I was scrolling though Facebook (as you do) when I saw this in my feed:
It turns out this person paid £400 for a phone and then the person she paid disappeared off the face off the earth! She had paid via Paypal but used the friends and family option which has little (if any) protection.
Not what you need at Christmas time – especially when you purchase something in good faith.
I’m afraid my immediate thought was “what a stupid thing to do” followed by “I’m very trusting but I’d never do that!”
Except I have – many times. Not been scammed but done stupid things and suffered the consequence of it. In Venezuela I left my bag on a table in the bus station – it’s notorious for crime but I thought it was safe because I was in a group, we’d all put our bags on one table and we stayed with them. My bag was stolen – it contained everything – passport, cash, credit cards! I had nothing. Thankfully the British Embassy bailed me out but I couldn’t help but feel stupid. In the bus station of all places!
I also experienced it a lot whilst driving – I’d be late, driving too quickly and crash. The worst was when I was 18 or 19 driving my parent’s car on a country lane, losing control – hitting a lamp-post, breaking it in two, going through the hedge and ending up at the bottom of the hill! I walked away largely unscathed but very shaken.
But of course the voices started – “why did you drive so fast, what a stupid thing to do! How could you be such an idiot”
There were no mobile phones back then but I managed to get a lift home to face the wrath of my parents. It was only later when they saw the car that my step-dad returned and told me I was very lucky!
Something similar happened 7 or 8 years later – this time in my boyfriend’s car. I was late meeting him, it was icy, I was driving too fast round a corner, lost control on the ice and smashed into a car coming the other way. I was ok but both cars were written off!
Again the self-flagellation :
Why didn’t you leave sooner?
You knew it was icy!
Why did you drive too fast?
How could you be so stupid!
Since then I’ve not written any cars off but I have had numerous bumps and scrapes – one time I was reversing in a car park and smashed into another car, badly damaging the side. She’d only just had it repaired – I felt terrible.
I’ve scraped cars on gateways, bumped into another car in front of me in stop/start traffic, and dented a car on the school run.
And every time I’d beat myself up for doing something “stupid” because it was always “my fault”.
And it wasn’t just with cars – I experienced:
“Melina, how could you be so stupid” in so many areas.
And when I saw this poor person’s experience with the market place scam – I knew I had to write about it.
Because what normally happens in situations such as these is we assign blame – I always blamed myself.
In the “I’ve been scammed” story the lady may have blamed herself or she might have blamed the scammer!
If you can relate to any of this I have great news. You can totally transform this in your own life – so that it never ever happens again!
It won’t be instant.
You might have to look at your life and your experiences in it very differently.
But it is totally possible!
And totally awesome when it’s transformed!
So how do you transform this?
- Understand that it’s a journey. It will take time. Of course it is possible that you will wake up one morning enlightened and totally loving life like Eckhart Tolle – but that’s rare! And in truth would probably totally freak you out! For most of us this is a journey and one we look back on with huge gratitude.
- Release all blame. And I mean ALL blame. Don’t blame yourself or the person who “did this to you”. Instead see it as an integral part of your own journey of freedom and healing. This is CRUCIAL if you want to totally transform the patterns that play out in your life. You have to see EVERYTHING as a gift to help you heal – but in a detached way. Imagine you’re the hero of a movie and you’re following a script. Know that most movies have a happy ending but there’s always that part during the middle when it’s touch and go! Will the hero get through or not? It is the same for you. Know that when you’re in the middle of your own life journey – it’s unfolding day by day and this vent is part of it.
- Look back through your past and notice where this has played out before. It’s unlikely to be the exact same situation but something similar. Notice the voices that run through your head – like a tape on repeat! For me “how could you be so stupid” was a constant companion. Don’t try to abolish these – simply noticing them. Noticing is incredibly powerful. See it as the repeating pattern that it is – but now you’re conscious to it which means you can shift it.
- Get curious. Ask yourself “what is this teaching me?” or “what do I need to learn from this?” See what comes up. Journaling is a great way to do this. There is gold to be mined here.
- Get support. It can be very isolating and lonely when you’re on a journey of transformation. Having people around you who not only understand what you’re going through but have been through it themselves is huge. You might want to work with a mentor one-one one or you might prefer to be part of a supportive group (there are gifts in both).
If you’d like to explore working with me to help you move beyond your own patterns then do sign up for a free Exploration Session below and we can look at this.
These are the key steps. Very simply but not so easy when you’re in the throes of your patterns playing out – that’s why it’s great to work with a coach when you’re on this journey.