When I first came into recovery I was really sensitive (sometimes still am) and I would honestly think that everything was directed at me. If someone said something positive to me, I would accept what they said as a fact and take it personally. That seems fair enough, except I would do the same thing when it was negative. This is where taking things personally can be unhealthy.
What I Discovered About Taking “It” Personally
I needed you to validate my feelings about myself.
What you thought of me mattered way too much.
The amount of “likes” I got on my Facebook post determined how well I was doing in my real life.
If you were in a bad mood and even snappy at me, I thought it was my fault. I would also be offended if you did not cheer up after my attempt to make you happy.
I wouldn’t stand up for myself or my beliefs because I was scared of rocking the boat. I was also scared that you may not like me or will think I am a bad person and tell others.
I needed your approval to know if I was on the right track or not.
If you thought I was different or weird, I would try to change to please you.
What I Discovered About Not Taking “It” Personally
Once I let go of all those expectations I put on myself and others, I was less likely to care about what you thought. This does not mean I go around being mean or not caring about people’s feelings, it simply means that I will not live this life for you or your approval. I stand by certain principles and beliefs today that I feel are an important part of my recovery and how I live my life. As a direct result, I am not only happy, but free from the power I gave to others. I no longer feel trapped, nor do I have that burning anger inside when others would cause me harm. You see, when we give that kind of power over to others, we will never be happy and although some will not try to take advantage of our weakness (in character) others will. This leads to resentment which ultimately leads to anger and potentially a drink (or drug) unless addressed.
My mother told me the other day something that really hit home for me, “Ashling, I am enjoying the woman you have become. You say what you mean and you mean what you say without trying to hurt others.”
I liked that.
I also like that my actions and thoughts are in tune with one another. It is a pretty wonderful feeling to be able to let go and be yourself without too much care or worry about what others will think. Just like anything else in life that I want to be good at, it takes daily practice to achieve. As Oscar Wilde’s would say, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde
Written By: Watershed AshlingTags: keep calm, motivational monday meditation, Watershed Ashling