I opened up my emails for ‘ashmorewrites’ and as I started to read I felt a gut-wrenching pull inside, my stomach started to knot, and my mind took over. I had to read the onslaught a few times to figure out what the aggressors’ issue was with. I continued to read and realised it was a personal attack. My article was an excuse for the person who referred to herself as “a cross reader.” to sit with her herd and give them someone to slander. This, in turn, will make them feel justified in their own previous actions.
A little background needed at this point. I became ex-friends with someone who admitted that they had lied about a child, to protect a family member. That led to her friends making an unconscious choice, though they will not realize that is what it is. The choice resembles a school playground, “My friend is not talking to her, so I am not talking to her.” We have all experienced this at some point in our lives, and not just in the school playground.
Now, I am more than OK with the situation. It does mean they are not OK if they go out of their way to find ways to attack you. The reader was successful at first having succeeded in making me feel awful about myself. I considered removing the article. My finger hovered over the title “What is Free-Range Parenting?” The knots in my stomach still twisting, reducing me to doubt myself and my own worth.
I started to question everything, with more whines of “Why don’t they leave me alone? Are they not bored yet?” I knew more assaults were on the way, as the “cross reader” isn’t one to let things rest. I was correct in my assumption.
Then the biggest question of all hit me, ” Why am I letting people who I care nothing about have this effect on me?”
I got stern with myself “Fix this now Jenny, this is your responsibility and you can make a choice how you feel.” I knew I had to get my mindset back in order and control my ego that was taking over. I knew what I needed to do. I jumped up, stopped feeling sorry for myself and started fixing the problem. I was not going to allow some ignorant keyboard warrior to affect me in this way.
What 5 Things Can I do to Deal With Personal Attacks?
1. I Went Outdoors.
My intuition was telling me to go outdoors, I had to be on a beach or in a woods, walking in nature.
So, that is what I did. My partner and I went to the beach and walked for over an hour. As we walked we discussed our future plans and the good things that have happened recently. We talked about our accomplishments to date with the odd joke thrown in. What this did was remind me what is important and why I am on the path I am in my life. It changed the feeling inside me as I had now forgotten about the “Cross Reader.” Now I was happy and optimistic. Watching the tide come in over our feet was a simple, childlike pleasure. It grounded me back feeling grateful.
How did I forget the most important act? The act of being grateful. At that moment I became grateful for so much. Gratitude for what you have brings you more happiness. I remember a friend saying “Wrap yourself in a cloak of gratefulness, and you will never be unhappy.” Being grateful is the most effective and easiest thing to do.
I sat in a quiet room and closed my eyes and picked a memory. The memory was my children and me in Turkey last year, competing against each other in the pool. The game being who could stand on the inflatable ring the longest. I heard the laughter, the splashes of the water as we fell in. I felt the heat of the sun on my skin and my children jumping on my back to pull me from the ring. The memory lasted longer than 15 seconds and I was laughing out loud during those seconds. I now feel so much better.
4. What’s the Lesson?
Even though I felt nearly 100% better, there was still a tiny knot in my stomach. I knew I had missed something. There is a lesson here for me, what have I not learned? Why did I worry so much about what one person had to say about me? And there it was ‘WORRY.’ I had that worry demon bug. I worried about what people thought and said about me. This does not make sense to do this. It is absurd that you take valuable time and waste it on someone else in this way. I had forgotten a fantastic quote
“What other people think about you, is none of your business.” Jack Canfield.
I worried about something I could not control, but I could control how I reacted. That was going to be my choice. I grabbed what I call “My Bible.” Though it is not ‘The Bible.’
I grabbed ‘My Bible’ which is actually called “A Bug Free Mind“ by Andy Shaw. I looked through the contents section hastily, ‘Chapter 6: Why Worry?’ I know this will turn my crazy thinking back to sane thinking. I lost control and let my ego take over and now I am taking control of my thinking again. I read, re-read and re-read. I see sections highlighted from previous reads. This time it was these words that grabbed me.
“Get over yourself, you do not need anyone else’s approval for your life; just approve of yourself.” Andy Shaw
Once I accepted that there is “no benefit” in worrying, I saw that what this woman did was a blessing. I started to see articles online from the Guardian and other mediums backing up what I had written about. I was getting back my “wings of steel” and unwittingly she had brought so many new views to my site.
My statistics went right up. When she told all her friends what she thought about my article, they, in turn, read the article. They had a few days worth of making each other feel justified as they all agreed on how horrible I am. My article got a lot more attention.
I am grateful to her. What she set out to achieve was not to benefit me, but that is exactly what happened. Every single one of us experiences all sorts of nasties. There is always a positive when you think there is not. When you learn how to control your mind, which with practice, everything is so much simpler.
Why choose the hard way? It does not have to be like that, it is a choice to come out stronger. They won’t like you for it but wanting to be liked is why most of us fail in the first place. You are worth your effort. My family are worth me being the best version of me, always. Your family deserves that too.