Shortly after writing Drop the Rope, I had an acquaintance call me up and as the saying goes, “rip me a new one.” She believes she has suffered a great injustice and I had some culpability in the matter. I get off the phone, shaking and beginning to cry. I thought, ok, God, I guess that’s why you put it on my heart to write about dropping the rope. Note to self, once dropped, you shouldn’t pick it back up. I may have made that mistake a few times during this mostly one-sided conversation.
I haven’t dealt with a negative interaction like this in a while, if ever. It really got to me and took up a lot of head space. There are things that led up to her feeling the way she does about me that I wish could be changed, but *ding ding ding* that’s on the “can’t control” list. Sitting and rehashing does no good. There are things that she had wildly misinterpreted, but as I’ve had no luck getting her to listen to me, this is now how another person thinks, and that’s on that “can’t control” list as well. Having arguments with her in my head was useless.
At first, I thought I was just at a point where I needed to use another recovery phrase, “let go, and let God.” However, just telling myself to stop thinking about it wasn’t cutting it. I identified a few things I could do to help me let go.
First, I found the block feature on my phone. The person didn’t stop at the end of the phone call. She proceeded to text me all afternoon. At that point, I decided any more communication was just letting myself be treated poorly. This wasn’t communication; it was one-sided spewing. See, I wrote and meant, Drop the Rope, but there’s another step sometimes. If the other person doesn’t not stop, then you set up boundaries. I don’t have to engage in another person’s argument, but I also don’t have to stand and listen to them put me down either.
The next thing I found I could do was have a plan for our next interaction. I am going to have to interact with her in the future. Therefore, it eased my worry to plan out some ways to say to her, I’m not engaging in this anymore. I wrote a list of phrases that I can say to her. I wanted to have something planned so that I wasn’t speaking emotionally in the moment.
Lastly, I turned to others for some words of wisdom on how to get this negativity out of my brain space. I found an answer listening to one of Oprah’s Super Soul conversations. I’ve mentioned how I like them before. It’s an almost daily habit I have of listening to one on my rather lengthy drive from my son’s school to the gym in the morning. They are positive and life affirming. There’s a clip below of what struck me as an action I needed to take. The guest was Marianne Williamson and Oprah recalls her advice to pray for the person hurting you. I cursed out loud, because I didn’t want to do that. However, I knew the instant she said it that that was what I needed to do to stop spinning my mental wheels.
Every time this woman and the situation starts swirling in my brain, I start praying for good things for her. I didn’t want to do it, but I have my serenity to protect. I have goals of spreading love and positivity at stake. When toxicity threatens that, we may have to take drastic measures, like praying for our enemies. Seems like some Jewish guy said that long before Oprah and Marianne, too. Probably, why it struck me as truth.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, …” -Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 5:44