships and families do not happen in a vacuum.
We all bring with us our own ‘stuff’ that contributes to the whole. And everything we each contribute creates a ripple around us. You can even think of it as those ‘vibes’ you get from certain people. If you can’t see that your actions/reaction/non-actions affect others, it’s hard to see past your own shit.
This past weekend, I was asking someone about the possibility that their situation could be looked at as a lesson – that things don’t happen TO us, but FOR us. Another person in this group proceeded to lash out at me. She then brought another person into the conversation who joined right in, and proceeded to tell me that placing blame for people being in an alcoholic/addict relationship is irresponsible.
I was transported to a time in my life when confidence was not my strong suit. I felt like that middle school kid who wasn’t in the ‘in crowd’, who was rather awkward, yet wanted nothing more than to be accepted.
I felt attacked, and raw, and hurt – wounded in a way that I hadn’t felt in probably 20+ years.
I spent some time in that wounded spot. I cried, and hurt, and cried, and hurt. I questioned myself. I questioned my purpose. I questioned my abilities to be a coach and mentor. These “mean girls” gave voice to the thoughts I think about myself. They spoke into a forum the things that I wonder about myself. And that’s what hurt the most.
I didn’t spend much time defending myself. I did attempt to smooth things over with the attacker by mentioning that sometimes the context is lost in the written word versus in-person communication. I apologized if my comment was mis-communicated or misinterpreted. But the lesson in all this – wasn’t for the women I was addressing – it was for ME.
I looked within.
I reached out to a few trusted peers. I asked them to help me see my part (if any) and to help me understand why it was hurting so badly. I allowed myself to feel that hurt, and grieve for the women I knew so deeply I could help, but who were not ready. I grieved for the ‘me’ that wasn’t ready to hear that message herself some time ago when hubby was in active addiction. I attended my first yoga class at a studio the next town over, and cried during the corpse pose.
I released, and surrendered, and opened myself up to learning the lesson.
I entered into the territory of realizing that not everyone is ready to accept personal responsibility. Heck, I don’t know many people that just open their arms and say “hit me with all my flaws so I can fix ’em”.
A part of me wanted to lash right back to those ‘mean girls’ that day. I wanted to scream and yell and point out their shit. That they aren’t so damn perfect after all. That being mean doesn’t make them better. That hurt people, hurt people. But that wouldn’t have worked either.
Some people aren’t ready to hear you regardless of how loud you are.
Sometimes we have to be quiet. And in that quietness is a strength. For a long time I thought that in order to be heard, I had to be loud. That I had to rise above the noise by shouting and making people hear me. This weekend proved to me that:
1) there is power in the silence.
2) personal responsibility does NOT equal blame, and
3) those who truly love you will support you in your pain, to the best of their ability.
Quiet strength can be heard over loud pain. Sometimes people just need you to BE THERE – you don’t have to say anything – just be present. And the best way to be present – is to be in a place yourself where you can be of service to others.
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