What You Do Speaks So Loudly I Can’t Hear What You Say

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As Mr. R.W. Emerson wrote, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

Call it a vibe, an energetic frequency, or whatever you like.  Combine it with your body language and facial expression, mix with empathic ability and good old intuition, and we’ve got you nailed.

Most of the time.

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

I have a conundrum.  Maybe you can help me solve it.

I saw a quote that left me nonplussed.  Of course I can’t find it now when I need it, but the jist is that if you have a “toxic person” in your life, just decide to get rid of them, stand your ground, and if you ignore them long enough, they will go away and magically disappear.

Have you found this to be true?  I sure haven’t!

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

“All things” includes the rotten people who come along to gossip about you, get you fired, or pin you against the refrigerator.

Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

They flip you off, slap you, and gun their minivans while gravel flies in your face (and you might hear the theme music of the wicked witch in your head as you watch them drive into the sunset).

Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

They show up on your day off, ruin it, and complain that you never let them do x,y,or z that you are currently letting them do, on your day off.

Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

Because if it had happened to me, it would include things like (a) the one day off you have had in six months with your husband or (b) create a three year unemployment stint and cause you to lose your house.

 Find Your Center, Or Else?

“Bad times have a scientific value.  These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

This kind of reminds me of when I was dating.  I dated a series of progressively more intelligent, wily, and challenging men.  They started off gay – obviously, the least challenging! But maybe the most glaring and false of the group since they didn’t claim to be gay, we just found that out later.  So therefore, a bit of a puzzle.

Then they progressed in a way that you really could put them in a lineup and say,”Okay, she figured out that one and met that challenge.  Time to ramp up the difficulty level.”

I started off extremely shy and ridiculously sensitive as a young woman.  As a baby, I used to cry when a man stuck his face within 3 feet of me.  Not sure what I had against them!

Say the wrong thing and I would either get upset or get offended, or both.  Over the years I had many men friends who would joke with me to toughen me up.  Then I dated some men and learned as we all do that I was not the center of the universe and I had to actually share.  Some of you may remember The Ketchup Story so you know where I was when I finally met my husband about two decades ago.  But in between there were some lulus that I will surely tell you about someday.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

I remember one morning it was freezing freaking cold in Chicago and I could not even tolerate changing clothes to go to the gym.  I just rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and washed my face, threw on my mittens and forced myself to run through the streets to Jimmy’s house before I could talk myself out of it and cancel.  Whatever I was wearing, I was wearing, and there seemed to be a sweatshirt on the top layer, so all was good.

Until Jimmy answered the door, came out and started to walk me down the street where he casually threw out,”So, did you spit up on yourself, or what?”

I looked down and realized that when I splashed myself with water quickly while washing my face before it froze in place at my sink, I had gotten water all down the front of my sweatshirt.

It may sound silly to you, but I was mortified.

It is a testament to how much I loved my friend Jim that I did not run shrieking down the block in shame but instead made a joke back and forced myself to feel okay about it.

That is the way that we learn things, right?  In stages.

I grant you I was a very young woman when this happened, but had I been dating Jim I probably could not have ever faced him again.  Seriously.  I was that uptight and overly sensitive.

Now many moons, men, children, jobs, medical emergencies, serious losses and general catastrophes later, little faux pas are nothing to me.  It might take the zombie apocalypse for me to admit we may have a problem here.  Anything else (nearly, anyway) I will laugh off and say,”Oh well, live and learn, no big deal.”

The point is, we do learn, we do grow up, we do take the bitter with the sweet and become glad of it.  Usually.

Who Do You Decide To Be?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

I used to be shy to get in a bathing suit in public.  That was when I was young, cute and thin(ish).

Then I had kids.  Late.  I mean old, like most of the other mothers could have been my kids.  Those kids had to learn to swim, and then after lessons, they practiced and there was no one there to chase them but me.

So I did.

You cannot chase toddlers while worrying about any body part doing something it shouldn’t.  So I did what came naturally and threw on a tankini with some surf shorts and we shrieked, swam, and had a good time.

I’d look at those women pulling down their suits and acting all self conscious and not swimming with their kids and I’d really want to say something but I didn’t.

They were going to have to learn, or suffer.

The Lessons Keep Getting More Interesting

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

So as I progressed through life I may have handled men and kids (as much as one can “handle” those things, which is to say, you roll with them) and then I started to butt up against the women, and this is where it gets convoluted and my mind can’t quite wrap itself around the solution to the problem.

Maybe you can help.

