Own it and you will overcome it. Also known as the blog post where I say ‘shit’ 8 times.
The world’s media is all a flutter at Brad Pitt’s ‘tell-all’ published in GQ Magazine. Have a read if you get the chance – click here. It’s not like a Woman’s Day-style salicious made up gossip article. It’s a thoughtful and interesting channel for Brad (yes, it’s Brad to me 😉 ) to communicate to the world.
There is an element of PR stunt vibe around this, but I think it’s important that he is owning his shit. He’s recognising and taking steps towards fixing the negative behaviours and decisions that contributed to the breakdown of his marriage – remember, it’s his take on it. Angelina has kept a dignified silence on the matter.
Regardless of who they are, for me it’s the ‘owning of the shit’ that I admire. So many men – and women, to be honest – who go through separation and divorce or even LIFE just refuse to own the behaviours that led to the separation. And that usually leaves an innocent party (for want of a better term) dumped, confused, and wandering WTF just happened.
I have seen this in multiple relationship breakdowns in recent years. A friend tried so hard with her husband for the last two years of their marriage, explaining to him what she needed from him, asking him to step up and help, asking him to meet her halfway, asking for affection and love and support, working so hard on herself because he kept telling her she was the problem. And when she finally got jack of it and left him, he cried victim. He NEVER owned his shit. Still isn’t, by the way.
I could give you eleventy billion examples.
Owning the addiction to alcohol (as Brad has put his hand up to), drugs, sex, work, control, perfection, money…..whatever it is. You need to own it to overcome it.
And I will put my hand up too and say at the beginning of my marriage breakdown, I didn’t own my shit either. I didn’t accept any role I had to play in the breakdown. I pointed the finger and I blamed blamed blamed (although I had a bloody good SURFACE reason to blame, I refused to look deeper into both my ex-husband’s and my behaviours to look at the TRUE reasons behind the actions).
That was nearly four years ago when the battle to save the marriage began. And it was a battle. It was effectively a nervous breakdown a year later (mine) that brought me to my knees and FORCED me to own my shit.
So to work I went. On myself. I read everything I could get my hands on. I listened to every guru I could. I watched youTube videos on the areas of pain and addiction I was clinging to. And I worked my arse off with my therapist and brought up ALL of the crap from my past. Sifted through it, cried my eyes out, shouted a little and worked my way through it.
And man, it felt good. And bad. But good again.
And then my marriage fell apart nearly three years later anyway.
Sure, not a happy ending. But here’s the thing. When it did, I was equipped with the ownership of actions. I had forgiven myself and worked hard on managing my negative behaviours I had around anger and perfection and control. I had worked hard on understanding my triggers and doing my best to manage them. The bad shit squeezed through now and then because let’s face it, my marriage had ended, I was selling the family home and moving my kids two hours away to a village where I knew no one.
But I had done the work. I had owned my shit so I KNEW I could own this.
There were a number of people around me – not just my ex-husband – who could have looked deeper into themselves and recognised their own addictions and negative behaviours. Funnily enough, my marriage breakdown triggered stuff in a number of people I was close to and they kept me (and continue to keep me) at arm’s length.
And so now I do the work on forgiveness. But first I had to forgive myself. For spending 20 years in a cycle of anger and control that Just. Made. Life. So. Hard. For me. And for people around me.
It was only when I owned my shit, forgave myself and overcame it that I truly released the old patterns, the old me, the ‘victim’ that lived inside me. And she still pops up every now and then, but now I know her name and give her a cuppa and we talk it out. And leave on good terms.
Own it and you’ll overcome it.
PS What is with the Zoolander vibe of Brad’s photos??