Inspiration This Week: A Harsh Reality Check

I'll lead with this anonymous quote:

"Sometimes you have to make peace with the fact that you are the villain in someone else's story even if you thought you were doing the right thing. You don't get to tell them how to narrate their experience."

Theme This Week: Trying to Change the Narrative of Others

I bet that title hits some of you pretty hard. I know it does for me. We try so hard to please others. Or more accurately, to not tarnish our image in the eyes of others. We like to think we lead with good intentions. And I believe that for the most part we do. However, sometimes our actions, even met with the best intentions, are going to have a negative impact on someone else.

Let's look at a few examples: You decide you need to break up with your partner. You need to move out of state, away from your friends and family. You need to deny a friend a loan. These are great examples of times when we chose what is best for ourselves, having to accept that it would negatively impact another person.

We have the best intentions for our actions. If we break up with someone, we may know that it is the best thing for both of us. If we are moving out of state, it may be because it is the best thing for our career and self-worth. If we deny a friend a loan it may be that we simply do not have the financial means to help. 

However, just like we are the protagonist in our stories; everyone else is the protagonist in theirs. So while your ex-partner may recognize someday that it was the best decision at the time, they are going to hold some anger and hurt towards you right now. Our friends and family may understand that a career is best pursued out of state, but you are leaving them alone and they are losing a huge support in their life. A friend that needs money may not see your financial inability to help as a good enough reason to leave them without rent money and potentially homeless. 

We try desperately to justify our actions and make the other person see why we did what we did. But herein lies the problem. We cannot change another person's perspective. And in trying to do so, we end up spinning our tires and burning up all of our energy. All we can do is accept that they are going to see things in their own way, continue being true to ourselves, and have compassion for them to hopefully heal from the hurt one day. We have to sit with the acknowledgement that in being the hero of our own story, we are going to ruffle some feathers and inevitably disappoint someone along the way. 

Challenge This Week: Accept That You Are The Villain in Someone Else's Story

Yup, it's that simple. And yet it still stings. I want you to think about a recent or current scenario where you are trying desperately to manage the emotional response of others. Did you identify one? Good. Now stop doing what you're doing. Look within and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and why you know it is the right thing for you. And tell yourself that even if it is the right thing for you, it may not be the best for someone else, and accept that there is nothing you can do about that. Know that you mean well. And have compassion and faith that the other person will find the healing they need. Take a deep breath, and continue living.

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