These words. These powerful words. These are the words I have heard my soul mother Oprah say in her speeches, interviews. Maya Angelou taught these words to Oprah.
It has been a long long time and it has taken me years of pain, heartache, heartbreak to understand these words. Don’t get me wrong I still forget sometimes. I still fall flat on my face by trusting people in my life again. I still give too many chances. I still care a whole lot when I shouldn’t. I still keep people in my life who don’t belong there anymore. I still hold on when I should have let go like yesterday.
But I am learning. I am growing. I will get there. And one fine day when people show me who they really are I will believe them the first time. I will protect myself and care for myself just like I would for anyone I love. I will make myself a priority. I am already there.
After years of putting my faith in the wrong people I finally put my faith in me. You know what the best part is? I never let me down. I never lie to me or betray myself or hurt me. Sounds great right? So now please put your faith in yourself and make yourself your utmost priority.
A person shows you that they are mean, or unkind, or selfish, or ignorant and more—believe them. Don’t make excuses for them. Don’t give them the chances they don’t deserve. Don’t explain why they are being disrespectful or unreasonable to you because nobody has the right to hurt you. Don’t make excuses for their demons and traumas. We all have them. We all have fears, hurts from our past/childhood but, that gives nobody the right to be cruel or spiteful to another human being let alone a loved one. (We all have our fair share of people we have loved too much and fallen flat on our faces because of them. Just remember you aren’t alone).
They know themselves more than you could ever know them. So next time their actions show you who they truly are, just say: ‘Okay these actions are you (good or bad) and I will believe them’.
We put blinders on for the people we love and make up things in our head about them being good because we would do that for them. I am telling you to stop. Stop fighting for them and fight for yourself. Stop telling the world that they are good when they aren’t. Don’t paint a picture in your mind of them, tell yourself the reality of who they really are. Accept it, embrace it, learn from it.
It’s okay that horrible things happened but don’t let them do that do you over and over again. (It has taken me all of my life through my teenage years to understand this because I let people in my life hurt me time and time again and I would keep forgiving them and giving them more chances). Pay attention to what they did, believe it is who they are and let them go. People’s actions are a mirror of who they are. (Ever see someone being rude to the waiter? Believe that it’s their reality).
You don’t have to seek revenge or feel anger but just know that sometimes people are who they are and we cannot do anything about it. We cannot fight their battles for them or face their demons. They have to do it for themselves. It’s a full time job changing ourselves, how can we ever change somebody else. All we can do is help them and if they’re crazy please just let them go.
Just be still and really let them go. Speak your truth and protect your peace and heart. Oprah says being successful for her is ‘when you are absolutely comfortable with yourself and the ability to learn to say no and not feel guilty about it. To have the kind of internal strength and courage it takes to say no I will not let you treat me this way. I will not be treated this way. I demand only the best for myself. You are worthy to say no. It’s okay to Say no and people don’t like you and that’s okay’.
This is a tough lesson, this is a painful lesson, It keeps repeating untill we learn it. I have learnt this the harsh way in my life. I kept excusing people, letting them get away with compassionless actions and sometimes they were downright brutal and malicious but I let them get away with it or I forgave them. I took them back over and over again. I still do sometimes and it’s been a long struggle but I’m learning. I let them stay in my sacred space which is my life (the life that I built for myself) and they trampled with their heartless, unkind feet through my life like it was no big deal.
You know the odd thing though? Everytime I would let them back into my life the universe would knock me on the head faster and faster. The lessons got tougher because everytime I tried to make something work which wasn’t meant for my life, it would knock me down on the ground and get me to pay attention. The universe (god, a higher power, something bigger that we all believe in) is always speaking to us and telling us what is good for our lives, hearts and what isn’t. We just have to be still long enough to listen. Just pay attention to your life. All the answers we seek are all inside of us.
Wayne Dyer taught me that we all are anchored to the universe somehow and we know right from wrong. So if someone does something wrong, don’t let them get away or get comfortable with doing that to you. They can take their disagreeable actions somewhere else. There are no excuses for a lack of integrity, honesty or kindness. Let yourself know that when you see someone show you their dishonorable side believe that it will be repeated with more of the same.
Remember these words in times of pain, disrespect, betrayals. “When people show you who they are believe them.”
Turn these heartbreaks and aches into happiness. Only you can do that for yourself.