By Lori Lines
The Power of Words
Think back to a time when someone gave you heartfelt praise, “great job,” “impressive,” or “way to go”! Were you filled with pride, a sense of appreciation, or the satisfaction of accomplishment? Alternatively, can you remember when someone diminished your efforts or harshly criticized you? “I’m disappointed in you?” “Is that the best you could’ve done?” What emotions did that stir within you? How did it make you feel?
Words can hurt, or they can heal. Some wield words as weapons striking out to cause injury. Others carelessly toss words around, unconsciously letting them fall where they may. And there are those sacred moments when we use our words like a soothing balm to comfort the pain of others. Words have power. Yet like a sword, they cut both ways.
“Main Character Energy”
A new term for an old mindset, main character energy, can refer to someone who sees themselves as the main character across circumstances, with others playing supporting roles. This type of worldview is dangerous because things can become deeply personal! A neighbor not saying hello, leads to a whirlwind of theories about how we have offended them. A warm moment between coworkers becomes fodder for a passionate attraction they supposedly feel for us. And an offhanded remark or inconsiderate putdown becomes a profound affront to us, shaking the foundation of our self-esteem.
The reason for someone’s words may be a poor night’s sleep, the fact that you remind them of a selfish ex or demanding parent, or they may not even have intended it the way you perceived it. They may have a blunt way of communicating, or something may have been lost in translation due to text or email. It often has very little to do with us when someone says something offensive… or does it?
Seeing Things as We Are
Anaïs Nin once said, “we don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.” And that is why despite the words of others often having very little to do with us, our perception and response ultimately have everything to do with us. Therefore, it is essential to recognize when we feel offended so that we can identify our triggers, mitigate our defensiveness, and use the moment to awaken instead of agonize.
We might feel shameful, sorrowful, or fearful when we are offended. Some people become indignant, full of rage, or vengeful. These are all defense mechanisms the ego-self employs to protect itself from being wounded or triggered. And fundamentally, defense mechanisms are a means of rejecting and denying something that may or may not be true but, nevertheless, disrupts our sense of self and worth. So, be mindful when you feel yourself shutting down or lashing out!
Your Trigger, Your Responsibility
Once we can recognize when we are offended, we soon discover that when someone’s words are offensive, it is often because they poked around an old unhealed wound. It is essential to identify these triggers to strengthen ourselves against future pain and offense and heal past traumas and emotional blockages.
Some questions to ask once you have recognized that you are offended are…
When have I experienced this before?
Who or what do these feelings remind me of?
How did it make me feel then?
How does this trigger me to feel now?
How does this contradict how I perceive myself?
How does this affirm how I perceive myself?
Of course, these questions are just the beginning of learning to acknowledge, find the root of, accept, and heal triggers. Remember, a trigger isn’t a “bad” or shameful thing; it can be a powerful tool for self-exploration and personal growth!
Toxic or Tactful Defensiveness?
Just as triggers aren’t all “bad,” vulnerability isn’t all good. We are often encouraged to be receptive and open-hearted; Genuine has become synonymous with wearing our hearts on our sleeves. However, this, like most extremes, is not healthy. To swing too far on the spectrum, being totally “open” leaves us defenseless against those who would do us harm, destabilize our self-wroth, and compromise our sense of self. Too far in the opposite direction, we would be narrow-minded, emotionally detached, unable, and unwilling to change.
Ultimately, it is the difference between a blockage and a boundary. Boundaries are a matter of self-worth. Blockages stem from self-doubt. Toxic defensiveness is a cage, limiting our growth and keeping away everyone and everything that would challenge our limiting beliefs or lead to change. Tactful defensiveness creates a healthy boundary between you, others, and their opinion. It allows you to define who you are while adapting to who you are becoming.
How to Not Take Things Personally
Taking things personally can significantly impede our self-esteem, ability to communicate with others, and journey to enlightenment. How much more evolved would we all be if we took things a little less personally and chose to be responsive instead of reactive? Learning to do so is a practice; Each day, it is a moment-to-moment choice to move through life consciously, mindful of the grey areas between our perception, reality, and the perception of others. Practicing a CALM approach to life, you will soon discover the freedom of not taking things personally!
Confidence - Create a self-care routine and spiritual practice that nourishes self-worth and personal conviction.
Accountability – Non-judgementally, hold yourself accountable for your perceptions, reactions, growth, and healing.
Learn – Take a step back and explore what the “offense” has triggered for you and why. Be willing to learn more about what you need to heal.
Move On – Acceptance is a big part of the journey. Even if someone intended to harm you, accept that you cannot control others, only your response; Know when it is time to let go and move on.
In love and truth,
Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.