Friday, November 14, 2014
Did You Know You Have A Choice?
One of life’s most challenging lessons is to learn to not take someone else's malware personally. By malware, I mean the abrasive or unfeeling seeming behaviors born of false beliefs infecting the mental operating systems of a host. Let me break it down for those of you who have a very hard time with being hurt by other people. You’ve heard that “hurt people, hurt people,” right? So, that doesn’t mean that hurt people are bad and that you should stay away from them. What it means is that you must strive harder to understand that sometimes the behavior of others isn’t controllable just because you can control yourself and act civilly, thoughtfully and conscientiously. If you can act in these ways it just means that you know how. Not everyone does and that doesn’t make them lesser humans than you. To expect people to behave in a way beyond their capability is really your problem and not theirs.
So, what does this mean to us when we are wincing at someone’s latest hurtful insult, condescending or sociopathic seeming behavior or other unsavory actions? It means we need to step back and think about what is going on. What are we doing to contribute to the situation and I’m not talking about blaming self? I’m actually thinking more along the lines of "we made a choice to expect someone incapable to behave with common decency as we define it." But what if the other person’s idea of common decency is different from yours? Who is wrong and who is right? Well, you could take the approach of telling the story to ten people and finding out if all or some of them agree with you but that still doesn’t prove the person who hurt you was wrong or right or that you were wrong or right in your expectation. We put too much pressure on ourselves in our expectations concerning the behavior of others. Learn about those with whom you spend time. Understand what they are capable of and what they are not capable of and then make decisions accordingly about what you do (and not about how to make someone else behave). You can chose not to interact with toxic and vexatious people and you can learn not to take their behavior personally in such a way that it is hurtful to you for longer than the few minutes (okay, maybe days) to seek understanding of the true reason for the interaction.
You can’t know another until you’ve seen the world through their eyes. If you’ve not yet successfully learned to leave your body and enter the body of another and view the whole of their lives in minute detail, there is just absolutely no way that you can accurately or fairly justify imposing your beliefs or ideals upon them. That is a path to pain and I’ll tell you something harsh, it can be pain self-inflicted. I know how hard that may be to hear but stick with me a moment and consider what it is I’m trying to teach you. You are no victim and by standing in your own light and taking accountability for your thoughts, your actions, what you allow, what you expect and what you think, you take away the ability of another to hurt you. How does that sound? Doesn’t it sound better than continuing to stand in arm’s reach and earshot of someone who cannot control themselves and then crying loudly how hurt you are? I don’t mean to sound callous. What I’m intending to do is show you the way out of the mess you can sometimes find yourself in with other people. You are beautifully unique as is every single person on the planet and no one sees things exactly the way you do, no one has the psychological aptitude that you do, no one has wounds alive and those healed the way you do. We’re all unique and different in regards to these things.
So, what I suggest is that you step back, take breath, strive to understand you, strive to understand others, set boundaries where you think it’s appropriate, speak up gently and lovingly regardless of how others speak to you and spend your days with a greater sense of peace and gratitude while you live your life. Did you know that was possible? Did you know you had a choice? You do. So, what’s it going to be? Remain mired in pain, misery, victim-hood and drama of powerlessness or rise above it through self-love, understanding and compassion? It’s all you baby. The world is your oyster. Choose.
© Jaie Hart Photo and Words