Giving Our Opinions Too Much Power
My friend called me out when we talked earlier this week.
She said, “Maryl, when you tell me that you feel like you wasted your afternoon at the beach or that you’re feeling really A.D.D. about your day, then you are bagging on yourself–you know, making yourself wrong. Were you actually diagnosed with A.D.D.??
“No,” I replied.
“So don’t do that. It’s not empowering AT ALL. Stop it! When we think or say things like that, we are hurting ourselves without even realizing it.”
Truth is, she’s right! When we give our opinions too much power, we suffer…a lot!
The more what she said sunk in, the bigger the pit in my stomach got. I suddenly could see how making myself wrong had me feel tired and crappy. Forget about my day being shot, I could see how I was actually giving my inner critic a megaphone!
My opinions and comments cast things in the ugliest light. Hell, they cast ME in the ugliest light! When I give them power, nothing good results and that’s exactly when suffering can swoop right in!
Taking this even further, who and what do I want leading my life? I’ve totally got this! And yet, that inner critic can have me forget that.
I know that living from our vision takes practice and I also know how that inner critic can throw that practice off track.
So what are ways to cultivate this practice? What tools can I use to stay in my power?
For starters, I can start with the declaration that everything, every thought, every everything has its place. Nothing and no one is WRONG. The practice of living from vision might simply call for using certain tools to negotiate anything in our lives.
Tools at our disposal? Let’s start with acceptance.
…accepting what’s happening as it is. The practice of acceptance keeps me centered and grounded versus being swayed into suffering by my opinions or complaints.
Last week I wrote about the Ponzi scheme I was a party to. Initially I was angry and felt duped. But dwelling on the wrongness of it didn’t get my funds returned to me or have me feel financially empowered. And, making this personal, when anyone makes anyone wrong, mostly people shut down, me included. Whatever positive outcome that was possible turns into NOT LISTENING!!
Life happens. We are tested so that we see what we are capable of!
Everything that happened, is happening or will happen gives us the opportunity to see that we have what it takes.
If we accept what’s happening and consciously respond, we stay in our power.
Other tools at our disposal?
- Trusting ourselves that we know what we need to do to deal with what’s in front of us.
- Reaching out to someone who’s an expert in dealing with the matter at hand.
- Breathing deeply to nurture our nervous system.
- Disrupting our reactions by getting physical – walk, do push-ups, jump up & down.
- Getting present and being in the moment with a quick meditation.
- Finding gratitude and noting it.
- Speaking your affirmations.
- Discerning if you’re reacting from an opinion or a fear. Then journal it onto a page. Get it OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
- Take 1 action at a time
But Maryl! Someone embezzled money from me! That’s SOOO wrong!
Yes. Anyone stealing from you and betraying your trust hurts.
Dear one, it already happened.
Your money is gone. Do you want ulcers too? Do you want to compromise yourself twice?
Channel your upset. Find the appropriate remedy and find your center. Seething about it, complaining about it, making yourself sick about it turns what happened into trauma.
Choosing to not overly suffer about something does not justify injustice, unkindness, mistreatment, etc. It simply lets us keep our power and not punish ourselves.
The other way I get my power back is when I forgive. We’ll talk about that next time but essentially, forgiveness takes ourselves out of an internal state of conflict. It frees us. This might not work all of the time, but check and see if it can work in this case because staying steeped in being upset can feel like it’s own kind of captivity.
I personally don’t thrive with toxic feelings inside. For me, forgiveness brings me peace and freedom…