I gave my power away for many years and didn’t know I was doing it. I had an insatiable need to be liked, loved and approved by others. I didn’t realize I was looking outside of myself for love, rather than going within to find it. Do I still give my power away sometimes? Yes, I do, but I recognize it almost immediately and then go within and give myself love and appreciation that I deserve.
Learning to trust myself and my feelings is an important aspect of loving myself. By looking to others for love and approval, I allowed myself to be robbed of inner peace and joy. I heard this quote many years ago and have often said it to myself. “What others think of me is none of my business.”
It’s easy to say it and even really think I believe it, but when the sh*t hits the fan and I feel judged by another (real or imagined,) the real test comes. I had an opportunity last week to practice “What others think of me is none of my business” and it wasn’t easy!
I received an email from a friend with her thoughts about a blog that Larry and I had written. Really, it was about what I had written. Even though she said right off the bat that this was her opinion and to only take what rang true for me, I was still in shock and disappointed about what she wrote. I felt like I was being judged, shamed and that I was wrong for some of my beliefs and actions. Before I sat down to write my feelings about the email, I prayed and asked God for me to see the truth. I wrote several pages in my journal and allowed myself to feel all of my feelings. I then called a friend that I trusted because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overreacting or being too sensitive.
I shared it with Larry and although he was compassionate and understanding, he had a slightly different perspective on it and was trying to be helpful. At that point, I wasn’t ready or willing to hear what he had to say. In fact, I said, “Honey, I am not there yet, and I need to be right where I am in my anger.” I clearly wasn’t ready to let it go and do a “spiritual bypass. “ I knew I was in trouble and prayed again and asked for a miracle- a change in my thinking.
That night, while watching a movie together, I heard the words in my head, “It’s done.” I knew immediately what it meant because all of the resistance, anger, disappointment and resentment were gone in an instant. I felt completely free. I was truly amazed because I didn’t have to do anything or fix myself. I had simply prayed and asked for a miracle. And I got it.
I always respond to people who write to me, but I hadn’t responded to my friend yet because I wanted to come from a place of love and not anger. I needed to give myself time to process all of my feelings and to find the gift and opportunity in it. The next morning, after I heard “It’s done” it was easy to send my friend a loving email. I thanked her for her thoughts and shared with her the gifts that I had received from her email. She responded and said, “We both received gifts because I had some new insights through all of this myself.” I realized that she was not wrong and I was not right and I was not wrong and she was not right. What a freedom to know that we may have different views and opinions and that is o.k. We can agree to disagree and still love one another.
While I was in prayer and meditation that morning, I heard Spirit say that this was an invitation to believe in myself more deeply and to trust my feelings. That afternoon I went to my favorite consignment shop and what do I find but a box that said, “DARE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.” Of course I bought it and put it on my kitchen shelf to remind me always to believe in myself.
A week later, I invited my friend over to discuss the gifts we had both received from one another. I was completely honest with her as she was with me. She shared that she was triggered by what I said and was able to see a pattern in herself that she no longer wanted. I am so grateful for God’s grace and our willingness to communicate from our hearts. It was truly a “grown up” conversation because we left our egos at the door.
What I have learned through this experience is: prayer is powerful and prayer changes me. My heart knows what is best for me and to follow my heart takes courage and strength. I love myself when I believe in myself and do and say what is right for me. I no longer have to fix anything or anyone, prove myself or take things personally. I just have to be me to make a difference in the world. I trust that everything that shows up in my life is a gift and opportunity to grow spiritually.
How do you give your power away? Here is a list of behaviors, attitudes and feelings that may help you identify where you might be giving your power away. I invite you to pick 2 or 3 behaviors and work on them this week.
People Pleasing – need to be liked and approved of by others. Low Self Esteem.
Staying busy with activity and work to avoid feelings and going inside.
Addictions: alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, work, religiosity, shopping, cleaning, internet, relationships, codependency.
Looking outside for answers and validation. Need others to tell you what to do and that you are o.k.
Focusing on fixing others, making others happy and then feeling resentful when your needs are not met. Putting others first at the expense of yourself.
Comparing yourself to others – feeling less than or better than.
Perfectionism and unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
Beating up on yourself with negative self-talk.
