Owning my behaviour and looking after my side of the street, is all I need to do. What other people choose to do on their side, is their business. It’s taken me a long time to learn this (and I’m still doing so). I cannot control, nor am I responsible for what another person says or does. Wow, seems a simple thing to learn.
For me it has not been so simple.
My brain likes to be in flight, fight or fawn mode. Something I learned to do as a child, to be hyper vigilant to the moods and behaviours of others. It was a way to keep myself safe, to avoid the ‘smack’ or ‘angry words’. I’d try to anticipate and manipulate the behaviours of others to keep myself safe.
When we yell at and smack a child, we change who they will become, we change how their brain develops.1
Not that my parenting has been perfect, I have behaved in ways I feel ashamed of. I like to think each generation will parent a little better than the last and I know my parents did better than theirs.
For most of us, our model of parenting skills is our own parents. Learning to be a parent isn’t something we are taught. For some of us, the first time we hold a newborn in our arms is when we give birth!
Unfortunately my hyper vigilance and attempts to manipulate others are not great behaviours to carry through to adulthood. They are behaviours I am attempting to discard. Character flaws I need to work on and learning to do so is bringing me freedom and peace.
It’s hard work to be always vigilant of others,
to be constantly worrying about what they may think of me, what they may be saying about me. It’s exhausting and takes up way too much time and emotional load, Time and energy I could be using to explore who I am and who I want to be, to be enjoying my one precious life. My behaviours are robbing me of my best life.
Whatever someone thinks or says about me is not worth my mental wellbeing and the peace I am slowly learning to hold.
It’s ok for me to be judged by others, as it’s not my business.
I’m learning to focus on keeping my side of the street just as I want it. A peaceful place that is a delight to live in.