Thank a Villain in Your Life
Ever stopped to consider who the greatest influencers were that created the most significant personal growth and positive change during your life? We’d love to think that we are who we are today mainly because of the wonderful, loving and nurturing people who have blessed us in our life.
While positive and loving influencers have certainly left their welcome mark in our lives, the truth is, in most cases, the greatest impetus behind our most significant personal growth over time has been as a result of exposure to some nasty, narcissistic evil-to-the -core villain personalities.
They may have been in your family, your workplace, an ex-spouse, a former friend you thought you could trust or a random act of stranger-induced violence or harm towards you or a loved one.
Research has shown that it’s usually the hardest, and most painful, lessons we’ve had to endure in life that cause our biggest and best growth experiences. That can be hard to swallow when we’re dealing with dark energies who don’t seem to want to play life with the same moral code or empathy that we place value on as a society.
These are truly the wounds that stick with us the longest and affects us the deepest.
So, what I’m about to say might surprise you. It might also trigger you into feelings of indignation, anger or resistance. But, hear me out.
Think of a person who has created a lot of pain in you in your life. The experience may have been in the distant past or a person that you are still dealing with in the present.
Now, ask yourself this.
What would it mean to you if you could shift your perspective away from the fear, pain or anger towards that villain perpetrator and, instead, thank him or her (in your mind, not in person) for the opportunity of exposing you to gifts within yourself that you never knew you possessed?
If you are fresh in pain, this might not be an exercise you're willing, or ready, to try. But, if enough time has gone by and you can step back and look at an experience objectively, chances are that you found you had some newly found strengths and resiliency skills you didn't know you possessed after ‘surviving’ an act of betrayal, abuse or aggression.
What about the self-empowerment and self-love that you might have eventually developed from those experiences because of, not despite of, their callous and hurtful behavior?
Yes, it might have taken a considerable amount of time for the pain and frustration to have evolved into the positive attributes you have earned for yourself. You may still be working on getting there and that’s ok.
But, here’s the thing. Our greatest moments of personal triumph, recognition of who we are and what we are capable of, don’t come to us when life is rosy and waters are calm. It’s just human nature that we won’t feel pushed to test the limits of our capacity to learn and grow without significant, and often painful, challenges that push us out of our comfort zone.
Now, I want to make something really clear here. I’m NOT advocating going out and finding the closest sociopath in your neighborhood and inviting him or her over for tea to discuss how they can torture you just so you can kick start your personal development.
I’m also not condoning their behavior and certainly not suggesting or encouraging you toward continued exposure to any person who is unhealthy or dangerous.
We’ve all heard of the ‘forgive those who trespass against us’ perspective, but where I'm going is more than that.
The takeaway I DO hope you get from this conversation is to at least consider that it can be healing to shift your perspective away from a place of victimhood, helplessness, fear or hopelessness to a place of empowerment and compassion. You have it in you. We all do and it’s always accessible with work and focus. It’s really a step toward freedom. Freedom from giving others the power to create pain inside of us. It’s about giving ourselves grace.
It might also help if you recognize the reality behind a villain that spends their life purposefully harming others, either emotionally or physically. Let’s shine the light of truth on them, shall we?
Most are fear mongers who desperately need to control others so they can feel the slightest sliver of self-worth. You may even think they are powerful. But, they are not. Far from it.
They are people to be pitied. Dark energies are full of self-loathing and deeply unhappy, no matter what kind of emotional front they throw out to the world. In many cases, they are mentally ill.
These aren’t excuses for hurting others. They are just facts.
If you have experienced significant pain and wounding from this type of personality, it’s time to take your power back! Holding on to painful emotions, feelings of lack of control and anger only hurt YOU, not them.
So, how do you get there? Well, if this person is still in your life, find a way to show them the door. They will only want to continue to feed you a steady diet of confusion, intimidation and shame, all while chipping away at what’s left of your self-worth and make you question every value you hold dear. This is what empowers and gives them pleasure. Time to pull the plug on their perpetual entertainment system – YOU!
If they were phantoms from your past, it’s time to show them to the door as well. Keeping their memory and influence active and alive in your life in the here and now, only perpetuates the pain you no longer want or deserve to feel.
Then….take a brave step forward and thank them, both in your mind and heart, for giving you the opportunity to realize your greatest potential, your inner strength, your unwavering capacity to love yourself, and others, and most of all, to live a truly happy life.
You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to hug them and you certainly don’t have to ever spend another wasted moment in their presence. Shut the door and walk away.
Your peace of heart depends on simply sending them and their darkness all the compassion, forgiveness and light you can muster. Wish them well.
Because your light-filled life is waiting ahead and it’s full of things that REALLY matter: freedom, peace of heart and love and they all have YOUR name on them!