This is a challenge, especially if the person is someone in your family or someone you cannot avoid being around. My advice is: if you cannot remove these people from your life because you will see them constantly, simply remove them from your heart and your tongue. Do not engage with them in petty conversations and discussions. Do not cling to delusions that you may be able to change them because toxic people at their core, are judgmental, insensitive, rude and self-centered and they cannot be reasoned with. Just let go. Do not engage. You deserve better than having to walk on eggshells around ANYONE. Be you and if someone doesn’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours.
“It is better to tell the truth than lie because then you will not have to remember any false stories. But sometimes it is better to not say anything at all, then you can avoid having people manipulate your truths and turn them into their stories.” Monica Haur (me)
Lesson #1 of 2014:
Be careful with whom you speak your stories and thoughts to because they may not know how to correctly represent your truths when retelling your stories and may add their on spices to the original recipe. Remember, that the person retelling the story, will always add in their own interpretations of the original story and may not always speak your truths correctly. This does not make them a bad person, just someone who is misrepresenting you and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you should stop confiding in them.
The trouble I have found, is realizing too late that I have trusted a story-teller with a simple anecdote and they have turned it into a novella.
My advice, always tell the truth, but remember that staying quiet sometimes also will help you stay out of trouble if someone retells your truths using their own version of your story.
It finally rained today. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my life. It finally rained after days of heavy clouds and slight drizzle here and there. The type of drizzle that looks like it will turn into rain but instead just leaves an ominous fog heavy falling from the skies above.
It finally rained today. And the rain came at a time when I was feeling like I needed my life to be washed of negativity, harsh feelings and toxic people; a time when I felt I needed to see myself clearly; a time when I needed to see who would be standing with me in the falling drops of rain and show me the beauty of dancing in the rain.
And the sound of the rain gently tapping against my windowsill and playing a special peaceful tune on my roof, as if playing for only my ears, made me realize that everything is as it should be in my world. Everything is right in my life and that I am right where I am supposed to be and that I am surrounded by the people that are right for me.
It finally rained today and I smiled. And I smile still. I smile because I forgive those who have hurt me. I smile because my heart is so full of love and joy at the knowledge that I get “it”, I get my purpose as to why I am here on this earth. I get the thing that most people forget. The simple things that not everyone seems to care about. Honesty, loyalty, respect, love, kindness and above all forgiveness. I smile because I see that all the wonderful people in my life are not new faces, but the ones that have always been there by my side in good times and in bad.
It finally rained today.
The rain couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
It finally rained today and I smile.
Personal Challenge #2:
Today, do not criticize your loved ones. Whether it is your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend, mother/father, roommate or children; do not criticize them today. We all do it to the ones we love the most because we expect more out of them. Bite your tongue today. Walk away before an argument starts. Do not engage.
Why this is an important challenge:
We tend to be the hardest on those we are around the most and often those that we expect the most from. Often times we fall into routines of saying the same things in response to someone’s behavior and actions instead of considering why they may be acting the way that they are acting. The purpose of today is to let them “win” and to reflect on those things you really, really wanted to say and correct but that you instead kept inside. It is interesting how much your attitude towards the person may change (even if only slightly and momentarily) and how you can begin to understand where the other person is coming from.
Sometimes, it is in our silence that our loved ones words truly have meaning. We tend to disregard our loved one’s constant complaints and actions because we are in a routine of doing and saying without thinking. We are unconsciously programmed to repeat the dame critical actions and words every time not because we do not love them, but because we are accustomed to doing those reactions to their actions.
Personal Challenge #2: Biting your tongue.
Let me know how it went in the comment section below. I am interesting in everyone’s findings.
Taking ownership is about looking at yourself, in the raw, and really examining what part you had in an arguement, disagreement, hurt feelings etc with another person. To say that you didn’t do ANYTHING is completely the opposite of taking ownership, by simply being involved in the situation, you have some sort of responsibility in its occurrence and in its resolution. Regardless of how small or large a part you had in it.
One of the hardest things in this world for us humans to do is to take full responsibility for our actions and the reaction and consequences of them- whether intended or not. You cannot simply say that you didn’t mean what you said or did to be offensive or taken the way it did and have the responsibility be shifted from you and onto the other person(s). You must take a look from the outside, eliminating emotions and really look at the situation.
It is hard for me to take out the emotions when listening to how I may have hurt someone’s feelings. It is something I am constantly reminding myself to practice.
If a person is direct with me, my immediate impulse is to go on the defensive, but if I remember to take out the emotion and really listen rationally, almost like an outsider, it is much easier for me to see how I may have unconsciously done something rude, hurtful etc etc.
“You must not blame those for your hurt feelings. They belong to you afterall.” I heard this on the radio the other night and the more the man spoke, the more I resonated with his words. What I took from his words were that not everyone is going to like us and speak of us kindly despite our efforts to be a good person to them. It is not our job, nor our business to know what these people think of us because if they truly knew our good nature, we would never be in the position to defending ourselves. But also, it is important to know that not everyone thinks the way that we do and words can be interpreted in so many different ways; what might be humorous to one person, may be rude and offensive to another. If someone hurts your feelings, and you do not know this person very well, maybe give them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t purposefully trying to offend.
On the other hand, if you do know them, then take into account their personality, their situation and even your current state because the same words can be said to us while we are in a foul mood or a good mood and be taken completely differently. Take a step back and see how YOU could have made the situation escalate to an argument.
This has not helped me 100% of the time fix a situation, but it has helped me understand how to place myself into other people’s shoes. It has taught me how to feel better in the knowledge that I am taking the mature step in taking responsibility for the situation and that when the other person is ready, so will I be without the added emotion and defensiveness that is normally present.
The challenge was to not criticize yourself for an entire day. How did it go?
I found myself, at least a half dozen times, being hard on myself for simple things. Since I was doing this experiment I decided to give myself a break from all the negative talk and instead focus on making things better. I got through the day happier and more positive than I had started out my day. The most important thing I found was most of us tend to be harder on ourselves than in those we love the most.
Shouldn’t we love ourselves the most? Being a mother I see how important my example is in every aspect of my life and most importantly the way I treat myself. I give non verbal cues to my children on how they should feel and treat themselves. Some days it a constant daily struggle to be good to myself and to move forward.
I hope this short experiment taught you that the majority of things you were most critical in yourself were most likely those things that at the end of the day, didn’t have the biggest affects on your day and world.
Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Keep learning more about yourself. Keep reminding yourself that you deserve a break from negative thinking.
Do not criticize yourself today. If a negative thought creeps into your head, instead of giving into it, reassure yourself as you would a loved one.
If you’re late, you’re late. Deal with the consequnces and keep moving. Staying stagnant and being hard on yourself doesn’t solve the problem. Fix it, if possible, then move forward with your day. Take 24 full hours to move past any difficulties that your own mind are leading you towards today.
It’s not about making excuses for yourself, it’s about not putting yourself down. Move forward today. Do not say any negative things to yourself. Give it a go!
Make today a day you are proactive instead of reactive.
Ready, set, go!!! (I will get back what my point was tomorrow).