Life is pain and pleasure, how the pain is handled makes you a victim or a heroine/hero.
I love the coming together of women in the Me Too Movement. At the same time, I despair because the line has been blurred between rape, sexual harassment, and more innocent, but intrusive gropes. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I was French Kissed by the judge presiding over my civil wedding and to this day it remains an unpleasant memory attached to what should have been a totally happy day. Still it was not a rape.
Caring humans identify with others in pain. However, good and bad. Good for it creates compassion; bad for it can lead one to feel your pain is the same as another person’s pain. Because as a therapist I have worked with many women who have been raped, I know the hateful French Kiss was a minor happening. Nothing more than the sting a buttercup might feel when stung by a bee.
How to keep from being a victim? These tips might help.
Emotional Intelligence Strengthening Tips
Tip one: Use rating scales to maintain perspective. Here’s one I devised about the difference between rape, sexual harassment, and gropes.
The unwanted French Kiss on my Wedding Day was a One. And yes, letting go has been painful, but at least I know in my head, it was not worthy of much moaning and groaning. In fact, I kept it to myself for a long time in order not to spoil anyone else’s memories of that day.
Now, I wish I had also sent an admonishing letter to the judge asking him to cease such behavior. He was basically a good man and might have listened to me.
Tip two: Improve your critical thinking skills. Strong emotions interfere with critical thinking.
Tip three: Improve your self-soothing skills. If you haven’t checked out my Four Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises Page, go there now. Want more? Go to my eBook Self-soothing How To Create Calm in Your Life. At $2.99, it costs less than a movie and introduces you to 22 self-soothing exercises.
One self-soothing exercise that helps me deal with stuff like the Unwanted French Kiss is positive self-talk. My favorite for dealing with all past hurts remains, “Life goes on” Another, “that was then, this is now.”
Another useful self-soothing tool is distraction. Because I am using this memory to illustrate this blog post, I am focused on it. Otherwise, I rarely think about it.One of the dangers of the Me Too Movement is that it focuses everyone on past personal pains and that increases the pain and the difficulty of letting go.
Tip four: Forgive. Start small. Review your lists of hurts from the past. Pick one involving someone who was more loving than hurtful. See that person coming to you, asking you to forgive. Offer a hug of forgiveness and say the word’s “I forgive.” What works for me is to see the person as a small child who had not yet learned to control their behavior.
Forgiving at its most basic means not seeking revenge. Seeking revenge mires you in hate, hurt and anger; not healthy.
Tip five: Increase your knowledge of human behavior and why good people do bad things. Doing so helps with forgiveness. Most people are just that – people. We come in different skins and with different feelings. However, at heart, we want to feel good and to live without fear or pain. That, however, is simplistic because what feels good to one person does not feel good to someone else.
I am sure the judge enjoyed his French Kiss, I did not. Why did he indulge in such a kiss then? Lots of reasons, some delusional on his part, some part of the way men get turned on, partly the pleasure and excitement of the moment, maybe a power trip, maybe the kills was a way to reassure himself about his sexuality. Who knows, I doubt if he knew all the ins and outs of why his needs overcame his better self.
Tip six: Celebrate the good more than the bad. We need a march for the progress women have made, one celebrating victories over oppression and dedicated to assuring that all women gain the freedoms we have found.
Thank You For All You Do
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