03 Sep When my nanny moved out
Now you will read a story that was very emotional for the person who experienced it. You will see that thinking about certain events can bring up a lot of emotions. That’s why connecting the dots takes courage. And that’s why managing the past is done in 2 steps – first connecting the dots, second, setting a goal for change.
Please read this story.
Connecting the dots
When I was ten years old, I watched out the window of my bedroom as a moving truck came to pack up and move the woman I had known as my nanny for my whole life. She lived in the barn on our property and helped take care of all of us. She was wonderful. She scratched my back at night, gave me kisses and hugs when everyone else was too busy and made me feel special. But no one told me she was moving. I was sad. Beyond sad. I felt very lonely. I didn’t understand why she would leave so suddenly without telling me. Thinking about it today, 20 years later, still makes me sad. I actually feel sad for myself all those years ago when no one comforted me or explained anything to me. I remember exactly where I was in the house as I watched the movers. I never really dealt with those feelings. I never asked anyone why she moved or why no one said anything.
Honesty and courage led to insight
Now that I’ve thought this much about that event, I can easily use my honesty and courage to share my feelings about this event. By tapping into those feelings, I’m able to have insight into who I am now and why – I see why I am sad when people don’t want to spend time with me, or why I fear people are going to leave me. I would take these things like forgetting to call me or cancelling a get together very personally. I would think They don’t like me instead of just thinking They must be really busy. I think I am just really sensitive to slights because it hurt so much to have my nanny leave me without warning or explanation.
Setting a goal for change
I don’t want to be so sensitive that it ruins my good times. I don’t want to think that people don’t want to be with me. It doesn’t feel good and I actually think I’m a fun person. So when I connected the dots, my goal was simple: Don’t take the actions of others to heart – meaning, just because they don’t call when they say they would doesn’t mean they don’t want to be with me.
My plan to reach that goal involved awareness. I needed to think about how a situation made me feel in the moment and then to think about my role in those feelings. That way, I could see that I was being too sensitive when really if someone doesn’t call when they say this will, that is likely more about them, not me. This plan has helped tremendously. It was not easy! My plan was literally to pay attention to my thoughts at all times. And to change a thought immediately if it was negative or unfounded. This plan has helped me to not only pay attention to how I feel all the time, but to be less sensitive to the way people treat me. After all, a lot of my sensitivity has to do with my past, not with the people in my life now. I guess what I’ve learned is to not take things so personally and if I wonder about why someone is not reaching out, or is leaving, or doesn’t want to meet, I just ask them, or I blow it off because I know I am a great person who just experienced a bummer of an event as a young girl.
You have free will
In the story above, the person learned something about herself that helps her to not be too harsh or judgmental about how people treat her – just because people her nanny moved away doesn’t mean other people will leave her or that other people don’t like her. She learned that she has free will to determine, in an instant, how to let her past situation affect her.
When people treat you a certain way, are you more likely to think it has something to do with you or with the other person? Why?