Friday, July 12, 2013

self-preservation



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This is something I learned when I was a kid but didn't understand until I was grown-up.

I come from a long line of mean people.

Each generation passing cruelty up the family tree.  As time moves forward, I imagine our meanness fading and our family tree branches spreading wider while we soak up more knowledge, more empathy and more compassion.

I don't know where all this meanness came from, I only know that it is part of the concoction that makes me, me.  

As a seven-year-old little girl, I was terrorized by the meanness.  When you're a kid and someone is cruel to you, there is no level of understanding.  Could it really be because I couldn't find my shoes?  The panicked pace of my little heart mirrored that confusion and I lived in a world of anxiety.

By the time I was 10, I began to flirt with the idea that it might be my fault.  This thought spattered itself throughout my tween years.  Maybe if I found my shoes I would deserve kindness?  Maybe if I did everything right?  Maybe if I was different?  Maybe if I didn't exist?  Maybe if...?

Self-preservation is an fascinating concept.

Do you remember the climber (Aron Ralston) who got trapped in a canyon and cut of his own arm off to save his life?  Unimaginable!  And, I think I've heard a million stories of wolves and tigers and mice chewing their legs in half to free them from a trap.

At an age where most of our brain goes haywire and we make lousy choices and care nothing for consequences, I found myself settling at least one positive neuron path.  I began to trim and cut out the notion that people are mean because of some real or imagined set of flaws in myself.  If I listened to that lie it would cripple me.

So, with that, was born this fundamental piece to my self-preservation:

People aren't mean to you because of you, 
they are mean because of themselves.

If you have been neglected, abused, bullied or treated poorly and believe it's your fault, get out your scissors this weekend, because I would love to see you trim and cut that crippling lie from your life.

xoxo,
Scabs


8 comments:

  1. You know I love this. Thanks for putting it somewhere I can read it over and over.

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  2. Beautiful. A concept I am trying to learn and re-learn always.

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  3. Thanks scabs. I remind myself that people aren't mean to me because of me but because they have a problem. That is so true. Thanks for reminding me of that.

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  4. This is fantabulous. I wish someone had helped me see it when I was in that tender age where the brain is developing so much. It's not an easy thing to retrain your brain after decades to believe something other than "it's all your fault."

    But it helps to have people write truth. This is why I've needed 12 steps. Because I have spent a lifetime believing it's somehow my job to make others happy. It's amazing to me to hear of youth who can figure truth like this out. My sister is like this. I just had no clue. It took me until age 35 or so to even start to understand this as a possibility.

    ~Michelle

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    1. We all have things that take us till 35 to begin to understand!! I can think of so many lessons I have yet to grasp. This seems like something a 10 million and one women struggle with. I pray that we can see our value and know our awesomeness!

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  5. I grew up the same way. But only from one parent thankfully. But he sure made up for her kindness. And before i knew it was learning things and even though i didn't realized it.. i seeked out the same thing in a boyfriend. crazy how that works out. this is a great reminder.

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    1. Right! Isn't it crazy how we repeat some of these patterns? Here's to breaking cycles and being healthy! cheers!!!

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  6. Thanks scabs. I emphasize myself that individuals aren't mean to me because of me but because they have a issue. That is so real. Thanks for telling me of that.

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