a picture I took shortly after our final convo, feeling like an elephant was taken off my shoulders!
I went to go see the new Mr. Rogers film a few weeks ago. Have you seen it yet? I learned something HUGE about capacity that I want to share with you because I have a feeling it’ll be huge for you too.
And don’t worry, there are no big spoilers in this blog if you haven’t seen it yet!
The movie is told from the perspective of a reporter who interviewed Mr. Rogers at the peak of his fame. (For those of you in my community who don’t know Mr. Rogers, he was a very famous children’s TV show presenter and beloved by many.)
This reporter was known for writing gritty “exposés” on celebrities. As a result, many famous people didn’t want to be interviewed by him. This reporter also had a very strained relationship with his father (which will come into play later in this story).
So, when he was assigned to interview Mr. Rogers, he set out to dig up all the “dirt” on him, determined to prove he wasn’t as “good” as he appeared to be.
Mr. Rogers welcomed him with open arms, giving him a LOT of one on one time over the course of the weeks he spent interviewing him, even inviting him into his home.
Throughout the movie, you can see the reporter trying to get “dirt” on Mr. Rogers or get “underneath the mask.” Except, there was no mask. That light-filled, kind and perfectly imperfect being was exactly who Mr. Rogers was.
There was one scene in particular that struck me so profoundly because it mirrored back to me a covertly abusive situation I found myself in this year.
In the scene, the reporter asked Mr. Rogers what it must’ve been like for his two sons to grow up under the shadow of his celebrity. He keeps trying to get Mr. Rogers to admit his fame is a burden on him or to show the “flaw” in his “perfect persona” by getting him to admit he wasn’t a perfect father.
Mr. Rogers beams at the reporter with so much love, looking into his eyes and REALLY SEEING him. Knowing what was REALLY going on with the reporter was that he was angry about his own terrible relationship with his father, therefore he kept trying to project his awful father onto him.
Mr. Rogers replies with pure honesty and kindness something like, “Yes, it was hard on my sons. My youngest in particular, I found out he hid that I was his father from people for years. I had a tough time with my sons at times, but our relationship is so much better now.”
This scene IMPACTED me, because his response showed he loved and accepted himself, his sons AND the reporter even though he could see exactly what the reporter was trying to do. So, he wasn’t afraid to be “exposed” as “not perfect” by the reporter.
This year I had an experience repeatedly with a person who was extremely triggered by my kindness and way of being.
No matter how authentically loving, kind, generous and patient I was with them, they always acted like this reporter. Always trying to “prove” that I didn’t actually care about them and ”find the dirt.”
No matter how much extra time, attention and love I gave them, they kept trying to prove I was a bad person in their story.
I’ll admit that at times it made parts of me feel like I always had to be “perfect” in front of them.
It reflected back to me the emotionally abusive relationship with an important adult figure in my childhood, where I was constantly being nitpicked or torn down. This adult figure of my childhood was always looking for the “flaw” in me so they could prove to me I wasn’t as good a person as others said I was.
With this childhood adult figure, my natural kindness was used as a weapon against me. As my business grew, I’d often hear things from this adult figure like, “Well THAT wasn’t a very spiritual way to behave,” if I displayed anger, frustration or even stood up for myself.
Except I never said I was a perfect guru — I’ve NEVER aspired to be “perfect” at all.
I AM, however, interested in being a human being, not a robot. And I think anger is just as valid and “spiritual” as love. I’m here for the FULL spectrum of the human experience and to reflect that in my leadership, not perfection.
As I observed this dynamic repeating itself in my life this year with this current person, I noticed it felt so much like the abusive situation from my childhood. Every conversation felt like a landmine to my inner child who could feel this person wanted to “get the dirt” me.
But that’s ONLY how my own wounded inner child felt. We all have a wounded inner child that’s with us until we die. But we also have a healthy inner adult.
Years ago, I would’ve been jumping through hoops to please this person, giving more and more, even if I knew it would never be enough. It would have affected my confidence and made me feel like a bad person.
