Yesterday was a tough one.
Nobody died, nobody got a scary diagnosis, no one lost their job.
We have money in the bank, a clean, comfortable place to live, food in the fridge.
Everyone has their own car with tanks full of fuel. I have friends, and a tremendous mental health support system.
I know where all of my kids are, and they all have phones, shoes, and their own bedrooms. We all have awesome health insurance.
So, does that mean that nothing should upset me? No.
Does that mean I have no frustrations? No.
Does it mean that I can’t have problems that seem huge to me? No
Should I just shut up with my privileged life and just be grateful? No, and yes.
I am grateful. I find things to be grateful for every day. I start every day with gratitude, even yesterday, which was tough, emotionally. Gratitude can be very powerful, and put you in the right mindset, but somedays, it’s not a shitproof coating. Shit still happens.
I have been in a place where I didn’t know where I was going to live. I have been in a place where I had to ask people for money to make rent. I had to take jobs I didn’t like, in toxic environments, to start my life over after divorce. I experienced childhood sexual abuse that resulted in a nervous breakdown due to the unresolved trauma, I was hospitalized. I lost my mom at an age when young women really need their moms, 19. I turned to drugs and alcohol and anything I could find to numb the pain. I have lied. I have been caught. I have hurt people. Put myself in very dangerous situations. I made HUGE mistakes. I woke up in fear, not knowing where I was. I have experienced hell. I share about it openly, because I hope people will reap hope from it. You CAN experience grief, trauma, and all sorts of shit and transform into a happy human being. It takes work. The only person responsible for it is yourself. Don’t ever feel sorry for me. I sure as hell don’t.
I remember what all of that felt like, and I have empathy for people going through it. I also know that I want to be happy, and grateful, and be in control of my life. I don’t want enemies. I want to find ways to make things right with people, so I can sleep well. I am the only one who can change the trajectory of my life. I am not a victim. I am a strong woman because shit went horribly wrong at times, to me, by me, and through me.
So yeah. I have a lot to be grateful for now. I have a lot of experience with recovering and surviving life. It’s those experiences that made me want to become a coach. So I can help people walk through life with a plan. Unhappy? Things not going well? There are tools, and I have ‘em, use ‘em, and want to share ‘em. I still need therapy and coaching on a regular basis, because life is in session, and just when you think it’s all hunky dory, shit goes south, emotionally speaking.
The uncomfortable and shitty thing that happened yesterday started with a Facebook post about the inconvenience and frustration over passwords. “Name something more frustrating than forgetting, resetting, having to choose another one, etc, etc.” It was a lighthearted post, and plenty of people chimed in with similar frustrations. Pumping gas in the rain. Difficult to open packaging, you know, just minor frustrations that we all can relate to. Some people offered ideas for remembering passwords, apps to try, and more, it was a pretty busy post.
And then, someone chimed in basically stating that “aren’t we so lucky that these are our only frustrations” and spewed forth a list of their misfortunes, which I perceived as a scolding, saying there is real suffering in this world, and we should be inconvenienced by what THEY though was acceptable to be inconvenienced by, and what is acceptable to vent about on social media. Whoa. Debbie Downer.
I reached out to this person and let them know how it made me feel, and that this was goodbye. In retrospect, I should have just blocked them and said nothing. I never said I was perfect, folks.
I felt like someone came in and wrecked what was a lighthearted post, where people from all walks of life were sharing, with humor, some of life’s daily inconveniences. It’s not the first time this person has done that to a fun, happy, or lighthearted post, where the vibe was one of community. I go to great lengths to find topics to post on that will bring people together, in a country with some major walls, I try to find ways for people with all sorts of different beliefs can come, drop the politics, and commiserate. Sometimes, I hope to inspire, share my happiness, and cute pics of my kids, lovey doveyness with my smokin’ hot husband.
So, I made a decision to block this person. I wish them well, and genuinely hope they find happiness and success.
They took to their social media, and using my full name, spewed forth a character assassination that was inaccurate at best, and downright condemning to say the least: (Paraphrasing) “I am not empathetic. I don’t support women. I have never known hell. I live a privileged life. True love has made me unempathetic to other people’s misery, namely theirs.”
Expected. It’s a pattern in some people. This isn’t the first time this person has taken to social media to verbally assassinate someone publicly. Those that know this person know what they are dealing with, so I don’t give it much merit or fear that it will hurt our growing practice or my reputation, but it hurt my feelings. I was told by several friends, including my ex-husband, to let it go, but it stuck with me.
My brain started swirling in self-doubt:
Was I wrong in how I worded things? Should I have offered pro bono coaching sessions? Should I have pulled them closer? Should I try to help in some way? Was blocking this person a mistake? NO to ALL. My gut told me this wasn’t going to stop, and there is a block option on social media for a reason. People who want help, will get help. People who prefer to swim in self-pity and blame until their fingers get pruney are toxic. I was poisoned. The antidote? Writing. Journaling, talking to my therapist, talking to a coach (I have like 20 of em, including my husband), and dropping it, moving forward, looking for opportunities to add to the lives of others, and spread hope.
My incredibly insightful, and always helpful husband Trey said: “You know, you are going to have clients who you can’t help. They may take to social media and try to bring you down. I’ll bet there are Brene’ Brown haters”
Me: “What the fuck? How can anyone hate her?”
Trey:” Oh I’m sure someone has a problem with her, Google it, I’ll bet it exists.”
How does SHE deal with it? (Amy Googles “how Brene’ Brown deals with trolls”)
Sure enough, here’s a quote from her Call to Courage Netflix Special, if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend:
“There are millions of cheap seats in the world today, filled with people who will never once step foot in that arena. They will never once put themselves out there, but they will make it a full-time job to hurl criticism and judgment and really hateful things toward us, and we have got to get out of the habit of catching them and dissecting, and, you know, holding them close to our hearts. We gotta let ‘em drop on the floor. Don’t grab that hurtful stuff from the cheap seats and pull it close. Don’t pull it anywhere near your heart. Just let it fall to the ground. You don’t have to stomp it or kick it. You just gotta step over it and keep going. You can’t take criticism and feedback from people who are not being brave with their lives.” -Brene’ Brown
She is the shit.