Just like in the other scenarios, when you run into difficult people (those who show you where your weaknesses are, damn them) you start to learn the lessons like setting boundaries.

First, they run right over you and that’s where you get gossiped about at work and eventually fired because they know how to play the game and “better your job than theirs.”  They set you up and you’re off like a lamb to the slaughter.  You don’t know what hit you.

So you take in that lesson and the next time some bitch your colleague or relative starts to run you over, you (hey! wake up!) notice.

You draw a line in the sand.  They step over it.  You draw a line and put yourself in a protective, pro-active bubble.  They step over it.  You keep the line, the bubble, and arm up with bazookas…and they retreat.

Until they come back again.

Each time they get weaker and weaker and you get stronger and stronger.  Except, it’s a bit of illusion, because (1) this is a dance designed to help you learn a lesson and they are probably – on a soul level – one of your soulmates who agreed to come here to be a total witch to you, on purpose, just so you could learn this already and (2) their energy is probably exactly the same, you just perceive them differently as you start to get it.

Each time, it just gets easier.  To the point where, something that would have had you run screaming down the street two years ago (did you spit up on yourself?) is now either something to laugh over or merely a smallish fly to swat.

Finally, you get to the stage where you are SURE you are done dancing with this person, and then they hit you up again.  Oh Universe, just checking to make sure I got that one?  No problem, I’ve got it!

Then they show up again, and do something silly like pin you to a wall in a corner while telling you they love you.  This is some woman, not a date.  That’s when, were you in a movie, the soundtrack would make a loud screeching sound like a needle across a record (remember them?).

Wait a second, your character would say.  Are you trying to convince me that physical force is LOVE?

What You Do Speaks So Loudly That I Cannot Hear What You Say

The nonsense that comes out of this person’s mouth – this person who used to make you crazy and stressed and full of anxiety – is suddenly seen for what it is, manipulation and lies and maybe a little insanity.

And you wonder (I wonder), why won’t they go away?  You’ve told them to go away, in the nicest possible way, the clearest possible way, the get out of my house and never darken my door again way, and maybe several other ways, but like a bad penny, they keep showing up.

They want to do crazy things like have things back the way they used to be and for you to listen to reason and not leave the room like that.

They just refuse to hear you.  Or, and this is a little scary, they assume you will bend to their will, regardless of what they have done, who they are, what has gone before, or anything else.

“The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Something happened to me along the way.  I may not always know when someone is lying to me, but mostly I get that funny feeling that lets me know when something is off.  Often I even know exactly what is off.  It takes a lot of practice and willingness to suck it up and look at energy through new (non-sensitive) eyes and see the actual Truth.  Because beyond what they think and what you think, there is an actual objective Truth.

I want to look around to the person behind me to ask,”Did you see that too?” because I’m not always sure if things are that obvious to everyone else or not.

Unfortunately what I am finding is that there is no one to back me up.  I am alone in this thing and have to find the truth for myself.

Which is sadly disappointing but, let’s face it, it makes sense.

We have to learn to stand in our own knowledge and power sometime.  From the baby carriage to mid-life, sometimes.  The road is twisty but fortunately, life is long.

But looking back, Jimmy was teaching me back in 1994 and there was a parade of people before and afterward who offered similar lessons.

Really I should end this by expressing sheer gratitude for every single person who has ever touched my life, including all of you, because every single bit has helped.

But I still want to know, what do I have to do to end this?

Or maybe I just did.

All quotes courtesy of Mr. Emerson.

Image credit Bethany Petrick.

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  1. Hi Julie!
    I really enjoyed this. I especially appreciated this:

    “this is a dance designed to help you learn a lesson and they are probably – on a soul level – one of your soulmates who agreed to come here to be a total witch to you, on purpose, just so you could learn this already”

    It helps to hear that, to remember it’s all your manifestation, all something you wanted (:o)

    The title had me thinking of something else. Our interpretations of what others do is everything. Even if their actions seem to be saying one thing, if we can look deeper….This is what I’ve found myself doing lately. Standing back and observing my reactions. I don’t know how I got to this place – I remember reading a book that taught me that about a year or two ago but I found it impossible. Yet, now when something happens that could be potentially upsetting (actions of others) I stand back and wonder if it really means what it seems to mean at first blush. Again, it’s good to remember they’re just helping me to clear something else whose time has come.
    Lori Gosselin recently posted..How Does Life Support You?My Profile

  2. Feeling it. By the time I was your age I was puzzled as to why my mind hadn’t completely cracked by then, the (self-inflicted in my case) pain was so great. But it didn’t and you won’t because that’s not the point for us. A guy might do fine working out with 35 lbs., but at some point eventually it’s 100 lbs. or why bother. The more-experienced soul gives itself a greater lesson.

