Light in my Shadow

Stop Taking Things Personally (It’s NOT About You)

Pre-mindful drawing days I was a trigger queen. I was always taking things personally.
I had no self-love or self-confidence so vinegar was liberally tipped into my unhealed wounds on a regular basis – most often, by my boyfriends at the time (sorry guys).

It wasn’t their fault – they were just semi-normal people doing semi-normal normal things. But often those ‘normal’ things, sparked big hurt in me often causing me to react and make it all about how something is wrong with me. (This is so embarrassing to write by the way…)

When you have unhealed wounds, you're always taking things personally.

When you’re that person (like old me was), life can often get cringey. Seriously. Take a glimpse into a typical day of how crazy my triggers used to be.
Say my partner wanted to hang out with his friends instead of me on Friday night. EMOTIONAL EMERGENCY TRIGGERED: Rejection wounds sirens start flashing. “Wasn’t I good enough?” He doesn’t love me anymore. I’m not cool enough, fun enough, ____whatever-the-fuck enough.

Want some vinegar there old wounds?

Rejection burns my cheeks and my shaky hands automatically start pouring red wine into the biggest mug I can find.
taking it personally
Or my partner casually telling me how his female housemate convinced him to put the toilet seat down. HOLY CRAP. I tried SO many times to crack this stone, and another woman got through and he’s on it like that?
My trapped inner child with rejection issues would get completely triggered. Hell yeah I’d take it personally! It was a stab right in the fucking heart. Clearly I wasn’t good enough. If she could do THAT and I couldn’t, obviously she’s better than me. I bet if she waved her magic toilet seat wand he’d leave me for her. It hurt DOUBLE because she was hot (side note: writing about addiction is a walk in the fucking park compared to this).
Or say I didn’t get a text back, right after I could see he’s read it (yes he leaves his read receipts on), I’d work myself into a mood more unstable and volatile than Mt Vesuvius.
I’m so horrified this was me.

Taking things personally happens with friends too.

I didn’t often get triggered with friends (just my poor boyfriends), but I know many people do. If someone you know suddenly stops talking to you? We think it’s to do with us. If one of your drinking buddies wants to get healthy and stops hanging out? We get hurt. Constructive criticism from work colleagues makes you want to cry? It’s not personal. It has no reflection on our core being. But it can hurt because we’re taking things personally.
Often, it has nothing to do with us at all.
Now I understand my own shadow wounds, I know I was taking things personally because I had the shithouse combo of unhealed wounds and no self-worth. Being highly sensitive meant these stingers were amplified.
These unhealed wounds always come from somewhere. Mine came from my upbringing (as most of these programs do). One parent (my Dad) leaving due to divorce, and later, my Mum disowning me (not really her fault: brainwashing religion thing). So I was programmed with abandonment issues, rejection issues, “I am not enough’ issues, and I got triggered all the time by anything that went near these old wounds.
The trigger is the subconscious mind whispering, “if it happened then, you know it’s gonna happen again”. Except the subconscious mind doesn’t communicate in the plain English EASY kinda way. It communicates in the annoying cryptic language of triggers. You feel these triggers and it’s a direct barb to you – it’s all about you. And damn it hurts.

When we take things personally we often have unprocessed wounds related to self-worth.

Shadow work will help you locate these unhealed parts, and bring them out into the light of your awareness. Now you can see them, you can release them from your personal narrative and integrate them back into your wholeness. Read my post of clearing trauma and repressed emotions on how to to do this.
These days I’m like a trigger fortress. I’m an impervious motherfucker. Well most days anyway. And on the rare days those buggers still get in, I can see through it. I know it’s not real.
New-me has a strong sense of security from activating a handful of benefits that mindful drawing has taught me. When you connect with your self-worth, heal old wounds and increase your self-confidence you just don’t get triggered anymore.
Now, if something happens that would have triggered old-me, I can see it for what it is rather than experiencing it through the distorted lens of my own pain and making it all about me. Because it’s not about me.

If I’m comfortable I’ve done nothing intentionally wrong, that’s all I need to know.

Not taking things personally doesn’t mean that other people’s actions don’t hurt – because often they do. But when you have a broader perspective you know that it isn’t about you – the hurt doesn’t stick. It doesn’t leave you feeling insecure at your own self-worth.
If I’m not sure if I’ve done something wrong, I’ll put my brave pants on and I’ll ask. Aside from that I’m not interested in wondering what’s wrong with me – because there is nothing wrong with me.
So when shit happens and it stings, try not to get swept up in it. Don’t overthink it. Check yourself. All clear? Then be at peace. It’s not about you. Let it go.

If you can’t? If you’re sick of being triggered like old me? Then feel free to head over to my tutorials section where I’ll teach you how to delete the program it’s originating from using the practice of mindful drawing.