where the writers are
It Isn't About You (part 2)

It Isn’t About You (part 2)

By Bernadette A. Moyer

After posting my original blog, It Isn’t About You, I heard from several readers who completely agreed. This caused me to reflect even further on just how much of other people’s stuff we get caught up in and how much we think has to do with us when it really has nothing at all to do with us.

Then I thought about my friend Julia, (not her real name) who is so accomplished and a professional career woman with a thirty year marriage and three grown kids under her belt. She was a professor, a highly respected educator, a wife, a mother, a devoted Christian and my dear friend. We met in the early 1990’s and share a love for the written word both in writing and in books. We write together and we share our writings. She is a spirited woman now in her early 70’s.

Julia is also a survivor. More than 20 years ago, she was raped. She went through the entire court process and the rapist was identified and went to prison. She wasn’t his only victim.

But this isn’t a story about victimization but more about Julia, who was smart enough to know, it wasn't about her. We knew each other for more than ten years before she trusted me enough and shared her story. The truth is she never ever came across as a victim. If she didn’t tell me, I would never have guessed it. Thinking about “It isn’t about you” caused me to think about Julia. She didn’t let that attack on her, define her. Julia never played the victim. She was confident enough and accomplished enough to understand, “it wasn’t about her.” What that guy did was all about him and his rage and his anger.

I have to imagine the same can be said about Elizabeth Smart who was held captive and sexually assaulted for many months. She was found then returned home and appears to be doing really well in a new marriage. Her future is bright. The fact that she was kidnapped and raped does not define her. It wasn’t about her. It happened to her but she is not the evil one, the people who stole her away and abused her are the sick and evil ones.   

Just like Julia, abuse, assault, rape and worse happens to good and innocent people. But it doesn’t have to define them, unless they let it. When someone targets you with their hate and their rage, it is about them. It was never about the innocent victim. No one deserves to be raped or assaulted, no one!

It isn’t about you … what people do is clearly about themselves. The real trick is not to allow someone else’s negative stuff to become your world view and your reality.

There is something so powerful that happens when we can see that nothing, absolutely nothing that someone else does is about us, it is all about them.  What we do is about us, what someone else does, isn’t about you.  

It isn’t about you …


2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Defining One's Self vs. Allowing Others to Define Us


Your blog immediately caught my attention because it focuses on an extremely central and crucial issue in each person's life, namely, the importance of defining one's self rather than allowing others to define us.

Granted, the elemental truth that every experience, good or bad, does become part of and help "shape" us must be acknowledged and confronted. Particularly with a bad or destructive experience, one must fully understand its impact and "work through" it in a way that raises our consciousness.  Another Red Room blogger and author, Margie McKinnon, has written in an illuminating and liberating way on this topic as it relates to victims of child molestation (REPAIR YOUR LIFE). 

But extracting, or should I say salvaging, something of value from a destructive/traumatic experience and hence keeping one's identity "intact" and self-defined is, as the cliche goes, easier said than done. One cannot simply ignore or gloss over what has actually happened as if it had never occurred; rather, as earlier noted, past experience needs to be fully understood in the ways it has shaped us.  Sometimes, one may need professional counseling to become healed and/or whole again and to feel in control of one's identity.

Be well,






Comment Bubble Tip

Well said!


Thanks for reading me! I agree far too often we allow others, or experiences, like those we would rather never have had to define us. We give all our power to others when we do that. For many years I was crushed by what people said to me or did to me. Now aged, I get it that it was me who allowed it to happen.

Also a huge fan of therapy in many forms.

Thanks again for connecting!

Peace, Bernadette