They say the expectations you have on others come from the ones you have of yourself.
Earlier on in the week, I came to the realization that Anger had a great power to share.
I was chatting with mum about an instagram post i made a few days ago. She wanted to know if I was okay.
“Yeah I’m just finally feeling angry about the way I didn’t stand up for myself when D walked all over me. How I allowed them to disrespect not only me, but you and Dad.”
My mum replied, “YES! I wanted to tell you this, but I didn’t know if it was time to yet.”
“yeah I had to process things myself…..I had to forgive myself for things I felt guilty about first. Parts that I’m responsible for in the breakup of the marriage”.
“Yes…..and now you’ve learned something about yourself. Learning to get angry is so important. Learning to differentiate between when it’s your fault and when it’s not is so important. ”
We both agreed that getting angry was the first step to getting justice for ourselves. It doesn’t mean we can do anything about the injustice done. It just means we acknowledge our worth – enough that we can highlight when we are being bullied.
I didn’t know how much I was being bullied, until I started believing in myself. Until I started to forgive myself for the failure of my marriage. I hadn’t realized I had blamed myself for so many things. I had made so many excuses for my ex’s actions. Yes of course I had made mistakes too. But I shouldn’t have taken responsibility for his. I definitely didn’t have to feel responsible or inadequate because of his actions.
When we make excuses for people’s wrong doing, and accept them by making excuses for them. Are we really loving them?
I remember a friend I had, who confided in me that her husband beats her from time to time. That she has been enduring this for years. She never left because she has children, and because he constantly shifts between ‘good’ behavior and abusive behavior. A few times, she even had to go to the police.
It took her 10 years before she left this man. And only because she saw her son start to hit his sister. It took her 10 years to get angry at him and its only because her mother’s instincts finally kicked in to say “if you don’t leave for yourself, leave for your children”.
When we allow compulsive lying, abuse and dishonesty to become traits that we accept of our partners, we actively participate in watering that bad behavior.
We know that beating someone is a hard no. We can identify that it’s definitely an unacceptable behavior. But certain traits are less easy to distinguish as toxic or not. Certain behaviour is harder to raise as red flags.
It took me an argument with someone to discover a trait of mine that I consider as toxic.
I have a bad habit of expecting people to respond in a way I want them to. Sometimes when they tell me their truth, their perspective, and it triggers me the wrong way, I start getting defensive. And I said to him “I didn’t ask you for advice. I just wanted you to listen and comfort me.”
It’s precisely because he was right, that I got defensive.
I knew that I was being reactive. So I calmed myself down and I told him he was right. And that I’m thankful he gave it to me straight rather than pander me with words he doesn’t believe in.
Toxic behaviour can change.
But we have to first be aware of them. Next, be determined to change bad habits.
I make it a huge distinction that we are all people who make bad choices and not bad people.
But the longer we allow ourselves and our loved ones to get used to toxic behavior the more we are not showing proper love – both to ourselves AND the people we love.
Anger can be powerful, when channeled into being even kinder to people. To standing up for people who need justice. To standing up for yourself when you finally realize your self worth. We don’t have to be friends with our bullies, but calling them out for it is an action of love. It is saying “what you’re doing hurts, and it’s not right. You should know this so you can change to be better”.
There is no justice for alot of injustices done to people in this world.
Blind anger can be fuelled into ugly actions. But Mindful anger can transform yourself into the person you deserve to be.