Difficulty saying no without feeling guilty. Difficulty setting boundaries and saying no.
Don’t know what you want or feel – know what others want and feel.
Needing to control others and situations. Overreact to situations you have no control over.
Neglecting your own needs – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Difficulty forming and staying in relationships.
Feelings of sadness, depression, loneliness, anger.
Passive aggressive, passive or aggressive communication and behaviors.
Rigidity in behaviors and attitudes and black and white thinking.
Difficulty having fun, taking self and life too serious.
Feeling undeserving and unworthy
Difficulty asking for what you need and receiving it.
Feelings of inadequacy, despite many achievements.
Pretending everything is ok, putting on a happy face no matter what.
Staying in abusive relationships and work situations.
Difficulty confronting others and speaking up.
Judging yourself without mercy and beat up on yourself for making mistakes.
Living your life from the “shoulds.”
Victim, poor me attitude
I share my personal experiences each week to inspire you and give you some tools that have worked for me. I know that we are all one. I believe there is always a gift in my experiences when I am willing to change and see the gift that God is giving me.
Several weeks ago I had the experience of being judged. What do you do when you feel judged? I am sure that we have all had the experience of being judged or wronged by someone. It may be imagined or real, but either way it may be difficult to process and deal with. It is most painful when it’s a family member or friend. Feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, confusion, fear and being misunderstood may come to the surface. It is important that we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not do a spiritual bypass. If we push our feelings down and deny them, we will get sick and often they will come out sideways on an innocent bystander. Can you relate?
What I’ve learned is that what other people think of me is none of my business. It is none of my business when other people judge me. Unfortunately, for many years, I made it my business and suffered needlessly. I took things personally and was often defensive. I didn’t have any self-esteem or self-love so it was very important to be liked and well thought of by others.
It is human nature to want to explain ourselves when we feel judged. I am learning when I need to “speak up or shut up.” When I was passive, I didn’t speak up about anything and when I was learning to be assertive, I spoke up about everything and drove some people crazy. Now, I discern when I need to say something and when I can let it go.
I can’t control what people think of me, how they treat me or how they judge me. That’s their stuff, not mine. That doesn’t mean that I am a victim and allow myself to be treated disrespectfully. Today, I have enough love and respect for myself that I have left relationships that weren’t healthy and honoring & nurturing to my spirit. I only have control over what I do, my behaviors, actions and reactions- that is my business.
What I do in my life is none of other people’s business, also. I had a difficult time making my own decisions at one time and went outside for my answers. Not anymore, because I know the answers are within and I am learning to be my own guru. I no longer need to please others and get permission to do what I want to do. What a freedom and relief that is.
What is important is that I keep my side of the street clean when I feel judged or wronged. Here are some tools that I practice (not perfectly) to help me process what I’m going through. You can practice one, two or all of them and they can be used in any stressful situation or relationship.
*I pray, meditate and ask God for wisdom and the truth.
*I allow myself to feel all of my feelings, journal about them and release them.
*I process my feelings with a trusted friend and ask for help.
*I pray for the person.
*I release judgment and send light and love to the person.
*I let go of resentments and hurt.
*I detach from others opinions and judgments.
*I don’t judge myself or beat up on myself (thinking the judgment was true.)
*I don’t get defensive and try to change the person’s mind and see it my way.
*I don’t need to prove myself or have to be right.
*I speak up or shut up when appropriate. And then let go of the outcome.
*I look for the gift and what I am to learn and grow.
*I expect good to come from the situation.
*I reframe it in my favor by saying, “This hasn’t come to hurt me, but to help me.”
*I’m open and willing to see if there is any truth in the judgment and change when appropriate.
*I don’t obsess over it and make it into a drama.
Nobody likes to be judged or wronged. My ego wants to be right and perhaps get back at the person that has hurt me. This only hurts me and I lose my peace. If I want peace in my life, I am willing to do whatever I need to do to keep my vibration high and be in alignment with Spirit. It is also my belief that it is all perfect and that whatever is happening is for my highest good.
|Stay updated by signing up!|
Simply A Woman of Faith
Pat’s book, Simply A Woman of Faith, is available for only $16.45 (incl. S&H).
Click here to order.
Share This Experience!
Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
621 Laniolu Place Kihei, HI 96753