There is a lot of finger-pointing that takes place in relationships, and especially during divorce. Many times the phrase, “That is YOUR problem” has been thrown out during conversations with Husband #2. I’ve made my new mantra: Instead of fixing others, fix yourself.
Labeling, diagnosing, finding flaws…these are all time-wasting, energy-sucking ways to divert effort and attention away from myself. It would be easy to sit around with a group of my girlfriends and point out all the ways that Husband #2 did me wrong, the neglect that I felt, the pain he causes, the disrespect he showed me…but after all that raging and complaining…would I have changed in any way? No.
Before acting or reacting, I put the question to myself. How does this help me to move on? How does this benefit my growth? Will this move me forward in my life and towards the goals that I hope to achieve?
One of my life tasks is to temper my tongue. I have a habit of saying what’s on my mind without considering the strength of my words. My early life experience has led me to believe that if I don’t stand up and fight for myself, no one else will. This thinking may be true, it may be wrong, it really doesn’t matter. It’s my way of thinking…not everyone else’s.
So I’m practicing three things:
- Standing up for myself
- In a respectful way
- While honoring the feelings of others
It’s a process. It’s not easy. The urge to defend my position will always be there, simmering just below the surface, especially when I feel like others are misinterpreting my motives. But I’ve come to understand that people will see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe no matter what I do.
And vice versa.
Just like letting others fix themselves and concentrating on my own flaws.