Attending to the True Self instead of Hurt
I have been working with a couple of people in the past few weeks who have issues about how to deal with the hurtful things that have been said to them. Most people think that they are justified in getting angry and then letting the other person know how bad they feel, but, in my experience, it doesn’t seem to have much of a long term effect on the person they are attempting to change nor more than a few moments of relief to get it off their own chests.
So I invented this little exercise that is easy enough to do that really helps to attend to who you are rather than to the hurt inside or how bad the others around you are. Here it is.
Take a sheet of paper and divide it half. On the left side with a regular pencil, write down the worst thing anyone has ever said to you. Then on the right side, with colored pencils, write the best thing that you ever did including the positive qualities that you demonstrated. When you have finished, read the left side in color and then say, “This is who I really am.” Do this about 5-7 times, then read it each morning. It has a very powerful effect.
Here is an example.
Example of a worst thing someone has said
Did your brother do that art work for you? (Quote from a third grade teacher on showing my art work to the class. My brother had helped me, but most of it was mine.)
Example of a best thing I ever did
I organized, along with my physical education team, an interchange with a school for street kids where we played cooperative games, competitive games, and arts together in the park followed by a big barbeque. Many people were worried about drugs, stealing, etc., but we taught our students that we had more to learn from street kids, than they had to learn from us, and that wealth did not mean that we were better than them. The virtues I used were courage, creativity, organizational detail, joy, and team work.
Try this. It is great. The photo is another example only this one was getting a lot of kids together to jump for a worthy cause.