There are times in life where we all could use someone in our corner…a champion or a cheerleader. Encouraging us on. Providing helpful insights and constructive feedback. Raising the bar. Picking us up. Seeing our potential. Someone who says “I see you. I believe in you. Good job.” Those can be defining moments in our lives where we decide to press on to greater accomplishments or conversely, sit down in a self-imposed timeout or even be so crushed we give up and quit.
I want to publicly thank Colorado Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert who saw me speak, believed in my ability to present a unique approach to identifying, preventing and ending sexual harassment…and then to top it off, mailed an empowering “good job” letter that lifts my heart and encourages me to keep taking steps forward.
His championing (or at least that is what it feels like to me!) is a clear example of learning to recognize what is healthy vs unhealthy behavior. It also helps remove Purple Threads (a theory I developed where old internal tapes are filled with negative self-talk, limiting statements and others lies of our unworthiness.) By looking through an outside lens, we often see ourselves in a more healthy and healing light. Having compassion for others still seems easier for most of us than having kind and loving self-compassion.
Some people can initially appear to be your champion or cheerleader, only to lure you in and give you a false sense of trust and security. It’s reassuring to know that given the right tools, you can more easily and quickly see the “positive” impersonators for what they truly are. To make abusive people easier to spot, we highlight the differences between unhealthy and healthy behaviors. Recognizing unhealthy behavior at the early stages means we can prevent abuse in all forms including sexual harassment, bullying in schools and domestic violence. It is so much easier to prevent abuse than it is to recover from it. Keeping in mind, everyone can have an off-day or be going through a challenging period of time. We are not looking to judge others but to be aware of patterns or cycles that are the warning signs of abusive behavior.