Is he an angel or a demon?
I was talking with a client the other day and she told me that she couldn't decide whether her ex-boyfriend was a hero who had saved her life or a demon who had ruined it. Her brain was going back and forth between the evidence that he was perfection on earth or the worst thing that ever happened to her.
She had plenty of evidence of both.
Here is what was neutral: he paid rent. He hit her.
Her thoughts about that created an extreme pendulum swing back and forth between whether her boyfriend was God or Satan.
And she's not alone. All of us fall into the trap of believing that if a positive thought about our relationship is wrong, the most negative thought MUST be true.
If her boyfriend hit her, that meant he must be a demon. But he had also paid her rent, so he must be a savior. Demon or savior? Demon or savior? Our brains could go back and forth finding evidence of both all day long.
If we make friends with reality, we get freedom from either of those extremes.
Here is reality: her boyfriend is human. He paid rent. Sometimes he complimented her. He hit her at least one time.
It is her responsibility to choose whether being hit is something she wants to tolerate. It is her responsibility to choose whether having someone pay rent is something she wants to tolerate.
The key is that in both circumstances (he paid rent; he hit her), this client chose to think that it meant she could not take care of herself. Whether he was an angel or a demon, it gave evidence of a negative belief about herself that she had practiced over and over again.
Reality about her is: she did not pay rent; she had back pain.
If we choose to believe the people around us are angels or demons, we can always find evidence of that. If we choose to believe we are a mess, we will create evidence of that, too.
When our brains are proving that there is something wrong with us and that the people around us are demons, naturally tends to put us in physical danger. My client had no control over her boyfriend hitting. But, she did have control over her reaction and what she made it mean about her.
Choose to believe there are things you have control over. There are things you can change. Those things start with your thinking and your story about yourself. Talk to me if you want help.