Isn’t it ironic that people accuse us of what they are guilty of themselves?
No matter what evidence they are offered to the contrary, they blindly hold onto blaming others.
This spring and summer have been intense triggers, filled with unexpected pain, working through a huge wedge in my marriage, and finally, acceptance that has lead to deep compassion and forgiveness. I have worked on healing myself for over 25 years now, so I thought I was in a place of peace.
Holy heck, was I wrong!
I forgot that I lived in a human world with a human body and a human mind. With my shamanic training, I was actually getting pretty darn good at staying calm when I was met with anger and criticism…or so I thought.
When my own trauma was thrown in my face privately by an in-law (and then publicly on Facebook to thousands of people by an ex) all hell broke loose inside of me. Who I was as a person was ripped to shreds—I felt frozen in a pit of darkness.
The animosity that these two people carried for me was shocking and caused me to question my own self-worth as a wife, a mother, and a person.
This was not okay.
The funny thing is, I felt hopeful and positive about these two relationships. I “thought” we had healed our past and moved forward into a wonderful space.
This feeling was clearly not reciprocated.
Being a shaman, I can “see,” “feel,” and “hear” messages from Great Spirit for my clients, and I surely did not see this coming! Fortunately, years of healing and meditation has taught me two things:
1. We all have different life experiences, which contribute to how we view and understand things.
2. Our perceptions directly influence our personal realities.
So, how can the realities that we construct ever be 100 percent right or wrong if we all come from a different place? Is anyone ever absolutely right about what they believe—or absolutely wrong? Myself included—oy vey. Did I need to “accept” that some people just won’t like me no matter what I do? Or understand that I never was the person they made me out to be?
Only our ego wants to fight this.
Our ego wants to protect us.
Our ego invites us to put up our dukes and fight.
Our ego will stop at nothing to prove our worth, validity, and why we are right.
Our ego tends to be a magnet for all the combative and malicious energy in this world.
Our ego can even trick us into making our perceived truths true, no matter who it hurts.
This can be quite dangerous. If our egos love to defend us so much, how can we stay calm in the face of conflict? How do we not lash out when we know that we are not guilty of what someone has accused us of? When we know that our intentions have always been good?
Practice five things: Disengage, understand, accept, protect, know your worth.
But first, and foremost, have compassion for those that have hurt you. Learning that you hurt someone is truly devastating. Discovering you are really wrong about someone, or something, is scary. Stepping into a different reality than you’ve known before is intimidating.
Imagine if your perceptions have not been accurate all along about this person or situation? What does that say about you? Would it be hard to live with yourself?
Yes—holy sh*t. Your whole world might fall apart.
Would you have to take some responsibility for the blame? Yes.
Would you have to accept the part of yourself that thought all those “bad” things in the first place? Yes.
It’s far easier to hold on to a stubborn belief about someone or something that matches the way you always thought than to accept there just might be another side of the story.
If you are unwilling to bend, you will always stay stuck.
Shifting, changing, taking responsibility, and growing is not for the weak-minded (or the faint of heart).
It is for the fearless. Why?
Because it is so f*cking uncomfortable. It is so humbling. It is simply terrifying to change our own minds.
Most people would rather sit in a fog of untruths than see what is actually there when the mist clears.
What would it say about you if you held on to rage for someone else for 10 years? 20 years? What if exactly what you were holding on to for all of these years was not even true? What if your truth was not the truth after all?
Well, crap, that would be horrible!
Would that mean that your judgments and criticisms were just wasted energy? Would that mean that you might actually have to sit down with our your own sh*t and look closely at the relationship you have with yourself (and with others)? That you might have to accept responsibility for all the pain you’ve caused another?
Can you see how difficult it would be to accept that you were the cause of the pain for another? This is why so few people take full responsibility for their energy, words, and actions in this world. This is why we have to remain compassionate—no matter who hurt us, or even how they do.
At the time, they couldn’t do better because they didn’t know better.
Don’t harden your own heart because someone else was incapable of giving you kindness.
That said, part of taking care of ourselves is determining which are the supportive relationships we want to keep in our lives.
So, how can you let go of people that hurt you? Here are five ways:
Disengage when you are feeling under attack by someone. Take a step back and don’t respond. Do not react. Breathe. If you fight, your mind, body, and spirit will become drained of your energy. You will get sick. When our energy is low, we attract low-vibration people and situations to us.
Understand that how someone treats you has nothing to do with you. It comes from a place that only they have experienced. We cannot even begin to understand someone else’s anger, fear, and pain. All we can do is not engage with it—not get reined into their emotional cloud of energy. We are guaranteed one thing if we allow ourselves to get pulled into their angry energy—we will always get hurt.
Accept that nothing you say or do will make someone see things your way. If that person has already decided their truth is the only truth. Don’t waste your breath trying to change their mind. Accept that they are choosing their own suffering and that you don’t have to. Accept that they feel a certain way about you. This is your life and you can live it any way you want. When we leave this human body and pass on, will anything they say really matter? How you feel about yourself is most important.
It doesn’t matter who has treated you poorly, you have a right to protect yourself against cruelty, judgement, and criticism. After 25 years of practicing shamanic energy healing, I have learned the importance of protection. I have zero tolerance for people who repeatedly put others down, roll their eyes, say hateful things, take their anger out on others, or don’t take responsibility for their own behaviors. It is up to each one of us individually to create our best lives.
5. Know your worth.
You do not have to prove yourself to anyone. Ever. You do not have to fight for acceptance or love. If someone doesn’t like you, fine. This means you no longer have to spend your time or energy on this person. The greatest gift someone can give us is to show us who they are and how they feel about us, genuinely. We empower ourselves to walk away when someone offers us their disdain for who we are. When someone spews hate or blame, they tell us how they feel about themselves.
Try to have compassion for them, as well as yourself. Try to see that if someone doesn’t understand your intentions, your ideas, your thoughts, your actions, or your desires in this life, it’s okay. Knowing your worth is how you know when it’s truly time to walk away.
Author: Sarah Norwood
Image: Kaan Oruç/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Sara Karpanan