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People are prone to poor behaviors. When people do not deal with their “stuff” in a timely manner, that “stuff” builds with mounting pressure until it finally bursts. Unfortunately, that burst isn’t always healthy. Most often it is necessary, however, that way that it happens isn’t necessary. Parents snap at their kids. Spouses snap at their partners. Shoppers snap at their sales clerk. All of the emotional pressure is triggered by a seemingly innocuous occurrence and comes flowing out at once. Commonly, that emotional pressure comes out as anger. Frequently, that anger has a personal agenda. What is really a statement about the person spewing their emotional fervor all over someone else comes out as a personal, hurtful, mean direct attack. Instantly the person making the attack feels relieved because the emotional pressure has been relieved. They might experience a small amount of guilt for taking it out on another person. To them- it wasn’t personal. To the person who had to take the hit, on the other hand it was very personal.

Letting emotional outbursts of another person roll away like water off a duck’s back takes time, learning, practice, and personal strength. Words that are sharpened for the greatest impact hurt. The first mistake we most often make is assuming the truth that what was said is true. If someone could go so ferociously out of their way to say such things to us, then they must feel true. Instead of the person who has committed a wrong by attacking us feeling guilty, we take on that guilt. For whatever they have accused us of, punished us for, or made up to put us on trial about, we feel the conviction. We have to remember who we know ourselves to be in our hearts. More importantly, we have to remember who we know this person to be in their heart. If we don’t know them personally we strive to find out.

With time and practice, we can respond with compassion rather than self-criticism, being generous with our hearts instead of being guarded and guilt-ridden. Rather than exclaiming, “What’s wrong with you!” we can gently ask, “What’s going on with you?” knowing that this is a sign of personal turmoil. Doing so relieves us from guilt which doesn’t belong to us, truths which are false, and personal responsibility which isn’t ours. We can live at peace with ourselves and with our fellows.

Everyone has a story. The Guest House Ocala is a place to write the story of your life in recovery from traumas, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our residential treatment program and concierge style care: