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When we talk about stabilization, we mean the ability to meet reactions related to trauma and its triggers in a more robust way...

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Many people have never heard of the academic term "Window of Tolerance", but are likely more familiar with the everyday expression "comfort zone."...

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This is a workbook that can be used by individuals who want to target specific trauma-related areas of their lives, as well as therapists who wish to use the exercises in their therapy sessions...

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I could have made myself into a victim

April 20, 20233 min read

I could have taken their comments personally, considered them insulting or disrespectful. I could have even chosen to feel shame, anger or grief.” - Miriam Segal

I was on the subway sitting across from two dark-skinned, black-haired young men I'd never seen before.

Minding my own business.

Suddenly, one of them said to me, "You would look much younger, if you dyed your hair."

Now, that was quite the comment, one that would likely have sparked a reaction in anyone, even coming from someone they knew.

But this was a complete stranger, probably no more than 17.

And a guy!

His friend chimed in, «Yeah, you shouldn’t let your hair go grey like that. It makes you look old.»

For a split second, my eyes surveyed other passengers nearby, and they looked mortified.

I suppose they thought the boys were being rude.

I mean, how dare they?! Commenting my appearance like that. And they didn’t even know me!

That wasn’t how I saw it.

I loved everything about the exchange.

I loved how they took a chance and shared their opinions with me even though they didn’t know me.

I loved how they followed up with even more tips when I engaged with them and showed I valued them and their suggestions.

I loved their playfulness and good nature.

And I loved the looks of disbelief on the other passengers’ faces as I joined in the banter and laughed along with the two boys.

Cause that’s the thing, right?

I could have taken their comments personally, considered them insulting or disrespectful. I could have even chosen to feel shame, anger or grief.

I could have frozen, not knowing what or how to respond.

Perhaps even lashed out at them.

I could have projected my judgments, interpretations, and assumptions onto them.

𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙢𝙮𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙫𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙢.

But had I done any of that, I would have missed an incredible opportunity for a beautiful connection and a lot of fun.

And they would have missed out on it, too.

And even more.

Because, to their surprise, while I’m not adverse to dying my hair, I like the grey.

And I’m really curious as to what I’m going to look like, should I be so fortunate as to grow even older than I am now.

This was inconceivable to a couple of 17-year-old men, having grown up in a world where looking young and good is practically paramount to survival.

🤯

There was no malicious intent in these young men’s comments, but not everyone has the best of intentions.

That doesn’t mean I have to go there with them. Even if their intention is to be mean or hurtful, I don’t have to take it that way.

And I can make things worse by assuming the worst, and acting on my assumptions.

Sometimes, however, fighting fire with fire is exactly what is called for.

It’s not always easy to know the difference.

One way to figure it out is to learn and practice.

So, bring on the comments!

I’ll take care of the rest.


©Miriam Segal
Photo © Miriam Segal


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Miriam Segal

I am a Core Issues and Goal Achievement Strategist. I dig deep to get at what you can't see, and I work with you to create strategies designed to ignite your inner leadership and innate power. I also teach coaches, therapists, counselors etc how to create opportunities for greater transformation for your clients in a shorter and less painful amount of time. You can find me at Centre for Mastery and Excellence, and Miriam Segal Academy. I am also a member of The Presence Posse. We are six presence practitioners from around the world, and with different approaches, and we have a weekly podcast - The Presence Posse Presents - which covers all things Presence.

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