I read a neat and powerful little analogy on my social media the other day. It goes like this:
A young boy maybe the age of 8, had many issues with controlling his anger. Quite frequently he would lash out at those around him for little to no reason at all. One day, his father brought him to the front yard with some nails and a hammer, he said; “Son, each time you get angry, I want you to hammer one nail into this fence.” The boy did as he asked, and as each day passed, the amount of nails hammered into the fence grew fewer and fewer. Later, the boy went an entire day without getting upset. The boy ran to his father with the exciting news, and his father congratulated the boy for his accomplishment. The Father proceeded to take the boy back out the the fence and said; “Now, each day you are able to control your anger, you may pull one nail from the fence.” Many days passed, with each the boy controlled his anger, he pulled a nail from the fence. On the last day, the boy was overjoyed to tell his father that all the nails were removed from the fence. He ran to tell the good news and with a smile on his face the father took the boy out to the fence for one last time. He asked the boy to describe what he saw, the boy answered; “a fence with a bunch of holes in it”. The father looked down upon his son and said; “Even though you have removed all of the nails in the fence, the holes still remain…just as it goes with your words in life, even though you have apologized and ceased to let anger control your words, you cannot take back the hurt you have caused.”
A powerful and thought provoking story…
I want to talk about the holes in the fence rather than the boy who was creating them. I said in part 1 that “words are forgiven, not forgotten”, and while we may not forgive the little scars or holes that the people give us, our power of forgiveness has to outweigh their damage caused. A major part in doing this is learning how to stop taking things personally. When we do not take what people say to heart, we set ourselves free from the hurt that could’ve us caused more pain than necessary. We need to realize that NONE of what they’re saying, whether a product of anger or not, is a reflection of us. Our reflection, and ours alone, is the only reflection that counts. There are countless times I can think of where I have taken what someone said to heart, so far if fact, that the damage it caused did not fit the words used to create it. Our minds are magnificent, but at the same time, can be unbelievably destructive if we allow them to dwell on something negative for too long.
When someone says something that offends you, take it as a gift that now you have an amazing opportunity for growth. We as people grow, not by our successes, or by never hearing the negative, rather by when we do fail and are beaten down. It’s how we come out of those moments, how we choose to react, that truly allows changes us.
Not much growth comes from being comfortable, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The next time that someone offends you, ask yourself this:
- Is what they are say true? really… think hard… is it true? (Probably not) but convince yourself of this.
- Create your own mantra. Mine is: “I am love, I am peace.” Taught to me by my mentor. Yours can be whatever you like, repeat it over and over and over until your negative thoughts begin to fade.
- FORGIVE the person who said it. Why? Because, they must be in a really bad space to say offensive things to you. That is a painful place to be in, and you don’t need that hurt just as much as they don’t need the resentment from you. Be the bigger person.
**this cycle has helped me from lashing out at people for saying something I do not agree with. Keeping me from loosing relationships and helping me always maintain a kind presence**
Finally, and most importantly I want to touch on positive self talk.
When discussing speaking, one the the most important people you will ever talk to is yourself. My outlook on this is – be mindful of of how you are speaking to yourself because you are listening. If you haven’t seen the video of the little girl with beautiful curly hair shouting about how much she loves her hair, her home, her life, etc…YOU MUST LOOK IT UP NOW.
Be this little girl…
Some of us may have forgotten how beautiful we are, inside AND out. I am here to remind you, that you are. Be real for a moment…you are here, alive, different from anyone else in the entire world, with talents, successes from your hard work, goals you have reached and dreams you are following.
You my friend are what I call: B-l-e-s-s-e-d!!
You are not given this life to say you’re not good enough for it. How could that ever make sense? Do something with it, and teach others to do the same.
I learned an amazing tactic from a job I once had, called “I am…creates”. This practice is SO powerful in my eyes! We literally can speak things into existence by just our words of affirmation.
Just like your mantra, I want you to say this aloud. In your car, in your home, on a mountain, wherever…speak it.
“I am strong”
“I am courageous”
“I am blessed”
“I am beautiful”
“I am kind”
“I am forgiving”
“I am understanding”
“I am loved”
Do this, with every intention of being that person.
Speak words of truth, beauty and honor to those around you | Hold your tongue, when your words are unkind and hurtful, no matter the truth they hold | Do not take ANYTHING personally, the words of others have nothing to do with you | Lastly, love yourself, speak kindly to yourself, and know that only your reflection is the one that matters.