    On 2nd thought, since you’re sticking it way out there this time, I think I’ll just email you.

    Insert all trite encouragement here [“hang in there, better days are a’comin’…”] 🙂
    Michael recently posted..Enjoy Your Self!My Profile

  3. Julie,
    Hey, it has been a LONG time… (how did that happen??)
    I have absolutely nothing to offer but this: WOW…
    WOW… I get really tired of being stuck on the same dang “lesson”…
    WOW… How’d you get inside of my head?…
    WOW… it is SUCH a gift to be able to actually put that into words…
    Amber-Lee recently posted..Top 4 and What Keeps It All GoingMy Profile

  4. Hi Julie,

    Yes, I think you just did. Like Neo at the end of The Matrix 🙂
    I hate sometimes how it feels to stand alone in those moments, still, especially lately, I can feel the energetic support of our tribe with me.

    Hugs to you,


    P.s. Chicago?! At one time we lived in the same place?!

    • Robin, Yup I lived there briefly but brilliantly back in 1994! Chicago was my hands down favorite place I ever lived or visited. Lots of great memories there.

      You would probably have laughed (as I did) at my nearest-and-dearest’s reaction to the event, which was to think the whole situation was hilarious. That allowed me to de-escalate within just a couple of minutes, but mirrors being mirrors, it was pointed out that I myself had acted similarly within the last 24 hours. It’s not always clear to me that the reflection is true, and in this case I wonder. I saw it 180 degrees differently, and then a left turn at Mars. So that aspect was troubling, and what caused me to write about it.

      I wish there was an honest judge present, an guide to say,”This is true, this is not.” Unfortunately we sometimes have to wade through these things on our own, usually at the zenith of the confusion. But as you say, we all have each other.

  5. THIS bit “First, they run right over you and that’s where you get gossiped about at work and eventually fired because they know how to play the game and “better your job than theirs”. Yeah… I had this happen to me several years back. You become a target at random… or because someone is a nasty bit of work and they’re simply bored (awful as that is) . Read the book “Snakes in Suits” about sociopathy in the workplace. Eye opening to say the least. As an introvert it’s super easy for me to get targeted since I avoid any and all office gossip (not just moral reasons; if they talk about others, they’ll be backstabbing you sooner than later, too). The scary part about learning this stuff is that often there is no rhyme or reason; they just mess with people and enjoy it.

    I agree our nemesis relationships *can* be the most helpful for *teachable moments* (agh! that phrase). That said, I also like to read about certain…personality disorders that could pop up and present a problem via being manipulated/guilted etc. I had a ‘friend’ who was a borderline and wrecked many mutual friendships, created such havoc, made numerous threats (not just to me, to others we both knew) and when we all compared notes it was validating and a relief. When we recognize a behavior pattern that is clearly unhealthy? Clock it. I honestly don’t know what to say advice wise about your ‘bad penny’ who seems insistent on making you see her side of things. It’s frightening too, as you have the kids and your husband is working and not there physically to back you up here. Not that you are not capable, it’s just good to have some help. Is this a family member? Former friend or colleague”?
    Are you one of many who have been on the receiving end of her crazy stunts?
    If it escalates, I am sure Mama Bear will be in full effect. Perhaps a police protection order is needed. And of course note the dates, times and content of what she says (possibly even have your cell record these rants or comments she makes when dropping by uninvited)

    It sounds like she is getting scary. Good luck.

    • Don’t worry, we have a jackass of a sheriff who roams the community looking for interlopers and everyone in Florida is armed, especially here where I live, in the woods. I’ll bet 80% of my neighbors have shotguns at the ready, not to mention their dogs.

  6. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Julie

    Finally got some time to sit down and read this. Sounds like all the witches that crossed my path at work! So glad those days are over. BUT…they have also taught me to NO LONGER take shit from people that do not have any real interest in me other than to boost their own superiority over me.
    Lessons we all need to learn, unfortunately some of the lessons came too late and bad things happened that take a lifetime to correct, some raise their ugly heads long after you thought they had died! But even so it has made me stronger and yes the journey is really all alone, no matter how many loving people you have around you. Somehow you have to survive all choices made in the past. As time goes along somethings no longer seem important and you begin to go with the flow of what fate lies ahead, somehow you will survive if you have belief it will. Maybe it is the path we have to be on to learn what lessons we were brought here at this time to learn. But I am getting really tired of the re-learning!


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