So what do you do when you look in the mirror and not only don’t recognize the person you see, but don’t like him/her? I think that we all have at least one or two of those times in our lives. I had one recently and it made quite an impact.
A series of events transpired over the last few months that have pushed me to and past my limits – mentally, physically, financially and emotionally. Topping off a series of happenings that were, at best annoyances and at worst, troubling, was a personal attack on my professional (and personal) reputation. The events leading up to this person sullying my name are deeply personal, involve other people and are not ones I choose to share in a public forum, at least not at this time. Fortunately, I can say with a clear heart and mind that nothing in my actions were worthy of the things being said about me. There were certainly not worthy of my livilihood and reputation being damaged by this person’s careless and cruel words. If it was not bad enough that these horrible things were being said within the community where I do most of my business, the fact that they reached clients and potential clients ears and actually caused me to lose business was devastating. Combine the hurt, the anger, the confusion, the financial fear and the heartbreak of being called “disloyal”, “untrustworthy” and “manipulative” and I have been an emotional and mental wreck. Which made it tough to handle the work I did have and has further risked my company’s future.
I desperately tried to rise above the turmoil that was brewing around me. Tried my best to deal with the people involved in the situation and calm the waters. Made increasingly intense pleas to them to end the talk and help me resolve the situation. All to no avail. Each day became more of a struggle. The hurt, anger and desperation increasing the distraction and the depression. The situation continued to escalate over about a six week period. Until finally a few days ago, I lost it. I lashed out publicly on Twitter against the person involved. I posted a few tweets that caused my friends to be seriously concerned. Concerned enough that I got multiple direct messages, emails and phone calls wanting to know if I was alright and expressing concern over the impression that I was making with the things I was saying. In my indignation, hurt and anger, I had lowered myself to the level of the person who was causing me so much pain. Unfortunately, I was too wrapped up in my own emotions to clearly see how my own actions were hurting me, more so than the one I was trying to lash out at.
My friends’ reactions and an actual look in the mirror brought it swiftly and scarily to my attention. Who was this vindictive woman? Who was this woman who only felt a need to make someone hurt? That was not me! I am not a person who seeks revenge. I am not a woman who would ever intentionally hurt anyone else. Yet, here I was attempting to do exactly that. It was a frightening realization to discover that I had allowed the mean and petty actions of another person to cause me to be mean and petty. I had allowed myself to let someone else have control over my life and my reactions to the things occurring around me. I was horrified at my realization.
I am not a perfect person by any means. I make mistakes, I do and and say things that I am later unsure of or not proud of. We all do. None of us is perfect. But the one thing I always held most important was that I never do anything intentionally to hurt someone else. Now I find myself in a position that I was willing to do just that. The concern in my friends’ words were like a slap in the face. The proverbial cold water that woke me to the blackness I had descended into. I owe them more than they will ever know.
So now that my mirrors have shown me the person I do not like, what do I do? I try to rise above. I grasp each rung on the ladder they (my dear friends) threw down into the pit I had allowed myself to fall into. I try to center myself, to get back to the person I know I am or at least try my best to be – a kind, loving, forgiving, open-minded person, who believes in the best in all people. I detoured down the low road. I’m not proud of it. I am sorry for it. Now the only thing I can do is work on restoring my own self-esteem and find my way back up. Back to the high road I attempt to go. With a new mantra to keep me company – Success and Happiness are the goal – And the best revenge.
What do you do when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see?