I don’t remember where I first heard this quote, but it turned on a lightbulb for me. You see, I jump to defensiveness immediately. It doesn’t matter if the statement is nothing is sarcasm, a compliment, or a deep conversation. Defensiveness is my first reaction.
There are probably many different interpretations of this quote, but I’d like to share mine.
Every time I go on the defense, I am starting an act of war. I can look back at situations where I have been defensive and I can see how I interpret the situation after as a war. It usually goes like this: I feel attacked, get defensive, then it feels like war to prove something or assert my opinion. Usually prove something. I always feel like I have to prove something.
Because I feel like I have to prove something, almost anything, I get defensive. I have to prove something because of two reasons. First, my ego, or as Andrea Owen calls it, my inner critic. Second, I lack self-confidence.
I can start a camera reel of situations that I feel shitty about and see this same thing happening over and over again. I get defensive, the situation then feels like war.
How am I going to flip the switch?
I am going to do thought work. Every day. Especially after future situations happen.
I just learned methods for thought work this weekend. I haven’t done my first session of thought work yet, but I am going to dive in and work on all the thoughts and feelings that make me get defensive.
Why haven’t I started? Because I did the normal “I’ll start on Monday.” I don’t know why, but I did. And it’s Monday. So I’m starting tonight. Thought work starts tonight to end the camera reel of defensiveness causing war.
Can you think of a situation where you were defensive and it felt like war?