I was so angry. How dare he not pay me for the hours I worked! How dare he short change me! There were so many things I wanted to say, wished I could say, but wouldn’t say. I wasn’t the confrontational type. Instead, I grew up taking what people offered and feeling victimized if it wasn’t what I wanted or hoped. Speaking up had not been my forte.
But here it was, and probably not for the first time, I found myself outraged by someone’s behavior followed by despair. I either played the bully with people who were “weaker” than me, or the victim if they held more power. But nowhere did I play the adult.
I knew enough by now to question when things came into my life in which I had a large reaction. I knew somehow this person and I were energetically drawn to one another for a healing to occur. I could either handle this by doing what I’d always done, not speak up and think ill will of this person in my own mind. OR, I could do it different. I could change a pattern.
But first, I had to take care of the wound. That meant feeling the victimized part of me as an old energy and sending it love. It meant crying for the times as a child I was too afraid to ask for what I wanted for fear of being told no, as must have been the case one too many times because I had stopped asking.
At some point, what I had a right to ask and what was too much to ask became confusing. So everything just became too much. My father didn’t make a lot of money, and now, I think it must have hurt him to not be able to give us money or buy things. I also know his own family had shamed him for asking for anything. And so, the pattern was repeated.
After crying for the child that was too afraid to speak up and calling a friend to hear a fresh perspective, I no longer felt the shame around money. In adult world, having money isn’t bad, nor is it selfish to ask someone who owes you money to pay you. You have that right to ask for the things that respect one another’s being – especially your own.
I called him up and left a message telling him of his error and asking for a meeting to discuss it further. I said it calmly, respectfully, and approvingly. No longer the person who felt defensive, outraged, or victimized. I became the adult who knew her value and right to be respected as such.
Even if he never paid me, I had changed. The energy in me had changed. I forgave myself for forever believing I wasn’t worthy of asking, and I forgave the other person and thanked him, for showing me what in myself I still hadn’t valued.
When a situation arises, especially with another, that creates a strong reaction, it is not a punishment or validation of what you deserve. It is an opportunity to let go of what you no longer wish to hold onto and create a new identity of who you are today – one who is, and always has been, worthy of love. (By the way – we never had the meeting. He paid me that day).
“Forgiveness is looking past our distorted self-concepts and perceptual errors to the Self that God created in us as us.”
A Course in Miracles