i think turning personal revelations into universal ones can be a problem. here’s how it happens:

  1. i have a few very uncomfortably tense personal encounters with various people over a short period of time.
  2. i become overwhelmed by the uptick in tense encounters. 
  3. i try to make sense of it for myself, to feel better. i remember that last year, i decided to getting better at “using my voice” and the hardest part of using my voice, for me, is when i have to say something i know someone else will disagree with, or could make them develop difficult feelings because of, either about themselves or about me.
  4. i decide that this is why these encounters are happening, because i have to learn to use my voice through them, despite wanting avoidance instead.
  5. ahh, an answer. an answer feels good. i feel better having landed on my coping strategy. feeling better feels so much better.
  6. i want to share my lesson, maybe it will help someone else! so i change the pronouns of it: “You have to be careful what you decide you’re going to get better at, because growth is painful.”
  7. i share it.
  8. someone reads it and is like, Oh yikes, that’s true.

but is is true? no. growth does not always have to be painful. it’s not always painful for others and it’s not always painful for me. today, instead of turning these personally painful lessons of mine into universal truths that may apply to everyone, i stopped myself.

these lessons are for me and my unique combination of traits and experiences and beliefs and capabilities and viewpoints and my own ego and my own stubbornness and my own openness and passion and on and on. i don’t have to put them on anybody else, to get some further relief.

they are mine, i can hold them. i can do that.

i talked to myself this morning, the part of me that knows better, and she listened.