Letters to Life

Letters to Life (13)

“To choose is keeping hold of one thing and letting go of the other”
– Random Paper Wisdom –

Dear Life,

The past week has been an eye-opener, to say the least. In class we talked about Nonviolent Communication and after hearing it explained and reading about it some more in my textbook, I can say I am a fan. Not completely, 100% convinced, but a fan nonetheless.

I always find myself lost in thought when I am alone and today was no different. I was sweeping some floors and as there were no people nearby to help me get some distraction from my thoughts or music to sing along to for the same reason, I ended up wondering about something that’s been bugging me for months. It is about me not being happy with a situation that involves someone else, and because I am terrified of hurting their feelings I don’t speak up and let them hurt me instead. Because it is easier.

One of the premises of Nonviolent Communication is to take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions as opposed to feeling responsible for someone else’s. Letting this reel in while I was making similar motions with my arms (I mean, those floors don’t clean themselves, now do they, Life? There’s a point of improvement for you!) and suddenly the strength of this hit me. If I am unhappy with how someone makes me feel, I have the right to say so! Even if that means the other party might feel hurt. I don’t have to be rude, but I do have to be honest. For my sake, and theirs.

Something my teacher talked about this weekend also stuck with me. She said sometimes you hurl things at us, Life, things we cannot influence. Like my friend dying or my sister’s pregnancy. My teacher called this “the first arrow”: it strikes you and you cannot change it. It’s simply there, it happened, and it cannot be undone.

But the “second arrow”, the one that follows, is the one we can control. Because this second arrow stands for the way we deal with the situations we’ve been thrown at.

There are a few dilemmas I have to face that I wish were different. But they’re not. And I don’t have the power to change them. However, I DO have the power to change how I act and try to deal with these situations.

It took me a while to get here, Life, but you finally showed me the way. I am not responsible for anyone else’s emotions and feelings but mine, and right now I feel incredibly grateful for finally realising that.



Do you take responsibility for your own feelings or are you trying to make everyone else happy first? (Apparently it’s a phase most of us go through – I certainly did!)

6 thoughts on “Letters to Life (13)

  1. Exactly, Samantha. We can’t control others, we can only control our reaction to them. The same for life events. Things happen. We adjust and adapt accordingly. People are going to feel however they feel about us and whatever happens in our world…we can’t be responsible or feel responsible for their feelings or views. We can only be responsible to and for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have exactly the same problem in my life nowadays. At my life, many people hurted me, but actually I hurted myself the most because I never stood up for myself. These people walked over me so many times, because I was too afraid to tell them how I truly feel. Nowadays I don’t feel in a good place with some friends, I feel like they are hurting me and I can’t say anything about it. But I CAN, I just have to be honest. So I did tell one of them the truth about how the made me feel. Of course she didn’t understand (I feel like most of the times people don’t get me because of my high sensitivity and because I feel like they are too childish for me), but I felt much better that I finally stood up for myself there. I think you have to do this too, it will make you feel better, even if it makes you feel anxious at the same time while telling them the truth. Go for it !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I sent that particular person a very open and honest email this weekend. I hope they got the message in a good mood, because I tried really hard not to sound cross or angry and I think I succeeded. Having said that, I haven’t checked my email yet so I don’t know how the news came across. Still, it’d a relief I finally got to unload this heavy weight on my shoulders a bit. Some things, however well-meant, are just not good for you, and this friendship was one of them. Like you, the mere fact I stood up for myself and my emotions made a difference in itself :)

      Liked by 1 person

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