December 27th: Motives

big Oak Tree

I have a good friend who always says, “What someone is saying to you says more about them….. then it does about you.”

She shared this thought with me because I was always taking things people said about me… to heart… and allowing myself to be hurt by their comments.

I caught myself acting is if this “source” this “person” who was speaking to me… was somehow like my Higher Power: “all-knowing.”

As I began really listen to others, with my friend’s words in my mind, I realized that she was right.

I began to see motives behind many of these hurtful statements and most often it was related to that person’s own filters, their self-esteem issues, their character flaws, and suddenly… I could see that nothing they were saying really had anything to do with me.

This helped me to begin listening to people without reacting.

I began the habit of waiting 24 hours before responding to a particularly snarky or cruel comment. I learned by giving myself time to think, to calm my emotions instead of automatically reacting, I could then assess if there was any truth in the statement. I could decide if there really was something that needed to be discussed with this person who was being particularly unkind, or what I needed to ignore, or “let go” of completely.

I have found by stepping back and listening for hidden motives before reacting to a conversation, I can save myself hours of worry, resentment, frustration, and anger, and learn to have empathy for a person who is in too much pain to be kind to me at the moment.

“Dear God, help me to step back when I find myself struggling to remain calm in any situation. Help me to see that others have their own issues and flaws that they may be projecting onto me and let me share my compassion with them and find grace in my actions.”

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10 thoughts on “December 27th: Motives

  1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. It is so appropriate because yesterday someone whom I work with made unkind statements to me without good cause. I didn’t feel that I deserved to be treated that way. I realize now that it was his limitations and problems that caused him to react innappropriately. I tend to take things personally and I appreciate your meditation about seeing things differently. Now, I feel better!

    • It was such an awakening for me Judy when my friend said this… I’m glad you feel better… it really does say more about that person than you! Don’t let them ruin your moment! 🙂

      • Because you’re also a songwriter, you could appreciate how challenging it is dealing with egos in the music arena. I want to enjoy my music! I think with separation and divorce I’ve had heightened sensitivity and there is so much more vulnerability. Well, I am not going to let anything bring me down!

  2. Hi D- been spending a quiet holiday and saw your earlier comments on 23rd to other posts. Hope you’re having nice holiday.
    Thinking about this post and how we feel about comments , and during my first holiday alone I hear the echoes of really tough conversations and started to have waves of sadness even after six months of my not being with my ex now. I’m trying to push these thoughts away and remember that he was trying to get away, had made the choice to love someone else, and that lying to prevent conflict and lousy comments to eat at my self esteem were about him. As I go into the New Year I hope I can continue to let go of my feelings !

  3. Hi Patricia I was just thinking of you this morning and hoping all was well… the first holiday is always difficult. My ex actually asked me for a divorce on Christmas Eve while we were out with our children (sigh… great timing huh?)… yesterday… I was really missing someone and wanted to contact them but I realized it just wasn’t in my best interest to do so…. I waited 24 hours for the feeling to pass because I knew I was caught up in the “fantasy” of what was… and then today… I reminded myself of the “reality” of their actions and that soon set me right again. It sounds like you are reminding yourself of the reality… which is good… hard I know… but good…. it will help you move forward to a better year… a new fresh start…. I promise! D.

  4. Hi D thank you so much.
    Very rough week – family of my ex that are close to me have been calling, texting, sending their love — it’s soooo hard. But I felt it was best to stay away this year so I visited elsewhere and then headed home.
    Oh my… asking for a divorce on Christmas Eve w/ the children present… it’s amazing when the other person is in their own “zone” how insane some of these events can be. I can’t imagine, I’m so sorry to hear that, and you’re such a great mentor on how to move through these things.
    i read your post for today also, and will be reading daily now. I’m so excited for the coming New Year!

  5. You are doing exactly what you need to do for you and get through the pain… they will understand… Just keep taking care of yourself…. :)))) D.

  6. Excellent points you make here. I try to explain this to my children. Usually people who make cruel statements are really focused on their own lack of confidence or self-esteem. Sometimes it makes them feel better when they can bring someone else down. It makes sense to consider the source when insulting or mean words are said about you.

    • Thank you, Ansley. It really has helped me to be much calmer by considering the source and giving some time before response. I hope your doing well through the holidays! 🙂 D.

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