Friday, July 24, 2015

Who Is Stirring Your Pot?

  • Do you allow people to say things and do things that get to you emotionally? 
  • Do you often find yourself being manipulated or controlled?
  • How you react whenever a certain person or certain people say things to hurt you? 
  • Do you feel the need to react to everything that comes your way?
  • Are you easily riled?
  • Do you feel confused and insecure?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you have a weak sense of self. You may be lacking boundaries and limitations on your expenditure of thoughts, feelings and energy. You may be externally focused on what other people think more than what you yourself thinks. Perhaps you were raised in a family that taught that children are to be seen and not heard. Maybe you were raised in a family where your feelings and thoughts didn't matter. Maybe you were taught growing up that you have no power. If that happened, then you very likely need to build yourself up today.

It's never too late to grow up, mature and become strong with a strong identity that doesn't get stirred up so easily.

Part of my healing journey involved learning to detach from outside forces while at the same time pulling my attention and focus inward into myself. I had to struggle big time to learn to operate from within myself instead of from what everyone else needed, wanted or manipulated me to be. I used to be the kind of person who was very concerned about what others thought--even more concerned with others than I was with myself. I had a hard time sticking to my truth and spent most of my life feeling very confused.

When your sense of self is weak, you have no boundaries. Boundaries are very pervasive, and they come in many sizes, shapes and forms. In this account, the boundaries I'm talking about are boundaries within yourself to know what is your business and what is not your business. Boundaries against going back on your original decisions about yourself, others, your life and situations. Boundaries against your emotions getting riled up by any outside person, place or thing.

Having boundaries to the degree that things don't bother you is difficult and not for the weak minded. You must have a fortified sense of self and a strong identity. This means, you trust your gut (intuition) and you have the discipline to stick by what you want, need, choose and decide. A whole person who is healthy is capable of making sound decisions and sticking to them, regardless of who tries to bring them into mess and drama. A healthy soul is able to observe situations without becoming emotionally dominated. A person who knows who she or he is knows that to honor the self is the most important aspect of being authentic and true.

Who Is Stirring Your Pot?

There are people in this world who are not psychologically healthy. These people love stirring the pot. They love causing drama. They love watching you squirm. They get pure enjoyment out of doing things, saying things and orchestrating situations in which you will be confused, frustrated, abused and or hurt. These people are hurting themselves and they feel powerless. The way they get their power is externally. They feel powerful when they can make a weak and needy person without boundaries feel badly. Sad but true.

These people are all around you. It may be someone you adore. It may be someone you love. The fact that some people like to stir the pot and cause drama is not always a reason to end a relationship, but what is important is that you learn to stay true to yourself, to stand firm in your own truth and not be persuaded to partake into the drama that they trying to create.  Here's the kind of drama I'm talking about:
  • Repeatedly bringing up a friend whom they know you've had a falling out hoping that you'll forget about the incident and continue engaging in the toxic situation. 
  • Bring up things that are bothersome to you that this person knows you will talk about incessantly.
  • Asking you thought-provoking questions at opportune times that takes you off the path of where you're heading and down their rabbit trail of control.
  • Contradict your thoughts, feelings, choices and decisions regarding relationships that leaves you invalidated and confused. 
  • Bringing up past situations when you are trying to grow up and move past such mistakes. 
  • Remind you of past failures, making you feel incompetent and unsure of yourself today.
  • Rub your nose in the successes of others.  
  • Try to get you to feel sorry for them, love for them, pity for them, anger for them... anything which tries to provoke a certain feeling in you.
 The fact is, none of these things would be bothersome to a person with a high self esteem and who values their own thoughts and feelings. A person with a solid sense of self is not going to be swayed by the interjections of a trouble-maker. A person who trust his or herself is going to hold fast to their position and not be stirred easily. Of course, everyone is vulnerable some times. If you're tired, or have a lot of stress, or are enduring personal difficulties, you may be more prone to allowing the whims of others to lead you astray and stir your pot. But for the most part, a healthy, healed person should be able to stand firm in their own authenticity without being shaken.

The key to fortifying your identity lies first in trusting yourself. It's important that you learn to stop second-guessing yourself and that you make firm decisions and choices and that you stick with your values and your beliefs. You have to know what is yours to control and what needs to be left up to the universe to handle. Once you have a firm handle on who you are, and you trust yourself and prove to yourself that you trust yourself, then you will be free to stand firm like an oak tree that is rooted in the ground when the winds of drama come to try to blow you off-center.

Ways to Protect Yourself from Pot-Stirrers

Here is a few ways you can protect yourself from the pot stirrers in your life:
  • Stay mindful of what is coming at you. Watch what is being said and observe your actions and reactions.
  • Stay cognizant of what is yours to control and what is out of your control. Understand that trying to control anything other than your own reaction is a waste of your time.
  • Be aware of your weaknesses and trigger points. Be extra careful when it comes to your weak areas. Let an internal alarm sound if anyone brings up touchy subjects. 
  • Give yourself space. Step away from people who are engaged in the process of trying to drag you into a conversation or situation that you have already determined is not for your highest good.
  • Stay rooted, grounded, centered in your own truth and authenticity.
  • Repeat affirmations related to your own self sufficiency and competency. 
  • Reparent yourself by Catching Yourself and reminding yourself of who you really are and what really matters.
  • Look at the big picture. Oftentimes pot stirrers thrive on your weak trigger points that put you in child mode. Make sure you use your wise mind to see the whole situation with the thoughts of a rational adult. 
  • Meditate regularly so you can notice thoughts without acting on them. 
  • Stay rooted and grounded in the present moment so that the pot stirrers can't make suggestions that cause you to worry, be afraid, feel guilty or ashamed.
The fact is, we will all face people who try to stir our pots from time to time. The key is knowing who you are and standing firm in the face of the temptation to get off track from your own highest good. Allowing someone to hijack you emotionally and psychologically is a misuse of your precious energy. The energy they're trying to grab is energy that could be used to better your life, to love others more and to love yourself more too. Keep your drama to yourself. You'll be glad that you did.

Jenna Ryan
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