Recently, a young woman trash-talked me in a Facebook group when she misunderstood my post. We went back and forth a bit on the group page, and then moved to private messaging. As I tried to explain my post to this person who clearly had no interest in finding a common ground, I found myself getting really upset. My heart was pounding, I felt trembly inside, and I became desperate to get her to stop being mean to me.
As the conversation went back into the group, friends of hers began siding with her and I felt ganged up on, alone, and a bit like David going against Goliath. I toggled between trying to make peace and returning her nastiness. Once she started swearing and name calling, as the creator of the group, I simply kicked her out. It surprised me how shaken up I was. I was also shocked to realize how important it is for people to like me. I mean, sure, no one likes to be hated, but I was frantically trying to get people to sympathize with me; to defend me. Little Kerri got her buttons pushed big time.
Since I created this Facebook group for everyone, shouldn’t all race to support me and back me up. After all, wasn’t it SO nice of me to create this space for them? Yes, it was nice, but no, that doesn’t mean they’re indebted to me.
Not only did it suck to be disparaged, but the experience also shined a light on some dark parts of me — the parts who are hungry for acceptance and appreciation; the part who sometimes has an agenda when she is generous, the part who enables others so they’ll continue to need her.
A couple of weeks has passed since this incident and I’m just finally able to love up Little Kerri — her light and her dark. I remind her that it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t like her because I’ll love her always; that I love her so much that I’ll hold her vulnerability gently and safely; that her worth is not determined by some angry stranger online. Telling her this helps her to not look outside of herself so much for what can only be fulfilled from within.
So I’m curious — what are you looking for from others that would be best to give yourself? What pushes your Little One’s buttons? How do you care and love for him or her when she’s feeling hurt, attacked, or treated unfairly? Might be worth it to brainstorm a list of things you can do to take exceptional care of that part of you when she’s having a tough time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Go for a walk and kick some leaves or toss rocks into the water
- Sit on the floor, close your eyes, place your hand on your heart, and take some deep breaths
- Find a photo of yourself as a child so you can more easily connect with that part of you
- Take a hot bath
- your thoughts here!
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud