Rising Above, Sweeping it Under the Rug, Being the Bigger Person… Is It Really Worth It?

On this blog, I mostly talk about being a parent and my inner mental struggles.  I rarely talk about my relationships because to me, they are sacred and personal.  I’ll often talk about surface level things or the happy moments or the stuff that nobody will be too pissed about if I share but I rarely dig deep.  I tend to keep it surface level because letting people in to what’s going on in my world opens me up — makes me vulnerable — and that is really huge for me.

Lately, I’ve been faced with moments in my relationships where I’ve had to protect myself against being hurt.  People do really shitty things sometimes and it’s hard not to let it pull you down so you rise above, sweep it under the rug, be the bigger person, pretend like it doesn’t matter, pretend like you’re not hurt, act like their actions meant nothing… and then carry on like everything is fine.

Why do we do this?  Is this a Canadian thing?  Is this a me thing?  Is this something that women do so that they don’t fall from grace in any way?

I’ve been wondering a lot lately if rising above, sweeping it under the rug and being the bigger person is worth it.  If the experience you’ve gone through still hurts like hell and leaves you confused, is it truly worth pretending like it didn’t happen?  What happens if you’ve made mention of the hurt feelings before but it continues to happen?  At what point do you go from pretending nothing is wrong to saying, “You’ve hurt me repeatedly and it is compromising my happiness”?

I’m working my way through Danielle LaPorte’s “The Desire Map” right now and the primary activity that you do with this work is you create your “core desired feelings.”  Then, everything you line yourself up with in the future is supposed to match up with those “core desired feelings” to ensure that regardless of what you’re getting out of life, you feel good about it.  This whole process has helped me to begin peeling off the layers to realize that not everyone around me is good for me.  Some of the people around me make me feel bad about myself.  Feeling bad is definitely not one of my “core desired feelings.”

In her book she quotes Gay Hendricks with this quote: “Our species in general has grown accustomed to pain and adversity through millennia of struggle… we were only recently evolving the ability to let ourselves feel good and have things go well for any significant period of time.”  That quote hit home to me as it relates to this situation I’m faced with because it feels true to some degree.  Are we so used to having to struggle and for things to feel painful that we don’t allow ourselves anything better?  Do we think that this is just a natural state and all people must experience this so we keep on keepin’ on?

When you rise above, sweep it under the rug and be the bigger person, you still carry the hurt.  The only difference is that the other person may not know that you’re hurting.  Or, they may not care.  Either way, there is an answer here.  One that alludes to the fact that the situation that is happening around you is not a good one.  It doesn’t make you feel good.  It certainly doesn’t make your relationships stronger, better or more enlightened.

As I work my way through my own experience, I ask myself often, “Does this make me feel good?  If it doesn’t, what can I do to change it?” and in those two questions, I find all of my answers.

“When you make tough decisions in favour of your soul,
you’re making a masterpiece out of your existence.”
– Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

Comments

  1. Chantel Richard says

    This is an interesting concept, Erin. I try to avoid “the Ottawa Valley Moms” blogs because my internal clock is ringing LOUDLY in my ears, but because of my situation, I try to avoid pretty much all child related posts. I ‘ve even thought of ” unfriending” people on Facebook. Just because, reading about them with their happy families, just piles on the stress and pressure of having a child. I’m happy for them, but sad for me and my partner . I think I may take your last quote to heart.

    • says

      *hugs*

      I know what you are feeling only because it took Steve and I so long to actually conceive Willow. While we were in that space, I HATED hearing about happy families and pregnancies and new babies — not because I felt spiteful (well, I suppose in some ways I felt spiteful toward the universe) but because it just made me so sad inside. Like, to the depths of my inner being.

      It’s hard to constantly be butt up against things that make you feel unhappy. My favourite feature in Facebook is the “mute” or “hide all posts from…” option. I’ve done that many times 😉

      xo

  2. Amanda Dixie says

    I hear ya, Erin. Personally, I tend to internalize many of my feelings in regards to negative circumstances experienced with others. Not only do I keep these feelings for a few weeks, but several years afterwards; which is absolutely exhausting. On one hand: if I were to face the challenge and confront people who have hurt me long ago, I may risk getting hurt and disappointed all over again…no matter how I approach a resolution with the best of intentions. What seems to work for me is to focus on what/who makes me happy and surround myself with them; meanwhile avoiding negative people who only bring me down. Best advice I can share with you is to recognize that the negative actions and attitudes of others is their weakness and your strength is to continue living only for you and your desired goals. Hope this helps :) Sending a hug to you!

    • says

      Thanks Amanda! It IS exhausting to keep your honest thoughts and feelings at bay / hidden. I’ve realized lately that in order to be really happy, I need to be honest with myself and others and be unwilling to compromise my happiness.

  3. says

    Love this! I think we have a mixed up idea about “rising above” in our culture, where it really means stuffing our feelings down. In my own life, anytime I’ve tried to “be the better person,” it usually ends up meaning that I negate my feelings and feel unhelpfully smug about “doing the right thing.” What I’ve been learning, and continue to learn, is that staying aligned with my gut feeling (which I *always* get) is when things work out best for me — very a la The Desire Map, which I also love.

    Thanks for sharing this & opening this convo!