Some of us never grow out of that playground mentality from our childhood, that if someone hits you, you get to hit them back. I know when I was living in the dark, especially when I was feeling my worst, I would hope someone would act out and invite me to do the same, I’d even go as far as try to incite someone to act out so I could unleash my own bad behavior without guilt. Or at least I thought I was getting off scot-free, but deep down I knew I was baiting someone just so I could act out and take out my anger and frustrations on someone else, and, in the end, it only made me feel worse, because really, as much as I wanted to tell myself I was a bad person, I wasn’t, I was just doing bad things, and, making bad decisions.
When I changed paths, and stepped onto the path I am now, I was told that I had to keep my side of the street clean. My side of the street, at that time, was littered with garbage, so I had to work on cleaning that up, but also not adding anymore junk to what was already there. Feeling vulnerable in this new place I had to be extra vigilant to not try to bait anyone into bad behavior and look for an excuse to exercise mine, and, when I felt baited, retreat, walk away and not engage, which was not always easy, but I knew if I was to find any kind of success and find the happiness I was working for I had to stay away from any traps to fall back into my old ways. I found that I also had to forgive myself for my old behavior and understand why I had chosen to behave the way I had, which, as it turned out, was always self-serving and a way to deflect my feelings from how badly I felt about myself as well as giving me the continued narrative of playing a victim. So, if I needed some extra material to keep telling the story the way I wanted to, I created the opportunities to make that happen. I spent a lot of time masterminding ways to stay sick, so once I turned all that energy toward my own good, things started to change pretty quickly. I also began to notice that when I didn’t participate in my bad behavior I didn’t feel, well, bad. Go figure. And, when I chose to perform esteemable acts, I began to feel good about myself and I didn’t want to go looking for situations that were going to change that. Now, that’s not to say that there haven’t been times that I have engaged and dipped my toe back into those murky waters, and, for a split second, I have gotten that surge of electricity that I used to get when my bad behavior kicks in, but it’s very short-lived, and it’s quickly replaced with shame and guilt, and when I remind myself of that it stops me from engaging the next time.
We all find ourselves in situations when someone is acting out in bad behavior, and we always have a choice to accept their invitation to do the same, or, choose to act in a way that honors ourselves, and them, even if they aren’t doing it themselves. It isn’t always easy to do the right thing, but it’s worth it when we do and don’t allow ourselves to be sucked into someone else’s battle, bad day, or just plain bad behavior. Ask yourself if jumping in the ring of bad behavior is worth how you’ll feel afterwards, in my experience, it never is. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you react and get involved with other people’s bad behavior? How do you do this? How do you feel afterwards? How does this hurt you? Write down an example. How does it challenge relationships in your life? Have you walked away from situations where someone is acting out on their bad behavior? How did you feel after to not have engaged? Write down an example. Do you feel like not engaging makes you weak or a pushover? Why do you think that? It doesn’t SLAYER, it actually makes you the stronger person, to stand up for who you are, to love and honor yourself enough to not put yourself in a negative situation when you don’t belong there. Don’t let someone else’s bad behavior invite you to use yours.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you