Taking things personally

We’re all guilty of it. It is a natural human reaction. It’s also poison to a relationship and a sign to look inward.

I recently posted something on Facebook that was classic “vaguebooking”. I was taken aback by something that happened in my life that seemed so out of whack with what I would have expected and I was stunned. I asked for help accepting it and moving beyond my feelings without saying what the cause was. 

I got exactly what I needed and was able to process the event and get past my emotions. 

Aside from great advice about checking my own expectations  (where the pain really came from) and zooming out to look at the big picture only to realize it wasn’t out of culture at all for the source (we tend to only see what we want to see), I learned another valuable lesson. 

People tend to see themselves and their own insecurities and perceived flaws when they’re not happy on their own path. 

I heard of quite a few people who, instead of reading the status and either moving along or providing insight on the question at hand, took it as a personal attack on them. 

What the what?

Yep. Multiple people got their panties in a bunch over it and reached out to those in my circles to express their displeasure in my talking shit about them.

Seriously, WTF?

It was really pretty sad if you think about it. 

Giving absolutely no clues as to what bothered me, only asking for help in dealing with the situation, I created a shit storm. 

This disruption rippled through my various circles, without my immediate knowledge, and left me once again pondering about life.

When we are uncomfortable with a situation and don’t know how to handle it, we tend to avoid it. This leaves us looking only through our own lens, creating alternative facts, and we end up “building on shit” – a term I use for not having a solid foundation in any relationship – personal or business.

It sits in our subconscious, toxic and negative, until something pokes it.

My status update did just that. I unknowingly and unintentionally poked the bear. 

Always looking inwardly when something happens, I realize that I, too, am guilty of some pretty rocky foundations. Situations that I moved on from, without cleaning them up and putting them away first. It’s like shoving something in a closet, everything looks pretty – until someone opens the door.

As a teen I spent many years in recovery programs and went through the 12 steps. I didn’t really understand step 4 – make amends – until I was older, much older. Step 4 is akin to cleaning out those closets and getting your house in order to build a bigger life with a strong support system in place. So you don’t build on shit and have it all come crashing down when you take something too personally.

This spring, when the birds start chirping and the urge to open the windows and deep clean your kitchen hits…I urge you to open one of your emotional closets and see what’s in there. Take everything out, sort it, and only out back what gives you joy. The rest needs to be sold, thrown away, or donated. Now I don’t mean literally – there’s no market on ebay, that I know of anyway, for your 10 year old grudge against your bff for not inviting you to her bridal shower; you do this by zooming out, looking at it through a different lens, writing it all down, calling them up and clearing the air, or simply meditating on it and letting it go. 

I have been working on this for a while now, it’s definitely not a one and done sort of thing. It’s life, it’s a journey, it’s a constant process of never-ending improvement and growth.

It is also a game changer. 

Life is short. Do you want to spend it struggling or thriving? The choice is yours.

Someone hand me the windex please, I have some cleaning to do.



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