I laughed pretty hard when I saw this meme, but mostly because it was uncomfortably truthful. I have been a bitch.
The last six months have been brutal on my already damaged social life. My feelings of helplessness and seething anger were further rritated by the unavoidable truth that there is no place around here to get help. This is a remote place with a small community. I can only assume the needs of others are so great that people who can help themselves should assume the responsibility to go ahead and do so.
Every time I go somewhere in this tiny village I am filled with paranoia and dread. Has the gossip mill reached this far? Do I wonder what has been said about misunderstood people and situations? I know first hand that people believe what they are told about others, and they form an impression whether it is based in truth or speculation.
I understand the folly of wanting to control what others say about me. I have learned not to try not to let it sting. I have become a person who I don’t have to defend, and I know that anyone who would judge me would only do so in misunderstanding. I know how easy to do this is, as I have done it to myself.
Lately I have felt the weight of anger receding, and the lightness of acceptance approaching. It feels like gasping for air after being denied. I’m thankful for the perception of change, even if it is just my own.
I am able to be in a room with others in close quarters without feeling uneasy. If I become unsettled at any time I can change my environment to buy me time to let feelings come and go. I am not a slave to the ideas in my mind, they are merely messengers passing through.
I don’t find myself making as many hateful faces, or frustrated exclamations lately. I am learning to relax and let things be, instead of taking a supervisory stance in every situation I find myself in. If other people should find my responses unexpected, it is not my concern. I have no way of knowing how others deal with their overwhelm, nor do I need to concern myself with it. Other people are unaffected by my overwhelm, and are often unaware, and this is liberating.
I understand that I have only recently been able to control my own emotions and reactions, so thinking I have influence over the emotions of others is delusional. It is clear, we all have our own shit to work out. I have learned which shit is not for me.
I first adopted this mindset a year or so ago, after my husband sent me the link to a really interesting TedTalk. It really helped me understand the concept that you can’t give everything to everyone. It sounds simple, but the demands of daily life are complex. You have a limited amount of things that you can afford to let affect you, and for me, certain patterns of thinking were causing me to lose a lot of energy unnecessarily. Dedicating energy to ideas or experiences that are resonant allows us to identify and eliminate that which is unimportant.
Allow me to introduce you to this delightful life framework if you have not already seen it. Stuff like this makes it easier to change the way we think so we can feel better every day.