I don't know if this happens to you but for me sometimes something will happen or someone will say something and I'll become about four-years-old in my head. If I'm in good form, properly fed, slept, exercised, and otherwise appropriately stimulated emotionally, sensorially, spiritually, and socially, then I can catch it before I act from that place, before I act like a hurt, scared, or pissed off four-year-old. If I catch it I can breathe and pause, or rather stop, for a while, not do or say anything, notice the feeling of feeling like a hurt, scared, or pissed off four-year-old, what I'll call little-girl-itis, and Let It Pass. Let It Pass.
Once it passes, and it always does, I can notice that I am actually a rather grown up lady, not a little girl, who has her own ideas, her own life, her own family, and her own values that are not imperiled in any way by anyone else, or anyone else's thoughts or words about me. It's a sticks-and-stones type lesson that I get to re-learn when I interact with certain situations or people. It's an eye on the prize, keep calm and carry on, one day at a time, this too shall pass, serenity prayer-type situation. They happen all the time.
For example, just a random example, no, not that. Another example, no. That's not a good one. Anyway, you can imagine. Ok no I won't make you imagine. I'll tell my friend Princess Jelina's story instead of mine. PJ is literally a princess, like royal, though she downplays that pretty hard. Anyway, her mom gets on her about her curly hair a lot of the time, and PJ likes her curly hair and doesn't want to always wear it smooth and this becomes like, a thing, between them when they get together.
And I love PJ so it's sad to see her get so upset at her mom for offering her a comb for example when her mom sees her. Like, "No thanks, mummy, I look this way on purpose!" So I guess the thing is sometimes I just want to be loved the way I look, the way I am, the way I live, and not have input on how to improve those things. But I don't get to control what input I get, so I gotta focus on what I can control, my part, which is a) not soliciting input, and b) taking care of myself in all those ways that help me stay in good form, so that c) if unwanted input comes my way I can relax and take it easy and not let little girl-itis run how I react.
Like if I were PJ, instead of saying "Keep your effing comb why don't you love me as I am?" I could say -- something much nicer, less inflammatory, more mature. I can't think of what right now but I'm sure I'll come up with something if I wait long enough. Or maybe in that kind of situation I don't need to specifically respond at all, just give my comb-offering mom a hug and say, "I love you," and move on. It's good to have choices.