How Words Can HURT!

⚠️ YOU LABEL A PERSON, YOU BOX A PERSON.⚠️

I recently watched a Danish movie called “The Hunt” starring Mads Mikkelsen (‘Casino Royale’, ‘Hannibal’). And it was absolutely devastating! 😔

No, the film wasn’t bad at all. It was actually a great film! It just was not an easy film to sit through and digest. It’s a powerful film, one that asks some really tough questions about the power of mob mentality and mass hysteria. 😱

It shows how groups of people will jump to rash conclusions about someone rather than gathering all the facts. 🤔

The film is definitely not a feel-good film. But with our current Outrage Culture where feelings and justice matter more than accuracy and facts, this film points out a problem that is still needing to be addressed. 👍

The movie tells the story about a quiet man living in a small community in rural Denmark. He’s recently become a preschool teacher, has a small set of drinking friends, and has recently found a new girlfriend. After recently separating from his wife, his life is starting to look uphill for him. 😊

But then a lewd lie is made up about him. At first, it seems absurd to the man that people actually believe the lie rather than him, a person the community has known for a very long time. But the lie takes on a life of its own. 😲

Soon the whole community has jumped to the worst conclusions about him. He is fired from his job. His new girlfriend leaves him. His best friend shuns him. He is charged by the police. But after the charges are dropped because of no evidence, the acts by the community escalate into threats and physical violence. 💥

Remember: the man is innocent, and we are given this fact as an audience member. Yet everything that happens to him in the film is based upon a lie. Even the person who tells the lie in the film eventually admits it was a lie. But she is not believed by the community! 😲

It is fascinating: the community would rather hold onto the lie than believe what they were doing was in fact harming an innocent man. 👤

It’s a devastating film, not just seeing this man’s life crumble, but also in thinking how eerily similar issues like these echo in our culture. How often have we heard someone make an impassioned accusation online or in the news and we automatically assumed it was 100% true? I have, so I’m not pointing fingers here. I’ve done it too! 👍

And don’t get me wrong, some accusations do in fact turn out to be true. We find out the details, and we confirm what was said is true. But there also others where accusations turn out to be completely false, the damage has been done, an innocent person’s reputation has been left for dead, and no repercussions are to be had for the accuser. 🤷‍♂️

In the Court of Law it is “innocent until proven guilty”. But in the Court of Public Opinion it has become “guilty until proven innocent”. 👉

It is these false cries where a person’s life can be ruined based on accusations and narratives which aren’t true. It is these false accusations which do a great disservice to the accusations which are in fact true. 🎯

That’s why I continue to emphasize it’s so important we separate the Facts from the Stories We Create Around the Facts. They are separate. You can read my post about it here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156091492785964&id=509935963

But I’m not here to dwell on the problem. I want to provide solutions as well. There is hope! 😁

📌 Drop any cynicism for skepticism. The difference is cynicism jumps to predetermined conclusions regarding self interest. Skepticism starts from nothing. Cynicism wants the truth to be black and white. Skepticism wants the truth to be whatever the truth is.

📌 Question your emotions. Our emotions filter our decision-making. When we’re angry, we’re more likely to lash out and throw out accusations by the handful. One question you should ask yourself: Does this emotion serve me in the present moment? Be sure you are using your emotions and not letting your emotions use you. To put it another way: develop your emotional intelligence.

📌 Consider your common humanity. People make mistakes. People say things they regret. People also lie. And if you’ve never done any of those things, I’d ask if you were a human being. I don’t say that to justify at all what someone does. It’s to acknowledge your shared humanity with another person. It helps gives you a clearer focus on the situation supplemented with the Superpower of Empathy.

📌 Be wary of group mentality. There’s a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are in groups, where they collectively become a microcosm of shared beliefs and actions. Individuality becomes lost and people conform to whatever the group does. It’s the reason a set of people in a group can start a riot, even if other members of the group never went in with the intention to.

