Self-perception is an odd thing. We can try and try and try to not let other people’s words and actions determine our self-worth, but it’s really hard. And sometimes we trip over the stones others drop in front of us, regardless if they meant to drop them or not.
When The Hurt Hits Home
The people closest in our lives have a tendency to hurt us the most. They usually don’t mean to, but it happens.
We also have a tendency to hurt our loved ones more that we’d care to admit, even if we don’t mean to.
It always strikes me as odd that we seem to think we have an unlimited free pass with our nearest and dearests. We tend to take our closest relationships for granted and expect unconditional love regardless of our words and actions.
And if we don’t get that unconditional love, we tend to blame other people.
The problem with that thinking is that we are the only ones responsible for our words and actions – no one else.
And – this is a big and – we are the only ones responsible for providing ourselves with unconditional love.
Let Them Talk
It’s so much easier said than done, but let’s just say it anyways: what other people say and do doesn’t define who we are.
We humans say and do whatever we need to say and do to satisfy that sneaky, insatiable little gremlin inside us that craves admiration. We don’t even realize we do it.
Other people do the same. And they don’t realize they do it either.
We’re just a bunch of hurting souls seeking comfort through any means without awareness of the impact it has on the people around us.
Words slip, jokes sting, and pats on the back are just a little too hard at times.
But it’s not the words, jokes, or pats that defines us – it’s our reaction to them.
They Don’t Mean It
What if we all adopted the notion that people aren’t really out to get us? Wouldn’t we be more forgiving? compassionate? understanding?
Wouldn’t we then see clearly the hurt that is within our loved ones rather than focusing on the hurt within ourselves?
We all use various defense mechanisms to protect our silly little gremlins who run rampant in our minds when they don’t get the attention and apologies they think they deserve.
Why do we try so hard to protect something so self-destructive?
It’s a waste of precious time and energy to be on the defensive, especially with those we love the most.
Just Love Them
When we get angry, when we lash out, when we say and do things that don’t display the best version of ourselves, it sucks – for them and for us.
And when other people do the same, it sucks for both them and us as well.
No one wins.
We can’t change the past, we can’t take back the words, we can’t rewind like Ace Ventura performing a slow-motion instant replay. (If you have no idea what I’m referring to, click here. I give you a 100% giggle guarantee.)
Since we can’t undo anything, we’re faced with a choice: blue falcon our loved ones or just embrace the suck and move on.
It Starts With Self
The only way we’re going to be able to manage our reaction when someone we love goofs up is to love ourselves the most.
Sounds weird. And selfish.
We expect other people to fill us up. But they can’t.
We expect other people to make us feel safe. But they don’t.
We expect other people to give us unconditional love. But they aren’t.
Our expectations of others are irrelevant because it’s impossible for people to give us the feelings, safety, and love we so blindly harbor within our own souls.
All we have to do is knock down those illusory walls protecting our nasty little gremlins.
Free the love within us. Let it dominate our lives. And watch the happiness happen.