• DeAara Lewis

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The Grudge – Why I Chose to Let Go of Hating Pat…

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I know. I know. It’s been a loooong time. But I promise you there is a good reason. I’ve been working my ass off!!! There isn’t much else I can offer other than that.

But since I am always evolving, I’m always discovering new things about myself and the world around me. And the latest revelation I had is – I really hate holding grudges. It is absolutely exhausting! And recently, that revelation was put to the test.


I had an opportunity to hate someone (we will call them, “Pat”) and I can name 10 reasons that it would have been justified. And I really, really tried to hate Pat. I said salty things about them, rolled my eyes whenever they were mentioned and became quiet whenever anyone said anything positive about them. However, one night, I went to my regular fight class and found that I could not concentrate. Moves and routines that I could do in my sleep, I was struggling with doing. When I stopped and checked myself, I realize it was because I holding a lot of negative emotions around Pat. I couldn’t punch as hard, I couldn’t jump as high when I kicked, I was no good.

In that moment, I made the decision to let go. My therapist/mentor told me something that really stuck with me – “DeAara, a part of you is trying to seek approval from people you don’t even like.” And that was true. For the most part, I realized that I really didn’t like Pat. Now, I’ve seen Pat be very kind, thoughtful and caring towards others but I’ve also seen them throw shade at people they claim they love, mock “friends” who were not in their presence and repeatedly violate trust and boundaries. So yes, Pat could be kind, but so could Hitler…and we all know how that turned out.

The point is, I realized that a part of me was seeking acceptance from someone that I did not like and who obviously did not like me. So why was I doing this? I’m sure there are a number of childhood variables that play a part and me figuring it out would do no good if I was still suffering. So I decided to work through the pain. And you know what I discovered? It was not about Pat. It was about rejection – and that wound ran deeper than my relationship with Pat ever went. So I worked it and worked it and worked it. And when I got to the other side, in that moment, I felt only compassion for Pat and for myself.

And my energy came back! I realized I was bored with drama, made up stories and misunderstandings. I’m launching a web series, finally marketing my film and getting great results, dating a wonderful man who by all accounts I’m probably going to marry one day. I had no interest in ruminating over something or someone I had no control over.

Inevitably, I will run into Pat again. What will I do? I will speak. I will be myself. If they speak in return, great. If they don’t, no hard feelings. It really is – no thing.

Holding grudges really does trip up other parts of our lives. Letting go doesn’t mean you have to let that person back in, it just means that you open yourself up to the Universe’s blessings and gifts. And that is so much more rewarding than hating someone or seeking the acceptance of a person whom you don’t even like.

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The Addiction to Playing God…Why People Really Get Off on Inflicting Pain on Others…

Have you ever asked yourself how does a perpetrator become a perpetrator?  How can some of these people do some things that are down right evil to someone else?  Well, most of them were victims first.  See, there is no power in being a victim (well, unless someone uses it as a manipulation device, but that’s another post), but there is a plethora of power in being a perpetrator – they in fact have the power to inflict pain on others.  At their fingertips and at their will, they can cause pain to someone else any time they have the thought to do so.  Playing God can be addictive.  Even more addictive to those individuals who have carried some sense of powerlessness throughout much of their lives.  Stir this ingredient in with them gathering data about someone else’s vulnerabilities and you create a very insidious recipe.

Most heinous acts have been done by people who have had similar heinous acts done to them, otherwise, it probably wouldn’t have even been a thought.  But let’s lighten the load up for a minute.  Victim/Perpetrator behavior isn’t necessarily when someone does something gruesome, as a matter of fact, it happens on a smaller scale most of the time.  Think about when you go to a restaurant and you see a group of people running a waiter around like crazy only to leave them an insultingly meager tip.  Or the co-worker that seems to have it out for you –  you can’t take a piss without them tracing your whereabouts so they can report to the boss that you aren’t working.  Or a friend, whom you shared very private details of your life with, your vulnerabilities, your insecurities and they take that information and do the very thing to you that hurts you the most.   I’ve experienced all three of these scenarios.

Last week, I did a post called Making Peace with Salt-Dropping Frenemies based on a recent experience about some former friends just abruptly ending our friendship and not telling me why.  As hurt as I was, I had to go inside and ask myself what is it about me that keeps choosing toxic people to connect with.  Is there a perpetrator and/or bully inside of me?  And the answer is yes, there is.  I had to be brutally honest with myself about that.  I’ve cut someone off before and not let them know why.  Granted, it wasn’t for very long, but that person was very hurt by my actions and was very, very vocal about it.   And I had to further go inside and ask myself why do I do that.  Truthfully, it began as a defense mechanism, it was created as a way to protect myself.