BUT, because of capacity work, I can hear my inner healthy adult a lot better than before. My healthy adult knew not to allow myself to be pressured by this person’s expectations and passive-aggressive demands and insults.
And my inner adult could see clearly — like Mr. Rogers reflected back to me in the movie scene — this person was heavily blinded by their childhood pain and this drove their behavior towards me.
Standing in my expanded capacity, I saw that interacting with them ended up being EXCELLENT practice to NOT shrink or hide anything in the face of a critical, emotionally abusive person.
Since I couldn’t win with them either way, I was just going to fully be myself without fear of “flaws” being “found out.”
In one of my final interactions with this person, they tried every which way to play power games with me, insult me, tear me down, minimize the power of my work, slime and attack me — all under the guise of a calm tone of voice and a smile.
My inner wounded child wanted to be hurt and fight this person. But my inner healthy adult didn’t let the child even go there and was not interested in the games.
I ignored all the passive-aggressive attacks, beamed love to this person, wished them well and sent them on their way. They walked away still committed to their story of me as a villain, and I was okay with that.
It wasn’t until I saw the Mr. Rogers movie scene that I realized I felt exactly like Mr. Rogers must have felt when the reporter kept trying to “get” him to be defensive or shady.
I realized that accepting and loving your own self unconditionally gives off a powerful BEAM of light. And that love-beam can be an energetic shield, too.
In the Mr. Rogers movie, his love beam did end up transforming the reporter and the reporter was inspired to face his own pain and stopped attacking Mr. Rogers.
In my case, this person still chose to go off into the world with their own story about me, no matter how loving I was.
Not all stories with covert abusers reacting from their own internalized pain end like a Mr. Rogers movie. You might end up the villain in a few people’s stories. But capacity allows you to be cool with that.
Choosing to be in your light and your inner healthy adult ensures you stay true to your values in your interactions with triggered people.
While some people may want to “try” you, the love beaming off of you will be so strong, they’ll eventually become uninterested in you and move along.
Because, like Mr. Rogers, your love beam makes you “unf$ckwithable.”
This situation was a HUGE capacity expander for me. It forced me to face a bad habit I’ve been working on for years — fighting for people harder than they want to fight for themselves.
And it also showed me how this habit was causing me to spend WAY too much energy on people who don’t want to shift.
I’d rather spend my energy on people who are excited to see through their stories, trust me and are willing to take responsibility for themselves so they can keep growing. It makes life soooo much easier. And it’s a hell of a lot more lucrative, financially and emotionally.
These are the kinds of things that “strategies” never address.
You can have an incredible strategy, but…
- Can you navigate the difficult people and situations in your life in ways that DON’T affect your confidence and energy levels?
- Do you have the capacity to STOP engaging in subtly abusive dynamics with people in your life so that all that energy is freed up to finally massively expand your visibility, business or life into the next level?
Lack of capacity can draw in toxic people who are committed to “debunking” us. Staying entrenched in these patterns because you lack the capacity to exit them can keep you in toxic loops in your life and work and ultimately affect your growth, wealth and success.
People like this take up energetic space in your capacity container, harden the walls of your container so that it can’t expand to hold MORE and they block out your next level from flowing into your capacity container. They’re like a dam.
We’ve got some important work to do in this world, you and me. We don’t have time for any dams. Dams harm ecosystems and stop life from growing where it should.
We need constant, super-love-charged goodness flowing in and out of our container so we can impact the millions we were put here to help.
While this is a deeply personal story for me to share, I know that we’ve all been there at one point or another.
And I also know how this kind of thing can negatively impact our earnings, our fulfillment and our work in the world WAY more than a strategy can ever fix. And I don’t want that to happen to you. This is why I chose to share this with you today.
That’s why it’s not your strategy, it’s your capacity.
In Love and Capacity,
Ps: did this resonate with you? Are you wanting to detox dynamics that are holding back your next level of growth, wealth and success? Leave a comment below and let me know what your current capacity challenges are. I’d love to see if I can help.