“I love this about you, you own your shit but not everyone else’s. You’re direct about what is yours and what isn’t.”
Those words were like music to the ears of someone who used to take every single person’s comment, reaction, behavior as their own! This meant all the growth, all the change had taken hold, was now part of me, part of how I viewed the world. I was no longer a victim of others behavior, I was no longer at the affect of situations, etc.
How often do we internalize what others do and blame ourselves? How often do we deflect how we would react onto someone else whose reaction is different, judging the difference? How often do we believe that someone’s reaction to an event, a comment or a situation has everything to do with us? Why do we try to take on everyone’s trauma, issue, problem as our own, only to find out that it isn’t ours at all and they don’t want us to take it on? We cannot heal others, only ourselves. Perhaps they do want us to take their issues on, so that they do not have to own the situation or their behavior and they can blame us and others?
Changing this view, owning my own shit and not everyone else’s took a lot of work. It means understanding yourself. It means accepting and embracing your imperfections and stopping judgement, of others and thus yourself. It takes accepting that others are not your responsibility, their healing is not yours. Their growth is not yours. Their feelings are not yours.Their thoughts are not yours. And their results and actions are not yours. Just because you would react one way, does not mean you get to judge when someone’s reaction is different.
This change for me came over time and probably wasn’t the focus of my healing at first. My healing was focused on loving myself, and realizing that I was lovable. I no longer wanted to feel so bad about me. I no longer wanted to see myself through the eyes of an ex, who made sure I realized I was not capable of being loved. That big Gremlin, not being lovable and therefore not good enough to be in a strong relationships, nobody was ever going to love me for me, was hard to overcome. That block allowed me to do the “woe is me” thing with relationships, giving me an excuse to either sabotage or not be in a relationship. I could blame everything on the fact that I wasn’t good enough. It was there to protect me but it had overstayed it’s welcome.
Healing this came in a few ways. First, I had to understand that this lack of being loved, was my inability to love myself. I was angry at me for things I did and punished myself. I used very negative terms to describe myself to me, negative self talk that I believed. Once I understood that it all began with my own thoughts I learned I needed to change those thoughts. So the second step is to release these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. I did this in two ways. I kept a judgement journal for two weeks, understanding every judgement I made about others, events, etc and spent time understanding what is was about me that gave me permission to judge another. That really brought home the understanding that every judgement of others is really about yourself. By keeping the journal I was able to see in writing where my judgements about me focused and can now flip the script in my head! I also wrote positive affirmations about myself that I read every morning. (I still do this!). Over time, that changed the neuro-pathways in my brain from negative to positive thoughts. It has allowed me to think of myself and my actions with compassion and love.
Seeing yourself and loving yourself unconditionally is very difficult. We believe what others have to say because we think they love us so they wouldn’t hurt us. We seem to be ok hurting ourselves though. I ask many of my clients to speak to themselves as they speak with someone who they love very much, their children, spouse, or parents. Approach yourself from a place of compassion and realize that what others do and say is about them not you.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t times I take on others issues, trying to fix situations or help others heal. I do. I don’t do it as much and no longer internalize what others are doing and going through as mine. I have gotten so much better at understanding what is mine and what is not. I still get triggered and go back to the unlovable girl who is at the affect of others, but now, I get out of that quickly. I recognize it and release it.
Practicing self love and self care are really important to allowing yourself to be you, own your shit and not own everyone else’s. Own yours. Don’t own others!