How To Stop Owning Other People’s “Shit”…


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WARNING: I’m going to use the word “shit” a lot in this piece. I like this word because it gives you a clear image of the steamy pile of issues we’re all dealing with on a daily basis. So, from now on when I say “shit”, what I mean is, issues, past, wounds, hurt, pain, boundaries, belief systems, political perspectives, the sum of personal experiences and the unconscious of our “self” and others. I hope they change the definition for “shit” in the dictionary soon. You will also see me quote “self” a lot in this piece. The reason is because our “self” is all relative. Meaning, that our “self” and how we see it, is in constant flux, the way we identify it and with it is constantly different. So, I put “self” in quotes and separate from “your” and “our” so that you can separate a little from the concept and put “self” into a different perspective. You should read this aloud with your friends and turn it into a drinking game. Take a shot every time I write “self” and “shit”. Oh, and make sure to air quote them in the aloud reading. You’re welcome. Let’s get to it!

We have been told, often times, people and situations we encounter are mirror images of ourselves. It’s been said that the things we see and experience are merely reflections of the sum of our “self” back to us. I agree with this, but I think it’s being misinterpreted. People around us are only reflections of our “self” in the sense of your inner self. So, you need only pay attention to your inner feelings and voice in these interactions to gain insight into your “self”. This is the only true reflection happening. Often times, I believe others have interpreted this to mean that the way others treat you or the things about them that bother you are keys into your own “shit”. This is simply not true, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The reactions, emotions and judgments that others have towards you are plain and simply the sum of their own “shit” (see definition above).

We find our “self” (drink!), owning other people’s “shit” often. If we feel that we’ve hurt someone’s feelings or offended them in some way, we will own that. As children, we are taught to say “I’m sorry” if we have hurt someone’s feelings. So, in that sense we have been programed to own others feelings. Should you be sorry if you hurt others feelings? Well, let’s take a look at the definition of “sorry”.

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In a sense, “sorry” is used to convey how you are feeling about someone else’s “shit”. So, yes, I suppose it’s OK to be sorry for them in that respect and feel for them that they are feeling a certain way. What we do not teach children is the difference between owning your actions and owning others feelings. For example, if Timmy hits Sara over the head with a book, he should be sorry for that action. If Sara is upset because Timmy didn’t notice her new dress, he shouldn’t necessarily be sorry. Those feelings are due to her own experiences, those are her feelings alone to own. Can Timmy be empathetic towards Sara? Sure, and if he ever wants to be successful with women, he should be! So, if Sara is crying because Timmy didn’t notice her dress and expresses this to him between sobs, perhaps instead of saying “I’m sorry” he could say “I empathize with that”.

There is a big difference between owning someone's "shit" and owning your actions, it's important to know the difference. It took me many years to realize this. So, I found myself struggling with friendships and relationships because I was simply taking on too much responsibility for their "shit". You have to allow others to have and own their own "shit" and you need to recognize your own coming up. Can you empathize with them? Yes! One of my favorite lines I love to say is "You don't know their story". If we took the time to understand other's stories, we could recognize when their "shit" comes up better. So, when you come into a situation where you've offended someone or hurt their "feelings", try to understand where they are coming from instead of being "sorry".

Stop Owning Other People’s “Shit”:

1.) Stop being a scientist: It's not your job to dissect someone's response towards you. Stop spinning your wheels wondering WHY they are acting the way they are. If you are sincerely feeling empathetic towards them, ASK them about their feelings. The answer you get may still be blaming, in that instance you can sympathize, but keep in mind that the root of their feelings truly has little to do with you and all to do with their "shit". Let it go!

2.) Recognize the difference between being sorry and being empathetic: You should most certainly make an effort to empathize with someone. To understand their story, to experience those feeling with them and NOT to experience guilt or sorry feelings BECAUSE of their feelings.

3.) Catch and release: When feelings of guilt or sorrow arise from someone's reaction or feelings around you, remind yourself that you cannot own other people's "shit". Ask yourself if you’re simply taking on someone's "shit". Remember sometimes our own "shit" is in fact to take on someone else's "shit". Recognize when it's happening. Catch it quickly, allow it to run its course through your emotions, release it.

4.) Practice: Use uncomfortable situations to practice. Is this truly YOU causing someone to FEEL this way or is it their own "shit"?

5.) Take Breaks: Sometimes, we just need emotional breaks from life to reevaluate. Spend time in nature or with animals. Use this time to reflect on your own "shit". Better understanding our "self" helps us to better understand others. Spending time in situations where we do not have to navigate the reactions of others helps us to put our "self" back into perspective.

6.) Remember: It's not always about you. Most of the time, it's about them.

