You are not the same person you were before this prison experience.
There was the “you” before your husband went to prison and the “you” whose husband is in prison. Everything has changed. The way others look at you, talk about you, and treat you is not the same as it was before he went to prison.
People are judgmental when they are still living in brokenness, insecurity and fear.
It is easier to criticize others than fix their own brokenness. You can only accept others for who they are today when you are healed. It takes so much more energy to be critical than it does to be kind. But, many are walking around carrying so much emotional and mental baggage that they don’t even realize the weight of it anymore. And they will be cruel. Be prepared with DTIP — the tool that will keep you focused on your goals.
DTIP – Don’t Take It Personal. You can’t afford to carry an offense.
Prakash Iyer wrote this story that is a great illustration:
— A chemistry professor decided to teach his students a different lesson one day. Holding a glass of water in his hand, he asked the students,
‘How much do you think this glass of water weighs?’ ‘500 grams!’ came a voice from the back. ‘600,’ said another student. ‘I don’t really know!’ said the professor, holding the glass up to make sure everyone could see it. ‘And unless we weigh it, we won’t know.’
With the glass still in his outstretched hand, the professor continued, ‘What will happen if I hold it like this for a few minutes?’
‘Nothing!’ came the reply. ‘Right, and if I hold it for an hour like this, what might happen?’ ‘Your hand will begin to hurt,’ said a student. ‘Indeed. And what would happen if I held the glass in my hand like this for 24 hours?’
‘You would be in tremendous pain,’ said one student.
‘Your hand will probably go numb,’ said another.
Your arm will be paralyzed and we will need to rush you to the hospital!’ said a student on the last bench.
‘True,’ said the professor. ‘But notice that through all this, the weight of the glass did not change. What then causes the pain?’–
It is obvious to us that carrying something that we were never designed to carry will cause a whole host of problems.
You have experienced it yourself when you would take everything personal. But now that you have renewed the way you think, you see clearly the difference between a value statement and an observation. We have to remember that not everyone around us knows what we know. They are still walking around carrying things they should have put down years ago.
So, here comes the challenge. People say and do all sorts of crazy things because they are still stuck. We have a choice to make. Do we revert back to our former behaviors and thinking? Or do we respond the way we know is the right way to respond? This is where the rubber meets the road.
Remember DTIP. It isn’t you, and it isn’t personal. When broken people act out, you have to stand your ground, remain calm, and remember that it isn’t us. It is them. As you refuse to carry an offense, you will be setting a new precedent in your life. You are proving who you really are. All the silly, crazy stuff that used to get you so upset isn’t worth all that energy now.
"Don’t let anyone define you or your family. You get to write your own story."
You are focused on what is most important in your life- stabilizing your family and building a strong legacy. Let others carry the burden of your past or your husband’s past. You have already moved beyond your past, you cannot let it hold you back. You have enough to carry with your present and future. Don’t you dare pick it back up! Practice makes permanent. The more you practice DTIP, the more you establish your new reputation. To read more about overcoming your past, read this article.
You are up for the challenge. Don’t let anyone define you or your family. You get to write your own story.
I am rooting for you!