You know how you find yourself ruminating about something and you can’t seem to let it go? It’s that time when someone says or does something and you keep replaying it in your head and thinking “How could they have said that?” or “Why did they treat me like that?” You know you are really in the thick of it when you start playing the whole thing over and you come up with about 4 different ‘comebacks’ or other things you wish you had said or done.
Recently, I seem to have gotten caught up in a plethora of experiences/interactions that left me shaking my head, wondering what the hell I did wrong, and questioning everything. Then I finally figured out that I needed a serious reality check. I was getting caught up in my fears, insecurities, and doubts. It’s one thing to have my own doubts, fears, and such. But when a combination of my own stuff is going on and then I get healthy doses of other people projecting their own jacked up stuff in the form of criticism, judgment, impatience and lack of understanding…well it becomes one heck of a downward spiral.
So the thing is, I like peace in my life. I like ease and understanding. When those things are lacking, I immediately look inward to figure out what is going on and what I can change. What I have found is that sometimes all I need is a basic reality check. Think about it like an insurance claim. Stick to the fact, nothing but the facts. Leave out all emotions, assumptions, and impact. What actually happened?
An example could be: “This person said something that hurt my feelings.”
The reality check? Someone made a statement. It’s not about denying feelings were in fact hurt, it’s about the fact that the only thing that happened in that moment was someone made a statement. Can you take that statement, interpret it, internalize it, then experience in a variety of ways? Sure. And that is the exact stuff to let go for a true reality check. When you start to play it out in your head and determine that the statement was right or wrong, that it was given with disrespect, that it somehow reflects your value; you are including assumptions and judgement. But it’s not about making assumptions OR judgement. It’s about looking at the facts. A statement was made. An action was taken. It does not have to define everything you are or represent the whole world.
The reality check doesn’t make a hurtful interaction go away, it doesn’t make a feeling not be present. It simply allows an opportunity to gain some objectivity and practice some self compassion and kindness. When we release our emotional attachments and judgments we can allow more room for understanding which ultimately can create a path of love through the form of forgiveness (whether it be for ourselves or someone else).