There is a saying my mother used to say all the time when I was a child.
“If the shoe fits, wear it”.
I remember the phrase, but not the specific incidences in which it was said. I absorbed the meaning from her repetitive saying of it. I was essentially complaining that I wasn’t guilty of what she was saying I may have been guilty of. Rather than debate the issue, she used this phrase. It empowered me. If I was guilty of what she was saying, then I had to accept it. If I wasn’t, then I had to let it roll off. This goes with another saying she repetitively said, usually right after I started a long litany of why I was innocent.
“Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway”. ~ Elbert Hubbard
I think she was trying to break me of the habit of becoming defensive and taking things so personally, since she apparently found it so unbecoming. She was telling me that she loved me, and didn’t need a long explanation from me. She was training me in childhood, for those times when I would come across people who didn’t love me, who wouldn’t believe my explanations anyway – who wanted to believe the worst about me – no matter how much sense I made to the opposite.
(Of course there is always the exception of the times when you need a lawyer, but this post is not about things that serious; it’s about everyday things we take so personally and become so serious about. Those things we don’t need to spend our precious energy on, tiring everyone out, including ourselves).
Here is an article on the subject of why becoming defensive is so unbecoming:
The other day, I posted a post about my jubilation in the snow, in this category of “Journey through Cancer”. Many people may have said the comment to me that I mentioned in the post. One person in particular became defensive, and wrote an email with a fairly long explanation, which was surprising, because I never mentioned who it was.
I recall one time being in a group on the internet, and the leader of the group posted something that I took personally. I wound up writing to that individual, and they came back with “it wasn’t about you at all”. I was chagrined and remembered my mother’s early lessons.
Enough said. It’s not always about you. But, if the shoe fits, wear it.
“When you react, you are giving away your power. When you respond, you are staying in control of yourself”. ~Bob Proctor
Here is a quote from me:
Don’t mistake someone’s silence for being weak. They may be showing great strength. ~Kathie Thaw