Don’t own other people’s shit!

Everyone has their own shit in life that they have to deal with.  Shit that comes and goes in varying degrees and from different sources.  There is usually more than enough for any one person to deal with without taking on other people’s shit as well.  

Unfortunately, when we do not take on other peoples shit, we are labelled as “selfish” and made to feel guilty about it.  The worst of which is a belief system that it is our job to make other people happy, regardless of the toll(s) it takes on our own well being.

When I learned this life lesson, I literally felt an elephant get up off of my shoulders and walk away.  

Don’t own other people’s shit.

A phrase I have told friends countless times over the years.  We all have enough in our own lives that we cannot afford to take on other people’s shit as well.  We all have things that have happened to us throughout our lives but we all need to learn how to best deal with it and not take it out on others.  

As much as you need to live your own life and learn your own life lessons, you have to allow others to do the same.

When someone is nasty or treats you poorly, don’t take it personally.  It says nothing about you but a lot about them
– Man Of Honor

When someone puts you down, criticizes you or is abusive towards you in some other fashion, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them!  “Bullies” as most of us know them as, are simply using you to help make themselves feel better about themselves.  A stepping stone towards their own “happiness”, if you will.

Quite often what they are putting you down about, is an inner reflection of themselves.  Whether it’s weight, beauty or choices you’ve made, chances are, they are either jealous and/or it is triggering something within themselves.  

A side effect of having learned this life lesson, is that I have become much more empathetic with people.  Whenever someone puts me down, rather then letting the “razor cut me” and/or taking it personally, I look sympathetically at the person.  I wonder what has or is going on in their life that they would bully me to help themselves feel better about themselves.

I made the choice several years ago to not look down my nose on someone else’s life and/or criticize the choices they make.  Again, I am human (that is, I am not perfect).  I may not feel that they are healthy or the “right” choices but they are not my choices to make, my lessons in life to learn or my life to live.  Instead, I try to “plant seeds” into their mind for when they are ready to make changes.  Other times, I outright call them on their “shit” and point blank ask them what their issue is with whatever they are criticizing me about.

I think one of the hardest things in life for a lot of people to accept is that you cannot change anyone but yourself.  People have to want to change in order to make positive changes in their own lives.  We can only do what is right for ourselves and make changes to foster our own happiness.

Do you have a “bully” in your life or have you had one in the past?  What have you done to change the situation?  Can you look back now on a former “bully” in your life and view them differently now?  Are you a bully?  Have you ever looked inside yourself as to why?

My “Rule of One”

In high school, I came up with what I have called my “Rule of One”.

Growing up, I was told I was ugly, stupid and fat among many other things and in many different ways.  I have experienced a myriad of other people’s cruelty over the years but I will address that in an upcoming post about why you should not “own other people’s shit!”

Hey Ugly!

Was how I was greeted by someone my parents played slo-pitch with although there were several other incidents in my life that made me feel unattractive.  I knew I would not grow up to be a model but in looking at them, I realized the impact Hollywood has on defining what “beauty” is.  Where one person finds beauty another may not.  With that, I came to realize there are people who are more attractive as well as people who are less attractive than me.

Don’t you know how to read a g’damn textbook?!

Was how my Grade 10 Math teacher would respond when I did not understand and ask for help.  Up to about Grade 10, I was an “A” and “B” student.  By the time I made it to Grade 11, my grades had dropped to “C”s and I ended up doing a second year of Grade 12 because I was one credit short of graduation.  While I would barely pass any academic courses, I would still achieve A’s in my Foods and Nutrition, Band and tutoring Science 9 classes.  It was not until college (where I graduated at the top of my class) that I realized we all had different subjects in which we were “smart” and not so “smart” in.  In either situation, I was not the best nor the worst in any given subject because there was always one person smarter than me and one person who was not.

You’re fat!

Yelled from a very drunk guy late one night whose friend was kind enough to pull over his van so he could open the door to yell this at me.  As if I did not already know I was overweight (not sure if this made him smarter or dumber but I digress).  It was not until my mid-20’s that I realized we do not all look like the models in the magazines and that we all come in different shapes and sizes.  And guess what, there is at least one person out there who weighs one pound heavier and at least one person weighs one pound lighter than me.

Regardless of the scenario, there is at least one person in the world who is better and at least one person who is not at any given thing.  Thinking about this seems silly but it was the foundation on which I began rebuilding myself in knowing that I was not the best or the worst at any given thing.

My “Rule of One” was the foundation for rebuilding my sense of self, self esteem and my self confidence.  Knowing that I was not the “worst” in so many things and that there are people who have the same challenges (and in some cases, worse and/or more), increases the gratitude I have for who I am, where I am at and what I have in my life.

If my “Rule of One” resonates with you, how does it make you feel?  Has a little bit of weight lifted off of your shoulders?  Do you believe in perfection?  Or is it just an illusion and/or something to strive for?