Stop Giving A Shit
I’m going to believe that you care about yourself. Is it safe to assume this generalization is true?
Do you care enough to step into a pile of your smelly shit to fertilize the growth of your future flower bed?
Let that sit for a moment.
Caring about yourself means you have a willingness to learn.
And, learning about yourself is a journey. It doesn’t always feel good. It requires stirring up some messiness in your life. When you start to stir things up, you start to uncover things you have forgotten about yourself, kept hidden, or had no idea about because you refused to see it. You start to notice the signs that tell you to bring more of what you’re hiding out into the open for everyone to see and experience.
And that scares the shit out of you for two reasons:
First, you believe the real you won’t be accepted.
And second, integrating a different version of you requires change and change creates discomfort for those around you.
Both are true. Want to know why?
Because you’re allowing others to still dictate how to love and accept yourself.
Like seriously, STOP.
Full on self-acceptance requires change. Of course it does! And not everyone is comfortable with change – get over it. Change means we must see things – in front of us, within us, within others, even beyond us. Change triggers.
And when you’re the one doing the triggering, it can suck. Trust me, I get it.
And owning who you are is an uncomfortable process – not just for you, for others as well – because there’s a lot of uncertainty and you’re still learning how to be with yourself. So how are others supposed to be with you then, right?
That’s not your concern.
Let me repeat that. It’s not your role to manage or own the behaviours of others.
Sure, it’s uncomfortable. Sure, you may not purposely go looking to rock the boat.
Your concern is you. You only have power over yourself.
You cannot control how others translate their life experiences, what emotions will trigger them or what their behaviour will be.
So how do you move beyond what will be uncomfortable for you?
You stay focused on yourself.
Be selfish even.
You see, I’m the queen at rocking boats. I honestly believe that my purpose on this earth, in this time in our history, is to stir shit up within people so that they can live a life that is full and is THEIRS. To help them set their heart on fire. I’m simply that lightning bolt that zaps them in the ass.
That energy used to get me into trouble. It kept people at an arms distance (yeah, I’m sure I had something to do with it as well, but that’s a whole other post).
I used to be labelled as too intense, passionate, direct, confident, strong, and too much.
Not only did I believe these parts of my personality were wrong, others would tell me so with actual words and/or body language.
I now have the insight to believe that I was triggering something within others that they may/not have been ready to face yet. And I have feedback that by me behaving as such, I call forth that in others of which they didn’t realize was there. I had interpreted it as wrong in me because their trigger triggered me.
Again, it’s not my place to manage their aftermath. I’m so done with that.
And that’s not your place either.
This is usually the moment when I ask people to get out of their heads, to stop listening to that voice in their heads and get into their bodies. Stop thinking about it and feel into it instead.
Giving a shit means you’re thinking too much.
Sitting in shit means you’re feeling into the experience instead.
Imagine what your work life could be like if you stopped rehearsing a pre-determined script in preparation for an upcoming conversation that’s going to be tough.
Imagine how your family life could expand if you shifted the role you thought you needed to hold in the home? What might change for the better? How might your actions actually even empower others?
Imagine how much more connected your relationships could be if you listened to your heart rather than your head all the time.
Rather than defaulting to past behaviour of toning down or adjusting your personality in order for others to feel comfortable around you or for you to manage their behaviour, I’m going to share something I’ve learned – a small trick (it’s not really a trick after all) – that has helped me experience my feelings and served me in getting through the discomfort of change that might work for you as well.
Not the yoga breathing techniques or other methods that leave you sounding like a panting dog hyper-ventilating, on the verge of passing out.
Just simple deep breathes – the version we all know how to do and forget about.
It’s strange to be reminded to breathe, to connect with your body and the experience happening within.
I recently participated in a breathing workshop with an Aikido Master and it was powerful in a very simplistic way. He reminded us when to breathe and the importance of breathing beyond the capability of staying alive.
In those moments when we feel triggered or are experiencing emotion, in that fraction of a second, when your subconscious is deciding on fight or flight – your body reacts by taking shallower breathes and at a quickened pace.
In this moment, we don’t get to expel the toxins that spawn from the negative interpretation of the experience. Nor do we allow our bodies the time needed to navigate the moment for the richness is offers. The Aikido master’s exercise guided us through the in/out process of cleansing our bodies and tuning into our emotions by simply breathing deeply. It was challenging as much as it was brilliant.
I’ve learned a great deal from stepping into experiencing a range of emotions, especially in how to deal with that sense of discomfort during change.
It make me feel alive. And aliveness enables empowerment. Empowerment fuels courage. Courage builds confidence. Confidence disempowers triggers.
It’s a beautiful, messy, friggin challenging circle that when in motion, the velocity of it transforms your how of how you can manage yourself beyond your feeling of discomfort.
Without that sense aliveness, life is the multiple shades of the same one colour. Whereas truly living with aliveness is a full spectrum of colour, exploding all around and within you. All. The. Time.
I get asked often what do you do with or how to deal with uncomfortable emotions or when you get triggered or when you trigger someone. There’s a lot of uncertainty in that space.
My response is generally the same – simply stay and breathe. Only then will you know what step to take next.
In the mess of it. When it feels hard. Messy. Like it will never end … Stay. Breathe. And breathe some more.
All you can do is stay true to yourself by showing up fully and unapologetically.