Good morning to all the Super Bowl Winners, Football Haters, Valentine’s Day Protesters and Googly-Eyed-Love-Birds! Today we will be talking about What To Do When Someone Does You Wrong.
Like the guy who lead you on and then didn’t respond when you asked him out.
Like the guy you were dating for years expecting a proposal that never came.
Like the person who anonymously logged a complaint against you without coming to you first.
Like the person who cheated on you and wants to take the kids on vacation with the person they cheated with.
Like the boss that implied you’d be the next one promoted right before you were laid off.
You know what it feels like to get hurt, rejected, left behind and lied to. You know what it feels like to be the “first to say sorry,” and the “last to know.” These things hurt. People hurt people, and when you’re in the middle of feeling abandoned or hijacked, you start to lose your confidence.
You wonder, “What did I do to deserve this,” and “What could I have done differently to avoid this,” and “what was he thinking,” and “How could she?” These are questions that leave us feeling powerless. They do us NO GOOD. In the middle of our pain, we analyze our short comings and their intentions to death.
The brain loves resolution. It’s a constant problem solver. Think of the brain like a master puzzler, working tirelessly until all the pieces fit to make a complete picture. The brain won’t stop working until the puzzle makes sense. That’s why it wakes you up in the middle of the night, and interrupts your work day with memories, and stops you mid-sentence with its obsessions. It craves resolution. And when you don’t have answers to WHY THE BAD THING HAPPENED, it just keeps puzzling. Enter stage right- SELF DOUBT, SHAME, and FEAR.
Self doubt, shame and fear all too gladly will answer your brain’s puzzling questions with, “You were such a fool to believe him,” and “You should have known better,” and “You’re doomed to be alone forever,” and “This is how it always turns out,” and “There must be something wrong with you.”
Exit SELF DOUBT, SHAME, and FEAR. Their parts have been cut. There’s a new sheriff in town! and it’s called Love.
Love says, “You’re going to be ok,” and “You’ve done hard things before, you can do hard things again,” and “You’re never alone,” and “Though they hurt you, they do not define you,” and “You are not a victim, you are an Over Comer.”
One way to get LOVE mobilized in your life is to let love speak.
Come on, just let it come out.
Love advocates for justice. Love tells the truth. Love casts out all fear. Love redeems what is lost. Answer your brain’s puzzling with some solid answers. I find it is helpful to write these things down in a journal, address them to the person who hurt you, or shout them in a closet. It’s inadvisable to speak your mind to the person who directly hurt you, unless you have very specific conditions (we can talk about this in another blog.) It’s more important to express yourself FOR YOURSELF. It’s not really for the other person as much as it is for you.
One of my friends went out on his boat in the middle of a quiet lake and shouted unfiltered thoughts and feelings until they were released. Your Love statements may sound something like this,
I didn’t deserve that treatment.
Your betrayal has nothing to do with me.
Your anger (choices, abuse, addiction) is not my fault.
I am for cherishing, for nurturing and for respecting.
I will not take on your judgment any more.
How sad that you missed the opportunity to really know me.
How sad that you gave up the chance to work together.
I am loved.
You may need to practice these statements until you get a sense of relief. Your brain will tell you when it’s puzzled is solved. If it’s not solved with exercises like these, then, talk to your counselor about it- there may be some unresolved trauma that got stuck.
Each of us have to navigate through rejection, betrayal, loss and grief. Sharing these experiences together with God’s help, makes us stronger and more resilient. You got this!