Last night after two days of holiday gatherings with family, working and a late "Friendsgiving" lunch with a pal I was snuggled up with my little dog, Henry scrolling the Internet when I found a meme I thought would make a friend laugh, so I sent it along and yes, she laughed.
My friend asked if I was spending my Saturday night, you know, "On the 'net?" I immediately texted back "Pathetic?" And felt a little wave of embarrassment and shame roll over me.
She mentioned how if she was "kid-less" like I was she would probably be out kicking up her heels, and the words "date night" were mentioned.
Welcome "Embarrassing Shame Wave #2" but this one was more of the "tidal" variety.
I didn't know what to say, shame does that. I was feeling all sorts of odd things in that moment, like an awkward 12 year old being asked to stand up in front of class and give an oral presentation. I ended up saying that cuddling with Henry in front of my fireplace was date night and we exchanged "have a good evening" pleasantries.
Let me stop right here and say my friend likes me and I like her, make no mistake I know she didn't mean to bruise me or hurt my feelings...
Wait! Rewind. That line "hurt my feelings" was like a switch being flipped and I woke up. The next thought that came into my head was "time to think about what you're thinking about, Raybaud." And so I did.
Enter me beginning to question my thoughts that were serving no purpose other than to make me feel "less than."
It's Saturday night, you should be on a date with a romantic partner (which is how I took what she said, romance was never a part of what was suggested) is that true?
I thought "no", it's not true because it isn't happening. The truth is I am not on a date tonight or most nights of my life.
What is true is that I was a perfectly content woman until I believed I was lacking, missing out or worse off because I wasn't out with a love interest on a Saturday night.
What I was, was perfectly fine before our chat and my friend didn't make me feel that way, I and I alone put myself in that pathetic, sad, lonely place of "less than."
How often do we say others "made me feel ________?" When we are the only ones responsible for taking any "ball tossed at us" and running with it?
Once I realized I put myself in the place of feeling embarrassed or ashamed, I decided to drop the story I made up, snuggled a little closer to Henry and went back to being the content woman I so abruptly abandoned.
Next time you think "___________ (insert name here) hurt my feelings", circle back, erase the name and simply put an "I" there. Then investigate what you are thinking and why you hurt yourself.
Putting an "I" there is far more accurate and allows you to be the victor over the mind chatter vs. the limiting, dead-end path of "victim."
Once again my friend opened my eyes and allowed me to see, it was a lovely date night after all! <3