It Isn’t About You


It Isn’t About You

By Bernadette A. Moyer


“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream in their own mind; they all are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, as we try to impose our world on their world.” The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

I am that person who used to take it all so personally and gets upset when an aggressive driver gives me the finger or some other road rage act. I will say out loud to myself as I drive in my car, “I’m sorry, I didn’t even see you there.” And then I think how that person could get so mad when he doesn’t even know me. If I get cut off on the road, I don’t get angry but most often give the benefit of doubt. They probably didn’t see me there either; they weren’t doing anything to me personally.

They say “perception is reality” if that is how someone perceives it, it is real to them. It took a long time for me to be fully developed enough to know that what everyone says isn’t necessarily the truth. It may be their perception but it might not be mine. I have a friend who is smart enough when he hears things to say, “Well that isn’t my experience.” He doesn’t just buy into what people say but rather what he knows from his own experience. Perhaps more of us should be like him.

Over the holidays, I thought a lot about my family. I spent time thinking about my mother and I pray for her soul every day. I pray that she has peace in heaven and that God has helped her. My mother was many things, like most people with strengths and weaknesses. She was one of the smartest women I know and worked harder than most people I know. She was driven. She was a highly educated administrative nurse with numerous years in all the intensive units of a well-respected hospital as well as a long stretch as a pediatric nurse. She had a zest for life and she loved food and was a pretty good cook. Many people loved her and most people liked her too.

My mother was so accomplished professionally and yet she was also attracted to abusive men. Both of her husbands were both charming and abusive. Their abuse showed itself in different ways. Was she the classic magnet in being in a helping profession? I’ve heard kids say that their mothers should have left abusive relationships for the well-being of their children. Maybe I used to feel that way too and then I realized she didn’t think enough of herself to leave, it wasn’t about her children. It wasn’t about me.

For many reasons I had issues with my mother. She would leave this earth without ever once trying to right the wrongs between us. We didn’t speak for the last 23 years of her life, although I did try. She didn’t want to hear what I had to say. I finally realized, it wasn’t about me, her world and my world collided and she would have had to change her life to accept what I had to share with her. She made her choice and it wasn’t me or my truth. It wasn’t about me, it never was. Yet there was a stretch of time when I was so hurt and so angry with her. I used to think, it was about her not loving me.

When you are a feeling and connected person, you tend to take it all in and onto yourself what people spew at you. It takes a much more established person, someone who really knows their own self to understand that what we take in and onto our self is our own choice.

If you let go of that fight, they are stuck there fighting with their own self. It takes two to fight. The only way to stop; is to understand that it was never about you in the first place. Some people need to be right as the expense of another person being wrong. At a certain point you begin to understand how little value there is in being right, if you are left there, standing alone.

Bernadette on Facebook at

6 thoughts on “It Isn’t About You

  1. Nancy Becker

    This assessment is right on. Some people need to be right and keep up their perspective to justify their negative behavior.

  2. Pam Fenn-Forycki

    Very moving, I could so parallel my experiences with yours. I had the opportunity of being able to nurse my mother through terminal illness to protect her from her abusive husband, something that I would never dreamed of doing when I was younger and angry with her for her actions in the past that hurt me. It gave me an opportunity to understand her life and decisions and I realised it wasn’t all about me but her and I no longer felt angry. I’m grateful for the experience.

    • Hi Pam,

      Thanks for connecting and for sharing! I hear that often, many of us have the same story. When I hear from so many parents it almost gets numb the amount of adult children who have made mom and dad out to be the bad guys. Of course when they were getting everything they wanted it was a whole other story. You are not alone!

      Thanks again! Peace and love, Bernadette

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