She said something to me on the phone.
Actually, it was a text message so I kept it.
It was awful. One of the worst things anyone has ever said to me.
Someone else said something to me with their mouth.
It doesn’t matter what they said, you know what it feels like:
It burns you and you force every cell in your body not to lash out.
Sometimes it doesn’t work and I lash out with words puking all over. Uggh.
The words stick to the brain like flypaper trapping a million dying flies.
Putrifying, the words rot year after year until you let them go.
But in the moment, you want to react. You want to puke out the horrible thoughts at the instigator.
Or you might be like me and do what our brains are trained to do: run, eject, disappear.
Why stay and subject ourselves to repeated offenses? Sometimes we have to, but not always.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, and verbally abusive relationships can be just as bad as those physically abusive, we should disappear: Andy Dufresne the heck out of there. Don’t be afraid of burning bridges, just go.
If they are people you work with, heed this advice first.
How we react is important.
Our reactions often determine the course of the future.
So, what would you do if you knew a secret that allowed you to control your reaction in any situation, especially when someone boils your blood?
Viktor Frankl figured out this secret. I use it; now you can too:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
No one controls us. No one can force our response, even though they want to.
We can do anything.
Let’s do it.