Today, I am coaching myself about this very thing. A person who means a lot to me has recently criticized my character and choices with harsh words. She has voiced derogatory opinions about my intentions and heart.
Ugh! This is hard!
There is nothing I can do to change her thoughts about me.
Trust me, I told her she was wrong about me.
Her response? She said she knew me better than I knew myself. She said she was right, but I just couldn’t see it yet.
She had made up her mind—and there was nothing I could do about it.
Guess what IS in my control though?
My thoughts. Where should I start?
Well, I know some things I don’t want.
I don’t want to become the victim of her thinking. That would leave me feeling desperate, or helpless, or something like that.
I don’t want to throw blame at her. That would leave me feeling prideful, judgmental and resentful.
If I don’t want to feel that stuff, I need to be okay with her being wrong about me.
First, I need to separate myself from her opinion about me. Just because she thinks it or says it, that doesn’t make it true. They are just her thoughts. That’s it. Sentences in her brain. A story she is telling herself and choosing to believe. That’s it!
Her opinions and thoughts tell us more about her than they do about me.
When she tells herself a story about me that is negative and hurtful, she creates feelings of resentment and frustration… for her.
Those are her thoughts and feelings. Not mine.
Now I need to decide what I want to think and feel.
Do I want to feel hurt, resentment, rejection, hatred, frustration, anger?
That’s easy. All I have to do is ruminate on how wrong I think she is about me and tell myself stories in my brain of how audacious and mistaken she is.
It’s easy to lean into being hurt and wronged. That doesn’t take much effort.
I think I’ll choose to feel acceptance of her, compassion for her, love and peace.
Hmmm… that means I’m going to have to think different thoughts. This will take some intention and effort.
Let’s see… She is on her own journey and I respect that. I can think that. I want people to do the same for me, so I can think this for her. Alright, that allows me to feel acceptance.
Life is hard to navigate. I know she is doing her best and has had lots of pain and loss in her life. I think that and I feel some compassion.
We’ve had decades of amazing moments together. What a gift that was. I feel grateful.
She’s doing her best. Even if it doesn’t make sense to me. I know she is doing her best. I feel love.
I don’t know God’s plan, but He does, and I’m going to trust in Him… ahhhh… I am feeling peace.
I can shift my thoughts and I get to feel better!
I can shift my thoughts and be okay with her being wrong about me.
I should also mention that I gave myself time to feel disappointment and rejection. Then, when I was ready, I started shifting my thoughts.
(Don’t push away the normal emotions that have some pain to quickly in an effort to feel better. Read this article to learn more about feeling your emotions on purpose.)
Listen, it’s not possible for all people to like me all the time. And some people who used to appreciate me might change their mind. There are people that will think I’ve got it wrong, or that I’m doing it wrong.
This is life. This is normal.
Just remember, others’ opinions of you have no bearing on your worth. You are awesome. You are amazing. Nothing anyone else thinks, says, or does can change that.
When someone else judges your words, choices, appearance, and question your worth, they are wrong. And that’s okay. That’s about them, not you.
And choose the thoughts that allow you to feel peace, compassion, and best of all… love.