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Be the rubber, not the glue.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

We all have memories of our childhood.  Some good, and some not so positive.  It’s likely that all of us have faced bullies at one time or another throughout our childhood and even into our adult lives. People that wanted to assert their power over us and demonstrate that their idea, approach or lifestyle was superior to our own.  People who wanted to feel better about themselves, and chose the path of demeaning others to make themselves feel good.

I’m not sure where I picked it up but during my childhood I learned the phrase “I’m rubber and you’re glue.  Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”  It was a phrase designed to combat when someone was calling you names or otherwise saying unkind things to you.  It gave me the feeling of power, and safety such that their words could not hurt me.  It was as though there was an invisible bubble of protection surrounding me as I visualized that I was surrounded by rubber that would bounce the words right off.  It is very similar to the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

However, like many other childhood lessons, somewhere along the transition from childhood to adulthood, we seem to forget these tricks and visualizations that we used to maintain our power and to shirk off the negativity that we encounter in all aspects of our lives.  Somewhere along the line we forgot that WE are in control of our power and WE can choose whether or not something can harm us. Whether we are feeling attacked for being new to animal rescue, or if we are feeling belittled for our approach or methods of doing transport, it is often hard to maintain that feeling of control and to own our own powerbase. Perhaps it’s time to revert back to our childhood techniques to ward off bullies and visualize ourselves as the rubber that bounces negativity off of us and back out into the universe.  Or maybe you need to visualize your favorite superhero in a power stance on top of the mountain.  Whatever your technique and preference remember a single truth:

Recognize your power. Choose not to feel harmed and you cannot be harmed.

Easy to say and harder to do but believe in the power of YOU.  If you make a conscious decision that you cannot be harmed by the judgment or words or insinuations of other people, then you cannot be.  You have control over how things make you feel and how you react.  In the immortal words of Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live fame, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me!”

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