Tamara Star’s advice to all adults, men and women, on how to live more responsible lives.
I wrote Why Women Need to Ease Up on Men and Why Men Need to Give Women A Break Too in an effort to foster compassion and understanding between the sexes. After coaching for many years, I know that having information and understanding solves half the battle between the sexes.
The comments below those posts were interesting to say the least. As a writer you have to decide if your self-esteem is strong enough to read the comments, or if it would be better to skip them altogether. I decided to fake superpower self-esteem for a few weeks so that I could read them all—every single one of them.
I learned that many men felt I was making excuses for women, and many women felt I was coddling men. Born from those comments is a new list. A list for both sexes to drop their swords and stand up as responsible grownups.
Why do I understand this stuff? Because I’ve made every mistake in the book. I’ve been wounded and damaged in every way possible—and I decided long ago that I had two choices in life: I could become a victim, or I could take the shit life threw me and turn it into fertile compost.
Here’s what I know for sure:
1. Our past does not have to equal our future.
No matter how heinously we’ve been treated by another, not every man or woman we meet is going to be the same perpetrator. Judging who is in front of us based on who has hurt us in the past sets everyone up for failure.
If time and time again we attract the same kind of partner in life, it’s time to look at the common denominator in all situations — the person in the mirror. We are all the walking wounded in some way or another and until we heal those wounds, we’re going to keep drawing in partners to reflect that wounding over and over again. Once we heal our wounds, we don’t have to draw in people to play out those dramas for us anymore. We get to drop our defensiveness and negativity towards the opposite sex.
2. Childhood is over.
We didn’t listen to our parents back then, so why are we listening to them now? We need to work with a qualified coach or therapist and heal self-esteem issues from childhood. I’m convinced on a soul level that it’s our parent’s responsibility to teach us whatever we came here to learn — and sometimes those lessons come in less than pretty packages. I myself had an uncle who was beyond inappropriate, but I dealt with those memories and those wounds as soon as I could. I dove into the hell of that pain because I wanted to clear it and move on healthy and whole.
It’s our own responsibility to clean up our childhood. Making our partners pay for the errors of our mothers or our fathers is foul.
3. Everyone is a victim in some way or another.
I’ve been victimized in ways that would make your skin crawl. We have all been victimized. Sadly, when we don’t deal with the situation or the subsequent trauma, we continue to re-victimize ourselves over and over again, unable to see the light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
If instead of seeking help, we label ourselves forever with a badge of pain and don’t allow ourselves to move on, we become bitter. Regardless of what has happened in life, we must seek help with a passion so that we can fight for our own emotional freedom again. We must do the work on ourselves, for ourselves and for those who will come after us.
When we don’t, we attract more abusers, more violence, and more unhappiness into our life because we are the walking wounded. We must seek help and heal our wounding as if our life depends on it — because it does.
4. Ultimately we are to blame for our pain.
There are bad people in this world that will hurt us, steal from us and abuse us just because they can. When we stay with them, it’s our own fault. When we have healthy self esteem, we don’t stay in abusive situations. Sure we stick out the rough patches with the people we love, but if we’re with an abuser and we stay for whatever reasons, we must know that it’s our choice to stay and we are not a victim. Realizing we ultimately choose to be in a particular situation lets us take our power back.
5. It takes two, baby.
When we constantly blame our partners for what’s wrong in the relationship, we’re playing the game of perpetrator and victim. It takes two to play. If we’re holding on to one end of the rope and our partner is holding on to the other, we need to admit that we’re participating. The very best thing we can do for ourselves, our relationships and our sanity is to figure out what part we’re playing in the scheme of things.
6. Triggered? Remove the trigger.
If we’re constantly triggered, we need to find and remove our own trigger. Getting to the bottom of why our partner’s actions bother us so much will set us free emotionally.
Ask: If this is truly foul, why do I stay? How is this situation serving me? What am I getting out of this situation? Do I get to be right? Do I get to make my partner wrong? What does this dynamic remind me of in my past? What story am I writing about my partner’s actions in my own head? What meaning am I giving their words or actions? These questions provide fertile ground for understanding our own triggers.
When we have patience with our partners, understand our differences, speak in a language that can be understood, and own our own stuff, there can be peace between the sexes.
–Originally published on Daily Transformations