#TBT: A Love Letter to Those Paralyzed by Their Pride
I USED TO SUFFER FROM WHAT I LIKE TO CALL "PRIDE PARALYSIS."
when our "pride" (really just a less loaded term for ego, insecurity and fear) prevents us from acting from a place of love, from doing what's right, from telling people how we really feel, from upholding our self-worth, from taking risks, from pursuing opportunities, from setting necessary boundaries, from being vulnerable, from expressing emotion...
FROM any other form of goodness and purity that we deserve, we are experiencing pride paralysis.
PRIDE IS PARALYZING. SERIOUSLY.
LET'S SEE HOW MANY OF US ARE PARALYZED BY OUR PRIDE:
if WE would rather play mind games than tell someone how WE really feel about them, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
if WE would rather fake a smile and act like WE don't care than show someone the real hurt, pain or fear that WE'RE feeling, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
if we feel the need to wear a hard exterior instead of showing others our delicate hearts, we are letting pride paralyze us.
if we cannot smile or give a friendly nod when we walk by strangers because we don't know if they'll smile back, we are letting pride paralyze us.
if we hold any kind of grudge ever, we are letting pride paralyze us.
if WE are thinking about someone all day but refuse to send a text or make a phone-call because WE don't want to seem "too interested," WE are letting pride paralyze US.
if WE would rather settle for situationships or casual relationships than set the boundaries WE know WE need, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
IF WE PURPOSELY TAKE EXTRA TIME TO RESPOND TO TEXTS OR PURPOSELY MISS CALLS BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO SEEM "TOO SPRUNG," WE ARE LETTING PRIDE PARALYZE US.
if WE would rather continue on with the silent treatment instead of admitting where WE know WE went wrong, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
IF WE FEEL THE NEED TO BRAG ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO TEXT, CALL, DM US OR TRY TO APPROACH US IN PUBLIC, WE ARE LETTING PRIDE PARALYZE US.
if WE see someone WE know in public and refuse to make eye contact or go say hi because WE assume they may be ignoring US, WE ARE letting pride paralyze US.
if WE'RE CONSTANTLY CALLING OURSELVES savageS but SPEND OUR PRIVATE MOMENTS crying or FEELING POWERLESS, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
if WE are afraid of or against letting OUR heart guide important decisions in OUR liVeS, WE are letting pride paralyze US.
AT CERTAIN POINTS IN MY LIFE, I IDENTIFIED WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE. I WAS FULLY PARALYZED BY MY PRIDE. I LOST COUNT OF THE TIMES WHEN I'D HIDE THE TEARS THAT WERE BEGGING TO COME OUT. THE AMOUNT OF CAR RIDES home OR BATHROOMS I RAN TO JUST SO THE OTHER PERSON INVOLVED DIDN't KNOW THEY HURT ME, JUST SO THEY wouldn't KNOW i was so affected by them, just so they'd never figure out how deeply emotional i was.
PRIDE WILL PREVENT US FROM BEING OUR TRUEST, PUREST, BEST SELVES, hence "paralysis."
this was certainly the case for me. today, i am most proud of how emotional and emotionally expressive i am. i realize now that it is a gift from god. but this certainly wasn't always the case: i used to believe that being a deeply emotional and emotionally expressive person was a weakness (which is a topic for another post). today, i see how debilitating my pride was.
WHEN OUR PRIDE IS AT ITS ALL-TIME HIGHEST, WE ARE AT OUR ALL-TIME LOWEST. AND THAT IS NO COINCIDENCE.
during this phase of my life, I wrote a short poem that helped me understand my pride (aka my complicated relationship with my ego; aka my insecurities; aka my fear that other people would know how powerless i really was).
here it goes:
clearly, i knew my pride was doing more negative than positive, but at that time, i didn't know there was an alternative.
I'M OFFICIALLY DONE WITH PRIDE. IT HAS NO PLACE IN THE LIFE I'M CREATING.
love, if you're like i was, you're probably wondering if there is an alternative. i'm sure that the thought of setting your pride aside indefinitely makes you want to hang on to it even tighter. you are probably afraid that people will walk all over you without it. you probably think you'll be played or taken advantage of. the thought of letting it go makes you feel vulnerable and afraid and exposed and all other things you think your pride is guarding you from. but we both know it's not guarding you. you don't feel safe or secure or happy or healthy. you are constantly on edge. there is another way - a simple alternative. a far more powerful one.
i have had countless conversations with friends and readers who ask for relationship advice. 100% of the time, their pride is holding them back from doing what they know is right. if this sounds like you, you are certainly in the right place, because i don't know many people who were paralyzed by their pride in the ways that i was. through giving advice and through working out my own pride paralysis issues, i have come to the conclusion that acting from a dignified place trumps acting from a prideful place 100% of the time. let me explain the difference:
when we are dignified, we know what we are worth and we make sure others treat us like they know what we're worth, too. we love ourselves deeply. all parts of ourselves, especially those that we are working to change, improve or get rid of entirely. and because we have learned to be so gentle with and respectful of ourselves, because we treat ourselves in a non-judgmental, non-self-deprecating manner, we only tolerate the same love, respect, and delicacy from others. in the case that people do mistreat us (because they will), we do not take their behavior personally because, again, we know who we are, what we're worth, so we know that their behavior can only be a reflection of them and their own unresolved issues. because fear is not involved, we can treat them with love and empathy. because we are not acting from a place of fear or insecurity, we don't feel the need to blow-up, lash out or react defensively. we play offense because when we act from a place of dignity, the ball is in our court at all times. in these situations, we may redraw boundaries, we may choose to have a difficult but necessary conversation, we may even pull back entirely. each situation will warrant its own dignified approach, but our decisions will always come from a place of love and respect for self and others. when we are at our most dignified, we are at our most powerful.
when we are prideful, we do not understand our worth, so we devote our lives to trying to convince others we are worth something. we lack self-love. especially in those areas of our lives that we are trying to change, improve or get rid of entirely. we have not learned to treat ourselves in a gentle or respectful matter; we are very self-deprecating and judgmental towards self and others. we are terrified that others will judge us in the same ways. when people mistreat us (because they will), we take their behavior to heart because we believe it is a reflection of ourselves. it makes us further question who we are and what we're worth. we definitely don't empathize with the other person, we may even resent and hate them. we act from a place of fear, insecurity and ego, and often react in extremes: we blow-up, we lash out, we are always reactive and never proactive. we never feel like we have control, like the ball is in our court. we are stuck playing defense. in these situations, we settle for unclear, toxic relationships instead of creating boundaries. we ghost the person and hold a grudge instead of having a difficult, but necessary conversation. each situation will warrant its own prideful approach, but our decisions will always come from a place of fear, ego and insecurity towards ourselves and others. our proudest moments are also our most debilitating.
pride is a cop-out. pride is investing in a not-so-convincing mask and neglecting what lies beneath it. remember, love, when we are prideful [read: powerless], our decisions and relationships will reflect our spiritual stagnation.
dignity is the hard way. we deserve the hard way. i hope we build our strength from the inside out so we don't have to ever wear masks. remember, love, when we are dignified, our decisions and relationships reflect our spiritual strength.
in any Challenging situation, we must ask ourselves this: am i acting from a place of insecurity, fear or ego? or am i acting from a place of assurance, respect and love?
if we can answer "maybe" or "yes" to the former, we are acting from a place of pride aka powerlessness.
if we can answer "yes" to the latter, we are acting from a place of dignity aka power.
YOU DESERVE TO BE POWERFUL, MY LOVE. REGARDLESS THE SITUATION CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO #CHOOSEDIGNITY.