What's the Upside of Being Played?
I‘m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
Daisy Buchanan pretends that she’s happy she’s having a girl, but she knows that girls of any class are the losers in her world – the world that The Great Gatsby was set in (the 1920s).
Modern-day women (and men too) can still find themselves playing the fool, even though much has changed in the last 80-90 years. While gender roles have evolved, relationships can still be complicated and trust is still the holy grail. Have you ever opened your eyes in a relationship to find you were being played? That’s what this week’s musing is about:
Being conned. Duped. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Taken in.
These are all the terms we use to describe being deceived. There probably isn’t a single one of us alive who hasn’t had the wool pulled over our eyes, but that doesn’t make you feel any less foolish or any less embarrassed when it happens.
When it’s caused by someone we love(d), it can make you feel downright disoriented and ashamed. But – believe it or not — there are a few “up sides” to being tricked or taken advantage of, as Language of Desire expert Felicity Keith has pointed out.
You Strengthen the Muscle of Your Intuition
You know that inner voice you have inside? Maybe you hear it and shush it? Maybe it’s your north star because you learned early on to listen to it, respect it, and let it guide you. Maybe you heard it and ignored it because you didn’t like what it was saying.
Whatever your track record is with your inner voice, your intuition is a powerful guide. Sure, sometimes it gets things wrong; it too can be misled and confused. But the better you get at listening to it, the more often you will find “it’s right on the money, honey.”
Think back to a painful relationship. Can you notice when your intuition might have been trying to wave a red flag? Did you ignore its attempts to get your attention? Did you make excuses in order not to make waves, to “go along to get along?”
Try to remember what it felt like when your inner voice was speaking to you – and you were tuned in to its frequency. Some people say it shows up like a warm knot in their belly or in their solar plexus. Others feel the hair stand up on the back of their necks or their arms. Others get messages through their dreams. However it shows up for you, take heed. Notice the next time it happens and whether it’s an isolated inner voice message or part of a series of messages.
You Practice the Art of Vulnerability
Feeling vulnerable is uncomfortable – maybe even scary. You have to set your ego aside and just sit with your poor, broken little spirit. If you’ve been hurt, sit with your pain. If you’ve been bested, admit defeat. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is humbling. That can feel like the most horrible thing possible to do – but a.) welcome to being human, and b.) know that it will pass.
This is why being vulnerable is so valuable: It connects you with your humanity. Feeling vulnerable elicits your compassion and empathy. When you allow yourself to recognize your own pain and have compassion for yourself, it helps you see the humanity in others and respond to them with compassion as well.
How You Can Overcome Foolish Choices
Most of my clients have had some “doozy” relationships. And if you and your friends are like me and my friends, you could write a book entitled, “What Were We Thinking?!?”
On top of magical, misleading thinking (or no thinking at all), on top of seeing your world with blinders on, hands covering your ears, foot stomping impetuously, you may have also had a Greek chorus of people in your life saying “I told you so!” after each pitfall and face-plant. Did you feel like The. Biggest. Fool. In. Town? (Me too.)
But we have a choice. Continue on the same path of loving people who don’t love you, who don’t respect you. Or take the time to mend your broken self-worth.
You could decide to build up walls and never trust another human again. Double distrust if they’re single and trying to talk to you! Triple distrust if they’re super-sexy/pretty/handsome/hot (cuz that’s your kryptonite!) Given what you’ve been through, that would be totally understandable.
Or. You can choose to take a deep breath and put your arms around your inner fool. Let it know that you’re healing, you’ve learned something, and it’s safe to come out again. Heart open, inner energy flowing and glowing. That innocent little fool inside who dreams of love sprinkled with fairy dust, who wants to be swept away in romance, is exactly the one who will propel you into a loving and healthy relationship. And THAT is the ultimate victory over feeling like a fool!
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