Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When "Winning" Feels Like Losing. The Unfortunate Scenario of Bruised Egos

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Have you ever had the experience of "winning" in a conflict of personalities with another individual only to later feel like your "win" came at a great cost and caused more harm than good? I've been reflecting on this quandry a bit lately.

When I first was unexpectedly diagnosed last summer I was quite upset. In fact, I was very angry. I was angry that all the past work I had done in therapy had apparently not been completely successful. Though the talk therapy I had done had been of benefit it had never addressed the imprint of the trauma in my personal history and how it had specifically affected my brain and my perceptions of myself and the world. Thankfully EMDR therapy helped me to achieve the healing that had previously eluded me.

In the late summer and autumn of last year it felt as if I was in the fight of my life. I felt very hurt and disrespected by a number of people as well as one particular organization (the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus) I had thought would infuse my life with light-hearted fun. Instead it seemed I was always finding myself unconsciously picking fights. And while my reasons for feeling hurt were certainly legitimate (the people involved had indeed been disrespectful, rude and/or lacking in compassion) that fact alone didn't change the reality that the whole scenario I was caught in was most unfortunate and painful. I don't believe anyone who got caught in the unfortunate stream of events "won" in any real way. And this is why a red flag rose in my mind when I read the following from one of my favorite websites I use to follow the world of astrology:

Let yourself be provoked as little as possible during this time, whether in traffic, sport or other "competition", because even if you do not suffer any defeat it may be that your victory is in some way painful. On the other hand, you should not dodge a psychological challenge, particularly if it is connected with a situation which is so uncomfortable for you that you would normally rather avoid it. If you want to give someone "a piece of your mind" or bring up uncomfortable topics, you will be supported by this influence. In any case you should not assume that you yourself will get off scot-free: if you launch into others now you will certainly receive a few painful home truths in return - but it is just this that could prove most valuable for you.

The above is the description for yet another fun transit I am dealing with through early summer of 2014. Fighting for the sake of fighting is not a very desirable experience if people get hurt in the process. And yet, as is noted above, dodging a challenge is also not always a wise choice. Avoiding conflict ultimately seems to serve nobody either. It can be a challenge to walk that fine middle line but it's necessary if you, I or anybody else wants to achieve balance in a consistent way in life.

I recently did what is described above. I gave several people within my family 'a piece of my mind' and brought up some very discomfiting topics. Avoidance of painful topics is not a way to heal the issues at the root of said pain. I don't know what will come of my actions; I have had no reply to my communications and do not expect to receive anything substantive any time in the near future...if ever.

Something I would like to create in my life is relationships with people who are mature such that constructive criticism is received in a positive way rather than as some sort of personal attack. I have grown weary of walking in a realm of weak egos.

I may sound a bit cranky today. I suppose I am. I'm just feeling a bit weary of winter as well as fatigued by the demands of my recovery. I'd like to see the world outside my windows begin showing the beauty of the awakening of Spring. I have felt very awake(ned) now for months while the world outside has been silent in its winter hibernation. I am feeling very ready for this jarring contrast to end.  I want the world outside of me to mirror my interior world.

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!