Mittwoch, 25. Februar 2015

5 things you did not learn in school: “How do you allow yourself to be treated?”

True to the motto: 
It is never too late to learn something new, today read the second part in the series about things that are TRULY important in life – and that are never once mentioned in the classroom. 
However, they are so crucial that you definitely have to internalize them. 

A couple days ago I was talking to my friend about this and that and because it was appropriate at the time I told her a story from my childhood. 

From the age of 6, I was in gymnastics: 
This meant hours of daily training and long train rides to the gym from home and back, which I accomplished as a little girl on my own, right through the middle of a big city (having parents act as a taxi service was rather unusual, or even unimaginable then;)). 
For years I set out straight after school to attend training, and often did not return until after dark. 

The coach was Russian and her training was compliant with any possible preconceived notion: we were treated with great strictness and were pushed to the max to deliver peak performances, far from pedagogically correct behavior – but since this was the norm then nobody questioned it and nobody took offense. 
Besides, I loved doing this sport. 

One day there was a team meeting after a competition – us girls sitting on the ground, coach talking and while she was talking I thought of something funny to say and spontaneously said it out loud (at least I thought it was funny, being 12 years old ;)). 
Coach, however, did not think it was amusing at all – she narrowed her eyes to slits and, loudly and directly, made a mean and very hurtful remark about me in front of everybody. 
I fell silent immediately and felt mortified and exposed. 

I told my parents the incident later that evening, and had to cry a little while recalling it. 
My father – who generally held sports in high esteem, as he was a P.E. teacher himself, and who had supported me very much up to this point – listened to everything and simply uttered one sentence: 

"You will NEVER return there.” 

And he unenrolled me from training that very instant. 
And thus I never went back from that evening forth. 

I know that these days most parents would have conversations first, listen to both sides of the story “You have to talk about it, with all parties involved…maybe it was a misunderstanding, etc….”, and they would try to rectify things. 

My father’s decision was rather drastic in comparison (and definitely final, no discussion!) – but the underlying message was engraved deep in my heart. 
His reaction did more for my life than the sum of all those years practicing the sport – as in this moment I felt it deeply:  

Nothing in the world is so important that you let yourself be treated without respect. 
Nobody is allowed to hurt my dignity. 
Nobody may trample upon me, or put me down. 
If it does happen after all, I never have to return there. 

And this is exactly my message of love for you today. 

See, there are idiots anywhere in the world. 
There are people who talk badly about you, who put you under pressure, who do not treat you with respect, who do not appreciate you enough. Or, to use this nice old-fashioned word: they do not honor you. 

It will happen here and there, and it should not confuse you or astound you. 
And it is not even your responsibility. 

Your scope of responsibility is: 
How do you allow yourself to be treated?  
What do you tolerate? 
How precious are you to yourself? 
How much value do you attach to yourself? 

- NO man in the world is so fantastic that he may walk all over you.  
No partner may diminish you, embarrass you on front of others, crack crummy jokes about you, or put you under pressure. 
No relationship on this planet is worth tolerating humiliation for: even if it is ever so subtle, hidden or indirect. 

No man can possibly be so good-looking/rich/attractive/sexy/of social standing/whatever that he may treat you condescendingly – all the while expecting you to turn a blind eye over and over again.  

A loving relationship is designed to lift each other up, inspire, encourage, push and boost each other (and not due to life-changing sex, financial security or “so that you don’t have to spend Sundays by yourself”. Even if this is a hard pill to swallow for some of you ;)). 
UPLIFTING, remember. 
And not humiliating. 

- No job on the whole planet is so important that you’d have to lick someone’s boots for it in a kind of modern-day slavery situation – despite having the distinct feeling that you are worth nothing to the other person and are being treated in a condescending way. 
You do not have to let any boss in the world insult or terrorize you. 

- No friendship is so essential that you’d have to permanently tolerate rejection and repudiation for it. 

- No so-called “elders and betters” may treat you badly: 
No priest, no minister, doctor, boss, parent, rich uncle – NOBODY IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. 

