Something that I struggle with every day is maintaining a feeling of worthiness even when others are treating me badly. That I don’t have to be treated badly is a task for another life time. Right now, I just have to learn how to hold on to feeling good about myself.
Normally, the slippery slope begins with an incident of some kind, that is often characterised by me feeling ‘unseen’. From there it may escalate to shouting match with the one that doesn’t see or, more typicallly, it is an aggressive exchange that takes place entirely in my head. I replay the infraction over in my head, a number of times, and then I start to gather more ‘evidence’, of other times that I was misunderstood, yelled at, left out or disregarded.
Once I have a fair number of examples in my head of how badly I am treated, I ask myself the question: Do I Deserve This Treatment? Today I have come to understand that there is no good way to answer this question:
Yes (I deserve it) – I’m a bad person that should be punished and I’m treated badly because that is all I’m good for.
No (I don’t deserve it) – I am a victim and I continue to be treated badly because I am powerless to change how I’m received.
Today I realise that it is the asking and answering of this question that leaves me feeling bad, because I have created a link between someone else’s ‘bad’ behaviour and what I deserve. I did that. Nobody said to me, “I snapped at you because you don’t deserve to be spoken to well”. I just made that connection for myself and it feels bad, it feels unworthy.
From now on, I am going to know that I only deserve to be loved (as my friend Todd told me on Valentine’s Day) and other people’s behaviour can’t change that.
[I don’t know where this image comes from, but I think it is so beautiful and if it belongs to you, please let me know]