Don’t Take It Personally

Jul 14 07:31 2010 Aurelia Flores Print This Article

In my life I have had events that I thought were personally hurtful to me but when I viewed them through a different lens later I was able to understand them better and they were much less painful.

“It’s not all about You!”  While this phrase is often hurled with venom,Guest Posting intending to hurt someone, actually the truth in this statement can also be immensely healing.

Over the course of my life, I have had many events that were personally “hurtful” to me, that when I was able to view them later through a different lens, they became much more understandable and MUCH less painful.

Situations from my past that I previously “took personally” (paternal abandonment, an abusive relationship) became much easier to understand and heal once I realized that I was attributing meanings to others that were unnecessary and not there.  When we believe that people are doing things “to” us, we are taking on too much and only hurt ourselves.

When people around us, particularly our families and loved ones, do things that hurt us, we often make the mistaken assumption they are doing things to deliberately hurt us.

However, this is rarely the case.  In fact, most times (always?), people are taking actions to meet their OWN needs for contribution, care, respect, or whatever else it is they feel they want in their own lives.  They rarely set out to destroy our lives – let’s leave this to the novelas!

It’s when we fail to see that people are simply doing things to try to meet their own needs – without wrapping ourselves up in attributing meanings to a person or making assumptions that their motives are about US – that we mistakenly take on too much. 

And, when we are able to see these situations clearly, we are also able to identify our own feelings and needs and take care of ourselves

Because these situations are complex, and I don’t have a ton of space in a blog post to describe all the nuances, I hope you’ll at least open your mind to the concept.

Sometimes, it’s a simple shift in mindset that can make all the difference in the world.

Let me give an example:  My father left our family I was 13 years old.  He came to where I was working that summer, hugged me, told me he loved me, and that he was going camping. 

In actuality, although he had told my mother the same thing, he took all his stuff, moved to another state, and I only saw him two other times before he passed away when I was 19. 

Obviously, our family was sad, hurt and felt betrayed.  However, now, many years later, I know that he made these decisions to try and meet his own needs for connection, love, and appreciation.

Although his actions had an effect on our family (and on my mother much more than myself), I can look back now and know for certain that he did NOT take these actions as a deliberate attempt to try to hurt any of us. 

In fact, he did things to try to help us and mitigate the influence his actions had.

Now, do I agree with the strategies he used to try and get his needs met?  Well, they’re certainly not ones I would have used.  At the same time, when I take my own self out of it, I can understand that the circumstance was not “all about me” – far from it!

And I can also see that there are strategies many of us use – including me! – that don’t always get us the outcome we want…

How many experiences and events in our lives could we learn to see from a different vantage point if we realized it was not “all about us”?

The theme of “Don’t take it personally” is not to suggest that you have a lack of feeling.  Rather, I encourage you to put things into perspective for yourself. 

This can help you to start healing, and also helps in our current relationships to be able to hold things a little more “loosely”.

Following up on the theme from last month, All Experiences Bring You Something, this month’s theme is likewise very important, and related in some interesting ways.

I hope that our discussions will be helpful to you!

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Aurelia Flores
Aurelia Flores

Aurelia Flores wants to offer a learning opportunity to other women who might find themselves in similar shoes. She strongly believes women can learn from other women, no matter where they are in their career or life path. Powerful-Latinas mission is “helping powerful Latina women stay grounded in their power!”  To find out more, go to http://www.powerfullatinas.com/

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