Jil said to me recently: 
"Mom, you will always be treated the way you ALLOW yourself to be treated.” 

And for you as a love messenger this truth is an absolute one. 
No “but in this field you HAVE to do it this way, otherwise you won’t make progress.” 
No “but I will never find such a great man again.” 
No “but this person is so important to me, and besides, she has good days, too.” 

You will have a CLEAR sense of being treated without respect – you can sugarcoat it all you want and bring up counter arguments – deep down in your heart of hearts you know. 
Truth is: 
You are so precious and unique that NO HUMAN BEING ON EARTH may spurn your dignity. 

You are a messenger of love, you have the highest dignity and the highest standing possible:  
No matter whether you have “succeeded” in anything in the material world already or not. 
Nobody has the right to look down upon you, only because you are still too young, too inexperienced, attend a certain school, are a housewife, a foreigner or drive an old, rusty car (random list that is surely not complete).  

You have VALUE. 
You have DIGNITY. 
You are full of beauty, love and strength – no matter whether you can see it yourself already or not. 
Deep within you is this treasure, your uniqueness, waiting to unfold its potential. 

"But Joanna, I am being treated without respect. It happens to me over and over again!” 

I’ll tell you something: 
Nobody treats me without respect. 
Not in earlier years as a very young mom with 3 little kids – and even less so today. 
Because I am so aware of my dignity and value myself so much that nobody even DARES to say something of that kind. 
It’s true!

And if it does happen every now and again, I know for sure: “Oh, this is not a good place for me.” 
And that’s all there is to it. 
I never return there anymore – just like with the training ;). 

And this is exactly what you are going to do from today on. 

Remember: if somebody does not value you, he usually does not value himself either. 
But you are not responsible for that anyway. 
You are only responsible for: you do not allow it. 

"But Joannaaaaaaaa, my partner is the most treasured thing I have!” 

YOU are the most treasured thing you have. 
Your honor and dignity are in-vio-lable, it does not matter that you are convinced you cannot live without him anymore. 
God does not send you to this planet to be with an idiot, who restricts you and your personality, because he keeps telling you what you need to “improve” upon, who diminishes you, makes you insecure, or subtly puts you under pressure and manipulates you. 

"But Joanna, if I refuse to tolerate this in my job from now on, I might get fired and will not reach my potential!” 

Believe me, God has much, much better and more beautiful paths to unfold your potential – He does not need pressure, stress or slavery to accomplish it. 
The path to your dreams is NOT via self-abandonment, self-denial, abasement or brown-nosing. 
If God has planted something in your heart that burns within you, if He prepared something wonderful for you, then He will make sure that it will happen. 
The path towards it is by no means free from challenges, but it is certain that nobody will trample upon you while you’re on the way. 

You are not in this world to please everyone. 
You are not here to be liked by everyone. 
You are not here to bend over backwards and tell people what they want to hear. 
You are not here to satisfy anyone. 

You are here to love and to be loved: 
Radiant, strong and beautiful! 
Those who recognize this may enjoy you. 
Those who do not recognize this and don’t value it – are not worthy of you. 

But YOU and you alone must be the one to take the step towards not being treated badly anymore – nobody can do it for you, which means that you cannot blame anyone else afterwards either. 

Don’t ever fear to part ways with people that are bad for you and do not value you. 
Be it in your private life or your professional life. 

Because those who do value you are already waiting in the wings and are only waiting to conquer the world by your side and to live their dreams. 
You will only ever win and never lose out. 
I promise!

"But Joanna, I cannot imagine how this is going to work, being in the situation I am in!” 

Then you’ll just have to trust me in this ☺. 
There are so many wonderful things that you cannot imagine – and they are true all the same, so you cannot rely on that. 

A wonderful life is awaiting you, great people and exciting projects – feel free to do without anything that keeps you from them.
You can really believe me. 

And now we all say:
"Yes, ma’m, Ms. Liebesbotschaft!"



p.s. Read the first part HERE.

Thank you to Ginnell Studio for translating this post!

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