I was shocked when my friend said I was defensive

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I am so grateful for my daily “awakenings” because I get to witness what I had backwards for much of my life. I thought if I loved someone deeply and completely, they would love me back and I would be able to RECEIVE their love.

My focus for many years was on the “outside” and taking care of YOU (whoever you were at the time) because I needed you desperately to love me back. I was empty inside and experienced self-hatred, inadequacy and “not enoughness” in everything.  This led to my people pleasing behaviors and approval addiction.  Like many of us, I wasn’t taught how to love and appreciate myself because it was considered selfish and conceited. Instead of selfishness, think of “SELF is ness” which means noticing, accepting, loving, cherishing and appreciating yourself.  It is the grace Of God to the accept ourselves and that allows us to accept others.

It is my belief that the more I love and appreciate myself, the more I can RECEIVE love from another. We are not CAPABLE of receiving love from another if we haven’t learned to love ourselves. Sure, I have experienced love from another when I didn’t love myself, but it was never enough.  It wasn’t until I gave myself self-love that I was capable of RECEIVING the deep love I craved from another.  It all begins and ends with me as I awaken and come home to myself in my body, mind and spirit.  As women, we know how to give. We know how to over-give. But we have no idea how to RECEIVE. We have a serious crimp in our receiving hose.

When my focus and attention is on YOU whether that be caretaking, fixing, controlling or judging you, I don’t see ME and my behaviors until you mirror them back to me.  We know that what we spot in others, positive or negative is a part of us that we have disowned. It can also be called our shadow or blind spots.

It is humbling when God shines His light into my heart and shows me behaviors that I didn’t know were there. It is not always pleasant, but I am grateful because if I don’t see it, I can’t change it.  Years ago, a good friend told me that I was defensive. I was shocked and guess what I did? I defended myself!  I have worked very hard at not being defensive over the years so I was surprised what came up for me recently.

I shared with a friend something I noticed that she was saying about herself that I thought was negative. She became defensive. As I walked away, I realized that is how I used to be a lot when someone tried to point something out to me.  What a mirror she was. I learned a big lesson about the importance of just listening and not saying anything to defend myself.

After I shared the incident with Larry and what I learned, I asked him, “Do you think I am defensive?”  Silly me! He said, “YES,  A LOT.” I was shocked and then he laughed and said, “I’m only kidding.”  I said, “OUCH – please be serious because I really want to know the truth.”  He thought about it and said, “Not much.” I asked, “Where am I defensive?” He said, “Your driving.” I really wanted to defend myself and say, “Sure you wouldn’t like it if I told you what lane to drive in” but kept my mouth shut.

He was RIGHT because I have been defensive about my driving. The truth is that I don’t like to be told what to do. If I was totally confident in my driving, I could let his remarks just float by me, detach and not pay any attention to them.  Instead, my mouth goes on and on.  NO MORE. He can say whatever he wants to. I have kindly said to him, “Honey, if you don’t like how I drive, I would be happy to have you drive.”

Since this incident, I am noticing my “defensive behaviors” in the kitchen when Larry suggests that I do something that I already know how to do.  I think to myself he must think I am stupid. I sometimes react with a smart remark instead of just saying O.K.  I think he is just trying to be helpful and I don’t need to take it personally and think he is judging me.

As I am awakening and my “stuff” comes to the light to be healed and transformed, it is crucial that I continue to love myself and not beat up on myself as I did for so many years.  It’s another opportunity to embrace all of me the positive and the negative because it’s all GOOD.


I was remembering the other day that when people ask me, “How do you feel today?” My reply is usually an automatic “Magnificent.”  When someone says to me, “Enjoy your day” my reply is, “Thank you, I am” and I really mean what I say.   

I don’t live in a dream world and have challenges just like we all do. I have gray times, times of fear and uncertainty.  I’m traveling this journey just like anyone else but I have this core belief and at that level I feel magnificent.  My question to myself is, “How did I reach this place and why do I feel this way?” 

As I think about it, there are many reasons that I can share.  

I start enjoying each day immediately as I awaken.   

I see each day as a gift. 

I live with an attitude of gratitude. 

I have made it a habit of deleting negative thoughts and negative energy in my life. 

I take the time to enjoy the many gifts that are offered to me each day; the morning sunrise, the sweetness of the morning air, the beautiful aroma of a pulmeria bloom, the birds singing, the sun shining, beautiful flowers all around us, the ocean, the mountains, the sky, etc. 

I have become more accepting and flexible about people and situations in my life. 

I am learning not to judge and have learned how to forgive.  I understand how unforgiveness is like a lead weight that we carry around, we will never be truly happy or at peace until we learn to forgive. 

 I consciously make decisions to eliminate stress in my life. 

I take full responsibility for my actions and with the help of grace make conscious decisions. 

I try to consciously face my fears and eliminate them with help from the energy and light of love. 

I associate with loving people who are actively seeking their truth, as they discover their ways to become vessels of love. 

I give myself permission to just BE. No planned time, open time, time to relax, inhale and let it out slowly, rest, listen to the silence voice of God.  Take a walk in nature, by the ocean or mountains. 

I live with a partner who is loving, caring, supportive, kind, beautiful inside and out, generous and funny. I’m so fortunate to share my journey with her. 

Thank you for allowing me to share with you why I feel so MAGNIFICENT.  Participating in this sharing has helped me to understand how I arrived at this place.  Perhaps reading this may be beneficial to someone else who is seeking to find their MAGNIFICENCE.





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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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