There will be times in our lives where we feel attacked. Sometimes it is at work, but it also happens by loved ones. How can you deal with it and actually benefit from it? Let me share with you how I did this.
I attended a meeting the other day, when I really felt attacked. My first reaction was to withdraw and have a pity party. Donna McCallum, teaches about how we have ego monsters who drive us. The first one to come out was Sally the Self-Pity monster. Poor me, "How could they attack me after all the hard work I had done?"
That then fueled Rigel the Righteous monster, who was telling me how right I was and how wrong they were. But this didn’t help me, because they only fueled my desire for revenge in some shape or form. Brené Brown always says that we are better in dishing pain out to others than dealing with our own pain. I also learnt from the Course in Miracles that when we attack someone else, we are actually also attacking ourselves. I realised that if I was going to give in to my desire to seek revenge, everybody would lose, myself included.
I started my recovery process by having an honest look at what I was accused of. Maybe they had a point. If they did, then it is for me to put my dented pride aside and change my ways. If they didn’t, I let it go. In this situation, I understand why my actions could have been misinterpreted, even though the accusations were in my eyes not true. In future, I could do things differently so my intentions are less likely to be misinterpreted. That is a valuable lesson learnt. I realise that my focus and enthusiasm can easily be misinterpreted as being dominating and pushy.
After licking my wounds it was time to apply my own teaching and favourite subject, “The three fingers pointing back.” What did I perceive as the attack? I was hurt because someone was criticising / accusing me of things I haven’t done. They also didn’t trust me and my intentions.
The key question is "Where do I do this to myself?" When I change the way I treat myself, I automatically also change the way I treat others. I am still too often critical of myself and I am not always clear myself on why I do things. From now on-wards, I am going to do my best to support myself more, even when I make mistakes. And before I do things I ask myself “Why do I want to do this?”, so that I am clear on my intentions. I am going to stop doing things out of obligation, I am only going to do something if I want to do it. This is going to give me quite some free time, which I can use to focus on what is important for me. Wonderful!
I had one more question to answer “Why did I create this in my life?” When I take responsibility for everything that happens in my life, I take control. Today I was listening to an interview with John Assaraf. He was talking about how we have a mental ceiling on what we can achieve. This is partly inherited and partly created by our personal experiences. I had noticed that I have been stuck at a certain level for many years. I was stuck in my comfort zone. This incident just blew me right out of my comfort zone.
Maria Montessori’s quote came to mind.
“When you are climbing up a ladder and a dog bites your ankle, what do you do? Stop to kick the dog or keep on climbing and move out of reach of that dog? I am choosing to go up the ladder and this will take me to new heights.
I am now actually grateful for the attack, because I am now going to break through my ceiling!
When we feel attacked it is very easy to let our ego take over and lash out at others. If you can curb that desire, you can find gold and tremendous growth in that whole situation.
Don't stop to kick the dog, keep climbing up the ladder!