Happy Monday everyone! We’ve made it to the final Monday of March. I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by. This is going to be the last Monday Motivation post (for awhile at least) – but you can continue to find inspiration for the week on my IG account. Beginning in April, Mondays are going to be dedicated to something new – so stay tuned to see what I have in store.
But, for this final Monday Motivation I wanted to share a quote that has special meaning to me. One of my worst personality traits is that I take everything personally. Too personally.
I wish I didn’t. I wish I could tell you that as I have grown up and grown older I have developed thicker skin and have learned to let things just bounce off me. I wish I could tell you that I’ve stopped caring what other people think or what they say about me. I wish I could tell you that “words can never hurt me” – especially when I know those words are unfair and untrue. But I can’t. Because, as much as I wish I didn’t and I know I shouldn’t – I do care. I care way too much.
I guess it’s the perfectionist in me – but I am always concerned about what people think. I hate to disappoint others – even others whose opinions should have no bearing on my life or others who have proven by their behavior that they don’t deserve my respect or my worry.
But worry I do, because I am a worrier. An over thinker. A second-guesser. An obsessor.
When something bad happens I let the incident play over and over and over again on a loop in my head. And I can literally feel my blood pressure rise as I continue to revisit the event. I imagine what I could have said or done differently to result in a different, better outcome and I beat myself up for the steps I didn’t take.
And, because I was trained to believe in justice and fairness and treating others with respect and kindness, my feelings are even more offended when I believe that I am the recipient of an unjust slight. Or, even a perceived slight. Almost immediately upon hearing or seeing something personally offensive I feel that drop in my stomach and heaviness in my chest, and then I begin to compose responses and replies in my mind, revising and editing them repeatedly until I have just the perfect answer that both vindicates me and puts the other person in their place. The only trouble with this is that more often than not the person who has wronged me is not logical, rational, reasonable nor the slightest bit interested in my side of the story. Many times I never even get (or take) the opportunity to confront them – and when I do the conversation never goes the way I imagined. So, basically, all those hours, and I do mean hours, spent crafting the perfect reply are spent in vain.
I guess I can blame this tendency on my legal training as well. I spent a good part of my career being paid to write persuasive arguments designed to ensure justice for the aggrieved party. But I quickly learned that despite my expertly crafted arguments, justice rarely matters much less wins in the legal arena and I grew so disheartened with the process that I left the profession.
And yet, in my personal life I continue to find myself getting all worked up – sometimes about things that haven’t even happened yet. Not only do I put myself through unnecessary stress worrying about what hypothetical catastrophes await, but I also waste precious time and energy on something that might never happen.
So, at the risk of sounding like a Disney ice princess, I have taken the liberty of amending this popular quotation with an emphasis on the final line.
I actually had another post written for today, but an incident occurred this past weekend that really upset me. On one hand it was a significant issue, but in the scheme of life and everything I have on my plate right now it is so definitely not worth getting all worked up over. I’m not going to go into the details about what happened because I’m going to try and heed my own advice and just “let it go.” And that’s not likely to happen if I rehash the whole thing with you now.
All you really need to know is that I was improperly wronged and I spent most of my Sunday stewing about it and figuring out how to “fix” it. And then I realized how ridiculous I was being. The party who hurt me has demonstrated through his actions that he is not remotely interested in truth or right, and so he will never be persuaded to see things from my point of view. So, continuing to engage with him is only going to upset me further. And that is just plain dumb.
As I preach to my daughter all the time, you can’t control what happens to you – but you can control how you react to it. Which is great advice for she tends to fly off the handle at every little thing and turns most grievances into an issue tantamount to a major international crisis. But upon some deep reflection I realized that I’m not really walking this walk very well. True, I don’t yell and scream and have temper tantrums when I am upset (at least not usually), but I do let people get under my very thin skin, I do let things bother me way too much, I do dwell on what’s gone wrong and how I am going to settle the score. I do hold grudges – oh am I an expert at holding a grudge. And I do all these things at the expense of being present in the moment and enjoying my life. And frankly this practice has NOT served me well so far.
So, today I have decided to just “let it go.” I will lose out on my chance to speak my mind, to defend myself and to make the other person realize that they were wrong. I will never be made whole for the damages I suffered. And I will not have the satisfaction of resolving the issue. But I will gain valuable time for more important and more worthy pursuits- like living and loving and laughing. And I will experience the peace and calm and good night’s sleep that comes with my choice to let it go.