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The Power Of Release


There comes a time in your life when you need to just release things that bring you anxiety or stress. I’ve found so much inner peace and love over the past few years that I have just decided not to hang onto negative people, places, memories or things. I am releasing them. Sometimes in the form of writing, which in many cases has been unwelcome by some that do not understand it. However, I think that bringing to light and speaking aloud truth you’ve kept bottled for so long can be a great healer. When you begin to release things in any form, you will get great resistance from others. Especially, if you are speaking truth about things they’d like to hold onto and they will feel great discomfort with your choice to release.  People can take great pride in their secrets, and your releasing them threatens the identity they have created around these secrets. Some people cannot accept the power of release and choose instead to dwell in either denial or the comfort of their own perception. Unable to accept the experiences of others.

It simply cost too much to allow someone or something to make you feel physically ill or mentally drained. Life is much too short for those things. This is why I have been practicing the power of release. I’ve chosen to simply remove myself from those kinds of situations. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am cutting people out of my life, I am simply removing myself from the negative situation. I am not allowing my emotions to be affected by outside circumstances. In order to achieve that, I will simply refuse to participate in giving it power.  I have worked very hard on creating balance, abundance and peace in my life and cannot allow that to be disrupted by outside circumstances. I feel that those that know me best as a person, will have no questions as to my character or motives. Therefore, I need not defend either of those things because the people that choose to bring love into my life would never dream to question those things even during this process. As the like minded and loving people will accept my journey as I will accept theirs as a result.  When your motives or character are being questioned, I think you have to reevaluate the relationship or situation. Your spiritual and personal quest, which for me currently is healing with writing,  will either bring out the best in others, or the worst. This is when you will know what and whom to keep. No matter how long, or what it might disrupt, it might be time to draw back your focus. It’s so important to be surrounded by like minds, and to draw those interactions to you. If you continue to hold on to the situations or things that are not in line with your spiritual growth, you will come to a stand still. Overcome by the circumstances instead of continuing to create love, light and positive vibrations.

I don’t view this as some kind of a loss, I think that you’re gaining peace when you choose to release. When the only thing that comes from a relationship or a situation is stress and anxiety, it’s just not worth spending your precious peace and energy on. If something in your life is creating this inside you to the point that it’s affecting your well being, it’s time to release. Once you choose to release a situation it will resolve itself one way or another, but continuing to hold on will only bring more stress.

I am so blessed in my life to be continuously surrounded by amazing people and circumstances. I am thankful everyday for those things and I will continue to be thankful for people and situations that create balance and love in my soul. Many times our first reaction to negative is to respond defensively desperately trying to shed light on our side. I realize now that is unnecessary. When others intentions are that of love, respect and understanding in your life, they will create that towards you. If their intention is to create negative and unnecessary disruption on your life because of their own projections they will also create that towards you.

I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. The saying that some people, even family, are in your life for reason or just a season is so true. We are all here to learn from each other and to experience new things and grow! At some point, sometimes you stop growing. I know that within myself and the life I am choosing to create, I want my relationships that I choose in my life to continue to grow. They cannot do that when others are creating negative thoughts and reactions towards you.

My mother used to refer to these people as “emotional vampires”  because by the time you are finally ready to be released from them, you are completely drained. They are the ones that round up others and consume a situation like a giant black hole trying to suck as many people into the negative energy force as possible. This is because they are choosing not to release and the only way to continue to hold on to the negative being created is to gain the acceptance of others on their perspective. This feeds the “emotional vampire” because they can now latch onto someone else and continue to drain them with negative sucking. They will probably be greatly successful at this since as humans we’re much more naturally attached to the negative and dramatic roles in life. If others cannot see the light and beauty that you are projecting onto the world, they are simply not worthy to receive it. If they have chosen to perceive you or your actions as those that are not loving, then perhaps they have missed the point completely.

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Finding Zen In Simple Things


One of the hardest things I struggle with in in my spiritual growth is being in the now. Buddha said “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” I believe this has a lot to do with being in the now, best taught, or rather better known, by Eckhart Tolle’s recent teachings. Being in the now means not dwelling on outside circumstances being created by others, after all we are in fact creating this within ourselves by allowing it to affect our emotions. Sometimes, the best way to be in the now is to find simple things that occupy your mind and your total attention. Lately, I’ve found those things to be crafts, creating music, writing and other creative outlets.

Take time outside your normal routine to enjoy creative and fun outlets. Before you know it, you’ll be so consumed with your project, hours will pass and you’ll not have had any other thought in your mind except your current focus. Afterwards,  I’ll bet you’ll find your mind, body and soul are much more at ease having given your inner voice a rest. Our internal chatter and ego are so loud we need to find ways to tame them. Meditation is great, but creative outlets can work in the same way and will give you just the focus you need to quiet your mind. Happy crafting!

Need some inspiration?

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