Eye for an Eye

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“What the #$@&%*!” I fumed as I read the nasty e-mail sent to me, followed by “Oh, no she didn’t!”

           In a nanosecond, I went there—a place where I felt emotionally wounded. Why? Because I was totally caught unaware.

       Who does she think she is?” I thought huffing and puffing.  It was time to get even.

Problem was I was looking for a position and had contacted her twice on the recommendation of a contact. Mentally, I wondered what I did to deserve this response. The second e-mail, I thought, was a friendly reminder and I asked her to contact me.

On the receiving end, I felt she just fired off an unprofessional e-mail. Her smart aleck comments were unwarranted and certainly NOT appreciated!!!

First thing I thought of—Christian of not—I succumbed to the Eye-for-Eye mentality. Professionally, I would contact her boss—the President—and attach her comments as proof that I she offended me.

Then, I would ask (I took out demand) an apology. And why not? She had to be held accountable.

Lastly, I would……

The lists in my head grew longer by the minute of how to make her pay.

After several day of holding onto anger, I realized it was time for a major anger management invention.

So, I googled anger management. I read and liked Mayo Clinic’s article and tips, which I have amended and added my own words in bold.

1. Think before you speak/write

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying/writing anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

2. Once you’re calm, express your anger

As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

3. Get some exercise/Chill

If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

4. Take a timeout

Timeouts aren’t just for kids. . A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

5. Identify possible solutions

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand.. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

What worked for me was really simple:  The Eye-for-Eye feeling was working against me. I purged it and replaced it with a positive affirmation: “Winning!”

At least for now.

Editing LaLinda

A friend just calls me in tears. For the past two years, she’s been looking for a job and getting zero results.

“I think I’m  doing everything right,” she wails. “I hate when I get a No!”

At some point in our lives, we’ve gotten a No or many Nos. Take it from me, No is a rejection. No, can also be internalized as failure or worst yet, “not good enough” personally or professionally. .

Ever get the job e-mail No?  “We regret to inform you that the position you applied for has been filed. We will keep your information on file and will contact you should a listing comes up fitting your credentials.”

I can certainly identify with my friend because I have been and am in the same situation and felt the same sinking feeling.

Try sending out hundreds of  resumes, cover letters, cold calling, following up on a lead, applying on line and in person only to get a No? Or equally disappointing, No response.

Can I explain what No  does to your self-esteem in these or similar incidents?

One, you start to doubt your skills. “Maybe, I don’t have what it takes,” says the negative internal voice.

Two: You think of reasons not to try again. “What’s the use? I’m going to be rejected–AGAIN!”

Three: There’s the tendency to look at the job description and already start to disqualify yourself. “They’re asking way–ayy too much.”  Or, ” I have some 5 of the 15 skills their asking for…..um, maybe not.”

Then, we go into depression because of our self-defeating negative tapes.

Oftentimes, I  tell myself “Stop! Slow down! Get a hold of yourself!”

The depression and the self-defeating self talk will consume you–like it has me–if we don’t self-edit ourselves.

So, how do I switch it up? Affirmations.

Daily, I have to remind myself:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”

Journaling helps me refocus by writing something good about myself–even when I feel bad.

“I’m good writer. I love challenges and can meet them. I will succeed!”

Then, I will tell myself: Conjure up a time when you were WINNING!

My mind warmly recalls all the compliments I’d lavish on my Pre-K students. “You look so beautiful!” I’d say sincerely. Oh, to see these children’s faces light up, then they would hug me or climb into my lap.

No, Nope, Nah, Not hardly, Not so much, Not today–or anyday. No way, No Dice, No way man/woman, Miss/Miss. Any way you chalk it up, No never feels good. 

One day, I was watching Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who produced “The Bible” an Emmy-nominated series. They explained when they got the idea to produce the show, they were met with so many objections and rejections. Yet, they were undaunted. What they said blew me away and stays with me today: “NO meant to us, “New Opportunities.”

Wait! Rewind! I was blown away how they took a No and turned the word into something meaningful and positive!

Editing my thoughts and my reactions to rejection/no takes lots of practice. No, I haven’t mastered it yet–I’m still a work in progress. Some days are better than others.  When those negative thoughts crop up, I try to go into the protect mode by controlling my thoughts so they won’t defeat me.

Onward solider!

Scardy Cat!!

“You’re nothing but a big old Scardy cat!” we’d say as children when we wanted to taunt, shame or dare our friends to their face–or worst yet, behind their backs.

Growing up, nobody and I mean nobody, wanted to be associated with being “scarred.”  As youngsters, we associated ourselves as brave, cool, hip, brave, risk-taker, rabble raster, unfazed and or just plain crazy.

Scardy Cat was equivalent to saying today “You wimp!” or worse yet, “Get/Grow some balls!” This last term was an equal opportunity offender.

Naturally, I had the “fake it to you make it” bravado down pact. I had to prove my naysayers wrong. Whatever, the challenge, I had to succeed–at all costs. So, I substituted the word Scardy Cat, for wanting to be the best,, the biggest, the brightness the baddest and always better..

Being the baddest felt abnormally comfortable to me. Therefore, I would “act out” or “act like I was bad, to get attention.

Remember, I didn’t want to be known ever as being “Scardy Cat. And in many ways, I still don”t.

But I used and sometimes use the “Scardy Cat” feeling to motivate me to overcome some internal fears, such as being the first child in my family to complete college.

Being the first at anything has built in trepidation and intimidation because everyone trying to “save face” or “save their ass.” I’ve been in both places.

Today, I can tell when the Scardy Cat syndrome is in full effect.

While I love new anything, I still have my reservations or guard up.

Male relationships–scary until the relationship unfolds (natural, I tell myself) and entering into any new “girlfriend” relationship–I wonder if they’re catty, shady or both. Or, if she’ll be a bosom buddy.

New job. Crazy scary!!!!.

Parenting.  I stayed scared, but I enjoyed the journey.

Trying this new adventure of blogging is a challenge. The thing that really sets off the Scardy Cat in me is all these new categories  that must be activated. What the advanced settings? Who cares about that? Why do I have to have a special logo?  Location? Now, that’s confusion.

Now, I go into the whine mode..

I don’t wanna click millions of buttons! I hate putting in extraneous information, upload what now? I whine.

“Scardy Cat!” I can hear the childhood voices in my ear

“Ok”, I snap.

“Scardy Cat!”! There’s the taunt and I’m not liking it one bit.

“So!” I reply on the verge of tears.

“Where’s the fear coming from?” I hear a sympathetic adult voice.

“All these features! It’s cumbersome. Look, I just wanna  write, not handle the logistics of managing the site, for crying out loud!.”

“That’s why there’s tomorrow. Who says you got to figure it all out today?”  I have been anchored.

Relieved I put “Scardy Cat” out of my mind and push Publish. Ah, what an immense relief.

So, here it is!