While it’s easier to summarize a person’s entire existence based on a narrative and a few labels, you simultaneously box that person into a Filter of Perception of which everyone else is now going to be seeing that person.

The big question though: Is it really true? 👤

There’s a reason Don Miguel Ruiz had one of his Four Agreements be: Be Impeccable With Your Word. Words have the power to create as well as destroy. The problem is they’re more often today used to destroy than for any form of creation. 👍

That man in the film, no matter how many times he could say he was innocent, could no longer be seen the same way again because of the labels his community had laid upon him. 😔

But here’s the catch: No one is played in the film for a caricature. Everyone has reasons for why they do what they do. Like the characters who spread the lie genuinely believe others need to be aware because their fears say to the lie is true. Everyone plays a role in how the situation escalates. The film illustrates how it’s a group effort for these kind of things to get out of hand. 👥

That’s why developing our self-awareness is so important, so we don’t give into our irrational emotions and simply go along with the crowds. Because at times the crowd will be dead wrong. As Kierkegaard said: “The crowd is untruth.” 👍

Of course, there are people in the world who have in fact done bad things. They are people who are guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt and should be rightfully held accountable for their actions and punished. Justice should be rightfully served. 💯

But this post today was about addressing the elephant in the room. 🐘

📍 This post is not about the thirst for social justice but about the injustice that happens to the innocent because of the thirst.

📍 This post is not about accusations but about the negative consequences of a society where people loosely throw around such accusations without repercussions or personal responsibility.

It’s a society that will crumble under the very thing it continues to enable: blaming. 🤬

But again, I also have hope. And I hope you find this post one you can think a bit more on. Thank you for reading! ❤️

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Why Our Darkness MATTERS!

Many of us have been there, where we’ve experienced such dark moments we would never wish them upon anyone. 🖤

You felt depressed. Worthless. Helpless. The feelings felt like leeches feeding on you physically and mentally. 👤

I’ve been down in the darkness myself. Contrary to popular belief, I’ve not always been this hopeful and positive of a person. 😲

But it’s because I’ve been down in the darkness that I’m up here now. ⬆️

I urge you: don’t let the dark moments negatively define your life. I want to provide you this post, to provide you hope. ☀️

I won’t tell you to forget about your past. Far from it! Running from your past suppresses what already has shaped a part of you. ↩️

What I will say is to use your past in a more empowering form. You’ve suffered and lived those dark moments…but you’re also still here. You survived. You’ve learned. You’ve grown. And you’ve become massively stronger as a person because you’ve been there. 💪

I know some people will tell you to forget about your past and just focus on all the positives in your life. 👀

But what those people miss is the understanding that out of darkness can also come much light. After all, you cannot have darkness without light. 💞

You would not be the person you are today without your past. It’s not to say the past wasn’t painful, but to say the pain wasn’t for nothing, that out of the pain came a newfound understanding, a knowledge many won’t ever fully comprehend. 🙌

And with that, there are many others in the world who are still struggling in this darkness who need to hear our stories. 👥

I love making posts to lift people up. But I also won’t be afraid to enter the darkness to find more light. Because again, you cannot have darkness without light.💡

You are not alone. You matter. And you are loved. ❤️

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Why Your Mind is a GARDEN!

Have you ever found yourself focusing on a situation that was NOT making you happy? 🤔

One negative thought after another, you started to feel more and more crappy. 😡

But you didn’t think of changing the thoughts in your mind. 😲

There’s a reason Jim Rohn said: “Every day, stand guard at the door of your mind.” 💬

Your mind is like a garden. Whatever seeds you plant they will expand in your daily thoughts. 🎍

What seeds are you planting regularly? Seeds of Problems? Seeds of Solutions? Seeds of Gratitude? Seeds of Anger? 🌱

The problem is when we think we aren’t in control of our minds. We are, just not in the way we might think. 😲

What’s out of our control is the thoughts that cross our minds. No doubt. But what’s in our control is our choice to attach and respond to these thoughts. You start to realize this when you do practices like meditation. You are more in control that you think. 🧘‍♂️

🌟 Control your mind or your mind controls you. 🌟

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How to STOP Beating Yourself Up!

