I am so fortunate for who is and is not in my life.
Last week I met with a friend of mine who I have know since we were teenagers serving the newest treat at Dairy Queen – the blizzard! When we worked drive-thru we used to mess them up on purpose so we could snack on the “mistakes” in between cars. That’s what rebels we were.
Now we each have sons that are in their last year of teenage-hood and they are much worse rebels than we ever were! In discussing our various adventures with our boys she told me that she has learned to “detach with love”.
We continually sang out with laughter “detach with love!” over the next hour as she pitied me for my dating misadventures and I sympathized with her over work stresses.
However, it did not hit me until this weekend that she really is on to something here. It is a choice and a mighty fine one, too.
I am a direct and sensitive person. I tend to say what is on my mind; however I am sensitive to other’s feelings so I try to do so in a manner which is not hurtful in any way possible.
My father also taught me by example if someone asks you what you think or feel it is best to be honest. The other party may not like what you have to say but 1. they asked and 2. your feelings are yours and therefore they are not wrong – so be honest.
Well, I was honest this weekend and it didn’t quite go over so well.
After repeated inquiries, I told someone how I felt, it hurt their feelings and they got mad at me. I felt really bad that it hurt their feelings, it was not my intent. I even apologized for that.
Then it started to sink in. They got mad at me for how I felt, my feelings, my personal interpretation and intimate thoughts. Mine. Yet I was the one feeling bad.
And, oh wait, they did not even ask for clarification as to why I felt this way, just had a hair-trigger, throw the shovel down in the sandbox, mad pout and storm off.
You asked, repeatedly, I answered, you didn’t like what you heard and yet you want to get mad at me? Seriously? And if it bothered you that bad why not ask me why I felt this way? Instead you want to throw a fit? Seriously? At this point I started getting a little fit driven myself, I will admit.
But then I remembered, “Detach with love!”
Here I was letting someone else’s reaction ruin my perfectly good mood. I was taking ownership of something that wasn’t even mine. I had a choice – to be upset or to “detach with love.”
I chose the later which meant I was giving myself a little self-love. I forgave myself for my own little in-my-head mini-fit and I let it go without any more negative thoughts. I love myself enough not to take on someone else’s stuff. I’m sorry they didn’t get it, but it is not mine to own or even carry about.
Are you taking ownership of someone else’s negativity today? Stop it. Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I’m letting this go, I’m giving it back to them and wish them well.” That’s detaching with love.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.