It’s not easy to hear words from others that sting, injure, or humiliate, and that may hurtle you into change. It seems as though the words hurt so badly, glaring right at you. And whether we like it or not, it is up to us to build our inner emotional muscle, to look at what just occurred, and try to turn it into a positive, building strength and character.
The problem is that most of us can’t, or don’t want to, face or handle the truth. We get angry. The anger turns into resentment, which turns into distress, which turns into disapproval, dissatisfaction, discontentment, and displeasure. We often stop all forms of communication with the person who confronted us. We then spurt words of blame and guilt because down deep we know it could be the truth. Who likes to admit that?!
It’s not always easy to figure this out or admit to ourselves that there is some truth in what was said to us. It’s complicated. We’re in denial – we don’t want to admit our own shortcomings. We don’t believe that we can, in fact, build bridges with those who are often just trying to help us work with our emotional distress. We have no clues or insights regarding how this painful interaction could really help us become closer, better human beings.
It’s also not easy to refrain from retaliation, to “lash out” at the person who has caused this emotional upheaval. It certainly isn’t easy to look at someone else’s perspective and point of view. It takes courage and honesty to encompass and grab hold of what was said and to really analyze it. It takes unwavering courage to put one’s ego aside and “do the work.” It takes a willingness that you never had before. Most importantly, it takes an open mind and an approachable heart! Because, who likes to look at themselves, their faults, and perhaps admit a truth? Not many people, that’s for sure…
What does that truth look like? What does it take for me to be honest with myself? How can I become willing to look within? When will I be able to look at this area of my life and know that I will be able to face my feelings, stand tall, and climb my way up that steep mountain of awareness?
The answers will come when you are ready. When you find you are tired of acting, and of projecting a false image to others. When you can’t hide your head in the sand anymore, or when you want to leave the table, excuse yourself, say you’re going to the bathroom, but instead just leave the premises. You think it’s better or easier to leave well enough alone, to run away from it all.
While extremely challenging, it will be necessary to give it your all, your undivided attention, your collective best, your thoroughness, and your steady dedication.
It’s not about getting angry, insulted, frustrated, or embarrassed. It’s not about the words glaring you in the face! It’s about bettering yourself, humbling your behavior. It’s not about always having your way, or always having to be right.
It’s about learning and growing – thinking about what was said to you and how you feel about it. Deciding whether the words ring true to you and how you can use this information to become a better you. It’s about rising above, facing the music, dancing in the rain, and possibly accepting your friend’s gentle advice. You have a choice: you can grow closer to this person or more distant. It’s a decision only you can make!