Growing up, I was picked on quite a bit in my neighborhood because I was different.  When I got to school, it came in waves.  Sometimes there were periods when everything was smooth and at other times I didn’t want to be there.  It really wasn’t until I got to high school that things got better and remained that way until I graduated.  Elementary up until 4th grade and 10th-12th grade were some of the best memories I have of school.  Everything in the middle was a painful blur because I was going through so much trying to figure out who the hell I was.

So to say I was victimized is an under statement.  I knew what it felt like to be ridiculed and be an outcast.  I knew what it felt like to have my very best friend turn on me because she found new friends and I no longer fit the mold.  I knew what it felt like to get laughed at when I got on stage to perform or for a group of girls I didn’t even know to start rumors about me because they were jealous of how ambitious I was.  I knew what it felt like to have current friends start acting funny with me when I would get glowing reviews about my performances or projects I would create.  I knew what it felt like to have an entire neighborhood of kids want to fight me because they “heard” I was talking about them behind their backs although I hadn’t even seen any of these people since the summer before.  And I knew what it felt like to like a boy, he like me back, but be too embarrassed to show it because I was seen as this geeky, goofy hippie who was trying to save the world.

So when I sensed any of that shit about to start up again, a part of me would shut down and I would immediately cut off the culprit.  Not only did doing that keep me safe, it also gave me a sense of empowerment.  I got to get “them” back.  I got to make someone else hurt just as bad as I did.  I got to punish them and have the power for a change.  However, this behavior came with some arduous consequences –  I lost some good friends and some potential boyfriends because of it.

I became somewhat self-righteous, would punish for the most minute character flaw.  “Cut them off” was something I lived by.  It wasn’t until my mother pointed this out that I really took a serious look at it.  She said, “DeAara, people are going to fuck up.  They are going to let you down, make mistakes and will let you down again.  It doesn’t mean that they are not your friend, it just means they are human.  Don’t punish everyone for what just a few people did.  Everybody is not like that.  And you have no idea what they may be going through, so stop taking everything so personally.”  It took  her telling me that a few times before I really got it.

And the lesson was cemented a couple of times after that.  A couple of years ago, I fell out with one of my dearest friends.  I wrote her letter and expressed to her how I felt about something I believed she did and told her that I felt it was best if we end our friendship.  She emailed me back a very heated response and expressed that she was shocked, angered and hurt by my wanting to end the friendship and said, “You have no idea what I’m going through right now.”  But ultimately told me that if this was the way I wanted, then she’d honor my wishes.

I felt so sad and hurt by something I thought she did, that I really didn’t take those words in until months later.   Those months later?  My boyfriend of that time completely flipped on me, sold me out, did to me what had often been done to him and the one person I knew would understand what I was going through, I couldn’t even call, because I ended our friendship months before over something that could have been resolved had I just gone to her and let her know how I was feeling.

So, I had to eat a slice of humble pie.  I sent her a heart-felt letter letting her know how sorry I was about how I handled the situation.  And I also let her know how much I missed her and that I really needed her right then because I was scared and was in so much grief I thought I was losing my mind.  And she graciously reached out to me back with nothing but forgiveness in her heart.  She let me know that she had been wanting to call but was afraid I would reject her.  I let her know that I felt the same way and we made an agreement to not ever let anything get that bad where we couldn’t go to each other and talk it out.  Right then, I knew I didn’t want to play the Perpetrator/Victim game anymore.  Too many people get hurt.  And real power is generated from within, from Self and from a place of love, not from the pain One inflicts onto others.

I also had to honor that part of me that can cut someone off, because although it hasn’t always been used in the best way, overall, it’s purpose is that of a positive nature.  It can sense bullshit pretty easy and form a protective light around me when someone does have malicious intent towards me.  If I am severely violated, cutting someone off is not very difficult to do and I know that it comes from a genuine place because I harbor no ill-will towards that person.  I am pretty much indifferent.  I don’t need any closure, to be heard, or any of that if someone has fucked me over bad enough or too many times – they essentially become a no-thing.

If I cut someone off and I harp on it or them, then I know I am either grieving the loss or maybe that’s not what I needed right then.  Maybe I needed to say something to them, maybe I needed to listen to what they needed to say to me.  It’s a skill that I now use and reserve only for those people who have severely violated me and those I am relative to.  I don’t know if those people who have cut me off will ever tell me why, maybe they are indifferent now too.  Maybe that is my karma for when I did it to other people, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I have to continue to let go and release things that I cannot control and be okay with that.  I can’t make anybody come to me if they have a problem with me, I can’t make anybody do their work, get help, or see something from my perspective.  I can’t make anybody like me, love me or accept me.  What I can do and what I am doing is becoming the vision I want to see.  I can like, love and accept myself.  I can forgive myself for any wrongdoings I’ve done in my life.  I can be my own best friend and I can put my energy into those people who also feel this way about me and once again, accept me because of and in spite of myself.  And that’s where real power comes from.

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