I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding a text she had received. She said, “I take offense to what she said.” Being a fan of word play, I asked her: Now that you have taken the offense, what are you going to do with it? She smiled at me and I assured her that we have a choice what we take and that is perfectly acceptable to take offense if we choose. The text was from someone who made a remark about clothes of larger sizes. The discussion went on to say that while that comment may have been distasteful, it was about the sender not the receiver. I discussed this concept a little further here.
So let’s explore what we can do when we take offense:
- Remember that it is a choice to take something. Be gentle with yourself and acknowledge that you did take it.
- Look at what it is that you took, can it serve you in any way? With my friend, we looked at that statement as a way to look at the way society and media has sized clothes and what the implications are. We looked at the opportunity to acknowledge where she is in her own body image and the progress she has made. We looked at the need her friend has for love and acceptance, by herself mostly. If there is truth in a statement made, can it help you to see what you need to do in your healing/growth journey?
- Once you have looked at it and allowed it to serve you (if it did serve you) perhaps it is time to give it back. This is a huge, especially if there is no truth to the statement or way for it to serve you. Giving it back doesn’t mean you send her a text or even that she knows or acknowledges you give it back. You can make a statement or motion, something symbolically meaningful for yourself, and give it back.
- If you catch yourself thinking about it again, because these buggers sometimes jump back into our hands…..gently remind yourself that you gave that back and drop it again.
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