Hello everyone and welcome back to another post here at The Journey To Wellness! I’m very happy to return to you after a short time since my last blog post about Shaming, Myths and Empowerment and am very excited to write for you yet again!
I had a tough time with last time’s post poll results since there was a tie between the topics Nothing in Life is Personal and Attachment styles, infancy and adulthood. As a result, I had to make a judgement call and believed that the topic I could most effectively deliver for you today would be Nothing in Life is Personal, so let’s get started!
I imagine the reason those of you who have chosen this topic picked it because of some wish inside of you to see life for larger and much deeper than it really is. In other words, perhaps there are things in your life you have taken personally and are looking for broader perspective to help you see things more clearly.
This concept can be applied to a lot of areas of life, but I feel the most powerful (and probably the most popular) area of our lives are when it regards other peoples’ actions and words onto us. I know this sounds like a bit of a cliché, but as the saying goes “Whatever a person does to you is more a reflection on them than it is on you.” Let’s take the time today to figure out as to why this is true!
In order to begin on this journey, I’m going to ask you to please ask yourself about a time when someone else- someone you care about hurt you in some way- they didn’t meet some expectation, they said something mean to you, betrayed you, etc. I imagine this memory causes some pain to remember (which I am sorry for, by the way, but it will be helpful to our discussion). Now, other than the initial pain that you felt as a result of the wound you were inflected, you probably felt a lot of deeper and very conflicting feelings: shame, anger, sadness, insecurity, distrust, etc. Let’s focus on the feeling of sadness for a moment. Why do we usually feel sadness when something bad happens to us? Because we feel upset that something so horrible could have happened to us- that someone that we placed our trust in, our love, time, affection and care; could do something so devastating to us, right? Naturally, being the ego-centred and control freak human beings we are, we decide that the only way that we can cope with the sorrow of such a powerful blow onto us is by taking responsibility and power over the situation. Instead of processing the horrible anguish of the pain done unto us because it’s too much to process or bear, we choose to take the situation onto ourselves, as to lessen the blow. Our subconscious logic is “Well, if I was the cause of this somehow, then what they did to me wasn’t so bad, right?” This could not be more wrong and completely ineffective!
As much as it makes complete sense as to why we would do this. In fact, I’ll admit that I’ve done it myself, it really is a gigantic waste of time, energy, and emotion. Instead of taking control of the situation and thinking that the pain doesn’t hurt so much any more because we blame ourselves and since we know the cause of our own pain is ourselves, then we cannot only forgive ourselves much easier but can actively fix the situation. Well, this technique would work if we were consciously aware of what we were doing- but the majority of the time we’re not when it comes to feeling pain this deep. Usually, it is the mind and heart’s natural defence mechanism against feeling a pain way too great. The reality and downside to this technique is that it creates a much deep seeded root for insecurity that will most likely affect you for the rest of your life. So let’s look at this realistically: what we have been doing (and I speak for all of us, myself included) is that whenever we have suffered a massive heartache, instead of taking more accountable the person who inflicted us, we have subconsciously taken the pain onto ourselves and given us unnecessary insecurity because of it. That sounds really silly, doesn’t it? When you see it like that, of course it does. Before today I imagine in your subconscious mind you thought: “Well, I must be the reason they hurt me, or else why would they?” It’s almost as if we have measured our self-worth, competence and value on another person’s actions.
I’m going to use a very common example of a partner cheating on the other partner. I’m sorry if this is a tough subject for those of you who have been cheated on, or who have cheated, but please let me divulge if I may. In the situation where a partner has cheated on another partner. I’m sure that the cheatee deep down inside somewhere feels that in some way they deserved what happened to them (even if they don’t want to neccesarily admit it), that they weren’t pretty enough, handsome enough, smart enough, entertaining enough, and no wonder their partner left them. As understandable it is that someone would do this to protect themselves, the reality couldn’t be farther from it. The REAL reason a person cheats is because of their own psychological make-up: their beliefs, their values, their emotions, their needs, their issues, their experiences, their views and their reality. Just because you’re included in their life doesn’t mean that their decision making necessarily is related to you. The most basic reason a person cheats is because they are unfulfilled in some way, and so they are trying to replace the feeling of unfulfilment with an affair. Now I know what you’re thinking- “they must have been unfulfilled by me, so that’s why they cheated on me.” Sure, it’s true that they were unfulfilled in some way, but that doesn’t neccesarily have to be by you, and if it was, they could have dealt with the situation in some other way. At the end of the day, the decision was theirs and was COMPLETELY founded on their own emotions. Their emotions, their values and their beliefs are what drove them to make those types of decisions- nothing more, and nothing less.
This is exactly the same concept for bullying. We always tell people that it’s the bully’s fault this happened, not theirs- and it’s entirely true! The only reason a bully would truly hurt someone else is because of their own emotions, their situation in that period of time, their needs, or perhaps as a cry for help. Just because children do this doesn’t mean the same concept doesn’t apply to adults! Whenever someone hurts someone else, it is fuelled by one’s own biased perspective and feelings where the victim just happens to receive the wound given the circumstances in that period of time. So if you encounter a situation in the future where you are hurt by someone, I encourage you to ask yourself “What is it about this person that drove them to do this?” rather than ask yourself “What is it about me that made them do this?” Expanding this concept a bit, the best way to picture human beings and a lot of their interactions with each other is picturing a very individualized but very firm tower, each with it’s own design, aesthetics, and building process and no tower is the same as a result. Each with it’s own purpose, drive and reason for being. It just so happens that each of us affects each other with our intricate and complex factors on a daily basis. And sometimes they match and work well, and sometimes it causes pain.
Now that we are more aware of why people injure us the way they do sometimes, perhaps we can learn to not carry around useless insecurity and blame ourselves for something that has nothing to do with it. If you get anything from this post today, please learn that nothing in life is personal, so don’t feel bad about yourself when you don’t need to! Use your energy for better things :). And don’t measure your inner worth on someone else’s actions. They have nothing to do with you!
I hope this post has found you well and as usual I have placed a poll below this post so you can choose next time’s topic!