A couple of months ago, a person said some very hurtful things to harm me. This person shared their thoughts about me in an extensive conversation with my husband himself. For weeks, while several isolated attacks on my character were unfolding, the emotional pain I experienced quickly turned physical; my face would grow hot at the very thought of what was said about me and to whom, my posture would tighten and cause my spine to curl and lock, my heart would palpitate, and suddenly I would start to shake. This went on for weeks, and my hands are ever so slightly threatening to start shaking at this very moment, knowing that I’m going to publish my vulnerability for others to read. Alas, I remain calm…
Often times, what people say or think about someone is a reflection unto themselves. At first, the lies affected me and hurt me very much. The offense of someone intruding into our marriage and threatening it’s sanctity with derogatory, hurtful accusations was almost too much for me to bear. I felt violated.
I don’t put myself out into the world to be judged very often, and I hadn’t experienced this type of emotional turmoil stemming from a social situation in a very long time, so the ability to cope with it right away was quite lost on me. It was especially confusing since it was coming from someone I trusted and felt close to in the past. Since my husband was wedged into the middle, and a lot of my pain stemmed from what this person had attempted to influence my husband to think of me, it was crucial that he and I heard each other, and had an open discussion about what feelings were lurking beneath our skins.
This was my initial, and most powerful step toward accepting that my intuitions were right; the lies weren’t true, and I knew that everyone knew that. Crucial to my emotional healing was accepting my husband’s validation of my concerns and thoughts, and him encouraging me to fight the grip of this person’s words. It was also a turning point in becoming aware of the power that I let this person take over me individually, and the way I was feeling was not a sustainable way to carry on with a healthy life. With that acknowledgment, I became capable of opening my heart to myself and the people who mattered, and I was able to begin to consciously resist the feelings that this person’s words and actions set out to hurt me with. By identifying the phantom feelings that would, and still do, try to jeopardize my sense of self-worth and acceptance, I began to form a response to these feelings with my mind and body. This might look like taking deep breaths, or stretching my arms above my head to loosen my shoulders, or maybe I close my eyes and clear my thoughts, and then allow myself to feel worthy of love from myself, as well as from my husband and son. I create a fluid path to accept, and immediately release the harmful feelings, unwilling to give them habitable space in my psyche or my heart.
With all intents and purposes, I was learning to let it go. This phrase eludes me with it’s lack of practicality, because letting go is not an answer or a response, it is an act. Letting go requires awareness, and what is threatening to turn you against yourself; from then, determining what is more important – what this outside, negative energy has to offer you, or the value the acceptance of yourself and your truth has to offer you. Letting go is a consistent choice that I have to make to protect my opinion of myself, which is the most valuable opinion of them all.