Life lessons in tough times…
Recently, someone trying to extort money out of me, lost in court and was refused appeal.
What I want to share, is things I learnt from the process.
WHO ARE YOU: I wanted to simply pay her off, just to get her out of my life and avoid a court process. At the same time, I want to be brave and stand up to bullies. I want my children to be brave and to see bravery. So, finding it very hard (and pushed by my partner), I did not settle, cancelled mediation and let it go to a Judge to decide. The decision to be ‘x’, becomes part of your character, how you and others see you, which will feed into your self-confidence and self-esteem. At Brixton Hypnotherapy, building back or up for the first time, self-esteem is most of my work.
BE ADULT: I had to spend hours compiling evidence in the way the court requested. This was ‘done’ to me’ and it was hours not earning, not being with my children or partner, not volunteering etc I resented this hugely, so I then stuck my head in the sand and ignored it completely. Only on the day of the hearing, did I phone a lawyer friend who told me exactly what to say. How interesting, that I didn’t phone the lawyer earlier! How ridiculous that we will go from intensely obsessing about ‘x’ to intensely avoiding it! In hindsight, I should have faced my responsibilities, been resourceful and acted more adult.
BE CALM: When your body is in a flighty state, bringing breath as far down as possible and installing a regular breathing pattern is crucial. I couldn’t get rid of the nerves/fright but I could ease it with deep breathing. In court, the woman acted smug and forceful. In contrast I was humble, apologetic but firm and calm.
BE PRESENT: When you are in stress, you miss signals, react badly and lack authenticity. To bring yourself into the present, ask yourself what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell. By noticing how your body is receiving external stimuli, you stay rooted.
BE COMPASSIONATE: It is hard, but remember the awful place they are in to act that way. Their actions are always from a place of suffering and a result of deep hurt. Anyone trapped in spirals of negative energy, is not having a great life and apart from feeling sorry for them, you don’t want to spin a negative energy spiral around yourself.
LETTING GO: After the court, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the event. There is an element of processing here, where you just have to let your mind form a post-narrative. But I was stuck with it, I wasn’t eating or sleeping well even though ‘the event’ was over. By complete chance, I had a massage with a ‘closet’ healer. She worked on my stomach which hurt under her touch. But as it softened, I felt the ‘incident’ leave my body.
BE CAREFUL: The obvious thing, after an event like this, is a vow to be more careful; to vet people better, to be less trusting, more suspicious and more diligent with eg/references. But actually, what i’m being careful about, is NOT becoming like this! If i’m more wary, less trusting, I will only limit my enjoyment of people and random experiences in life. For this one bad experience, I’ve had a thousand great experiences of kind, loving, generous and trusting strangers as well as friends and family. So, I want to continue being trusting, open, kind and loving – because if she took that away from me, she will win something far more valuable than the thousands she tried extorting!