rant. hold grudge. repeat.

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One big conversation that has popped up with boyfriend is how he chooses not to “waste his energy” on people that make him mad. To me this just seemed like such nonsense.

Back Story: I’m a bit of a spit fire. I have a short fuse and I am quick to flip my switch/lose my mind on people that tick me off. I’ve been this way since I can remember. I can go from happy and hilarious to “I’m going to kill you” within seconds.
Simply put, people set me off.
My time spent in the retail world did help with this a bit. I learned that not all people that project their anger on me are actually angry at me. In most of those situations, I didn’t have anything to do with their anger, however, I am the projectee, I get the butt end of their rage. It’s extremely hard, almost impossible for me to let a person offend me (even if they didn’t mean to) and not take it personally. Even harder, for me to not explode about it, and  stay mad/hold a grudge for the next – 8 or so years. So when boyfriend responds to all of my rants with “I wouldn’t waste the energy on it”, I of course come back with – “um hello! did you hear what I said??! That person did THIS to me!!!”

If this sounds even remotely familiar to you, stay with me.

I have been learning/researching/writing quite a bit about making a conscious choice to feel the way I want to feel. What I didn’t understand (and didn’t realize I didn’t understand), is that I’ve had this choice throughout my entire life.
(Now before you start telling me that depression/anxiety/feeling terrible is not a choice, please understand that I know this, and would never say it was. I came to a point of clarity in my recovery where I was able to make the choice to be willing to experience things differently. I became willing to learn different methods and open my mind to new possibilities. I did not get here by myself, and it was not easy. It was a mixture of a few opinions, methods and sources; much more than one single “choice”.)
Disclaimers aside – I had these opportunities, these methods and sources available to me the entire time. I just didn’t know it. Same as my ability to make conscious choices; I was never lacking the power of choice, I just had no idea it was there or how to exercise it.

Fast forward to what I learned.

I recently started reading the book “The Desire Map” by the lovely Danielle LaPorte. This book is centered around making goals in order to feel the way you want to feel, instead of making goals to achieve certain things. Interesting enough concept, I dove right in.
Somewhere during my beautiful journey of learning what my actual desired feelings are, I kept hitting on the nerve of “wasting my energy”. If I could make the decision to feel a certain way, I can also make the decision to not feel a certain way. If I can make the decision to keep my mind focused on the things I actually want, I can also make the decision to not focus on the things I don’t want. When dumb things would pop up during the day, I would notice myself just saying “I don’t want to feel this way, I really don’t want to focus on it and waste my energy.” I would feel out the emotional/physical response and just let it go. I didn’t have to run myself ragged and feel like vomiting every time a random worry popped into my mind. I didn’t have to waste my energy.

Until someone stupid opened their mouth and struck the chord of rage

Why? Why? Why?
I asked myself a million times why does this bother me so much?! They are obviously just idiots and I shouldn’t care. But I did care, and it continued to fuel the fire; and eventually, finally, it hit me. I never knew that I was subconsciously making decisions to focus on the negative situations, to react with anger, to be spiteful. To expand on that, even if I did something to offend someone else, their choice to react has nothing to do with me. It has to do with their own decisions. It’s not their fault that they do not realize they have a choice. They may not know it, and even if they do they may not have the self-control to exercise it.

Whether a person is reacting on personal interest, self-defense or even just reflex/triggers – what they do has absolutely nothing to do with me. They are either subconsciously making the decision to dance on auto-pilot, letting their fight or flight senses take over, or they are making decisions to act as they are. That reaction, has nothing to do with the recipient and everything to do with how a person processes the world around them and what they choose to focus on.

So why would I waste my energy on someone that chooses to feel awful?

I shouldn’t.
And whether they mean to or not, their choices do not affect me. They are not personal. They do not tell my #truth. All they do is surface their choices, their thoughts and their responses. Their.Their.Their. Not me. Not you.

I think you get it.
Make a choice to let yourself feel every great feeling you want. Don’t deny yourself of feeling bad, just deny yourself of focusing in on thoughts that are triggered by bad feelings. Most importantly, don’t let others’ negative choices affect you. That’s on them. Even when the situation is the most personal attack on you, it’s still their choice to react.

Choose to see it differently, choose to conserve your energy, and do it on purpose.

-Kara Beth

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