🛑 STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! 🛑

There’s a voice inside of you that no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try, it’s ready to tell you what’s missing from your life. 🗣️

There’s a voice inside you that no matter how much you believe you’re doing well, it comes knocking at your mental home to challenge you, to instill some form of doubt:

“Are you SURE you’re doing enough?” 💭

“Do you REALLY believe everything you say you are is true?” 💭

“Do you TRULY deserve what you have been given?” 💭

I’ve felt this in me before, multiple times in fact! You are not alone! 👥

There’s the psychological term “imposter syndrome”. It’s the tendency for us believe our achievements pale in comparison to what we feel we’ve actually done.

To put it another way, we don’t feel the status, success, or fame we’ve received in our lives is equal to our own feelings of self-worth. In our minds it doesn’t feel “deserved”. And we have this irrational fear we’re ultimately going to be exposed for the “fraud” the voice inside us says we are. ☝️

Would it surprise you to hear even the most famous individuals have experienced these feelings before? Individuals like Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, and even Meryl Streep have openly expressed feelings like this. 😱

You wouldn’t expect to hear that coming from a celebrity, right? Despite all their wealth, awards, and recognition they’ve received, there’s a voice inside them too that doubts whether they deserve what they’ve been given. 👍

This feeling is universal. You are not alone! 👥

What’s easy to forget in certain moments of our lives is all the achievements and impact we’ve made on the world. When this little voice starts to appear in your head, it’s a sign it’s time for an expansion in perspective. 🤯

I’m not saying we’re all going to be celebrities or are following the same path as these individuals. What I’m saying is these feelings of self-doubt are all too common, these feelings of inadequacy and not being enough just where we are. But there are solutions. 😁

A character from the film “Before Sunset” may have summed up the human condition quite well: “I feel like I’m designed to be slightly dissatisfied with everything.” Can you relate? 😅

This past 2 years has truly been a journey: ups, downs, lefts, rights, zig-zags, and any way the Wonkavator is going. Even now, being almost 2 years since I made big changes in my life, I still have heard this voice come up from time to time. It creeps up when you least expect it, too. As I write this, I can already hear the echoes of this voice in my head. 🗣️

But I have a solution for this voice as well as the ones in your own head. 💡

📍 Disconnect yourself from these voices. These voices are not You or Me. These are voices rooted in Fear: voices from toxic people in your past, voices from destructive opinions said about you, voices which are no longer serving you today or tomorrow. It’s time to let them go.

📍 Unconditionally accept yourself wherever you are right now. The past, literally, no longer exists! It’s only being carried in your head now. The problem is we often carry the negative parts of our past into our future. So let’s instead take what’s most useful from our pasts into the future.

📍 Reflect on all your achievements, all the moments in your life you can be grateful for. These voices of self-doubt are temporary, especially when you reflect on all the achievements and long-term impact you’ve made on the world. Remind yourself that everything you’ve done in your life has had an effect. It’s the same reason why an act of kindness can have a ripple effect.

📍 Remember WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. You are where you are today for a reason. Something might have pulled you here, something might have pushed you here, but either way you’re here for one reason or another. And when you have strong enough emotional reasons in your mind to be where you are today, your self-doubts will easily start to disintegrate. If you can’t think of strong reasons, create some new ones!

Writing this post was in its very own way cathartic for myself. As much as there have been times I’ve heard this voice of self-doubt, I remember all the amazing things I’ve done in my past that have shaped me into the person penning this very post. 🙌

This is a moment in time I won’t ever get back. None of us will, not even you reading this very post. What we do with this time is what matters. ☺️

Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not worth it to your future self. You’re not alone; I’ve felt it before too. But the key is reminding ourselves that these voices of doubt are not here to stay; they are coming to pass. 😊

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