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Name It, So What?

Fellow “Oh! My Thirties” co-host Corrinne Williams introduced me to an exercise that she would use in her many years as a corporate trainer. During our show on “Forgiveness,” as we unpack how to manage offenses, a recommendation is to acknowledge the infraction then ask yourself “so what?” Hearing that, I thought it would be a good exercise to apply to my real life. I call it an exercise in diffusing. Having tools to manage processes, projects, people, and personalities is necessary in thirty-hood.

Basically the exercise is to talk about how it made you feel and explore what is the solution? If any…

This really put things in perspective. So often, we have offenses and hurts that we have brought with us a long way. Many times, we have formed an identity in these broken places. And honestly, it’s usually not even on purpose. Nevertheless, there is a certain level of vulnerability and accountability that comes with that. So, the exercise “Name It, So What?” really helps to deflate.

“He left.” “She hurt me.” “You weren’t enough.” These are real emotional responses, but my challenge for you is to acknowledge that hurt, but then look at the “so what.” The solution. The solution might be to have a conversation with the person, or even a conversation with yourself or God, but either way, the power comes with the acknowledgement partnered with the release-- the “so what?”

Here are five ways to reach your "so what" that Corrinne and I discussed on the "Oh! My Thirties" episode entitled "Forgiveness":

  1. Acknowledge the anger: Express it the way you feel it. It hurt, you matter, and I heard you.

  2. Embrace forgiveness: Forgiveness is for you, not the other person. It might not be overnight; it might still hurt, but for your sake, let it go and understand that forgiveness frees you. To quote songstress and friend, Fantasia Barrino, "Go ahead and free yourself."

  3. Protect your peace: A direct quote from Corrinne that was worth its own number—do what you need to do to make sure you stay well. That may mean not talking to certain people, or only speaking on your terms, but whatever the case do what you need to do to keep yourself well.

  4. Embrace your heart. Find what works for you. It might be journaling or dance or painting, but find that thing that helps you release.

  5. Communicate through transparency. Tell it like it is. Own it. Say what you need to say to get yourself where you need to be.

As we move into 2018, look at some of the things you may have carried with you, take a look at it, then apply “so what?” That may just help you lighten your load. Go ahead and name it; then go ahead and ask yourself "so what?"

Listen to more conversations between Corrinne and me and all of our "Oh! My Thirties" episodes on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, and Tune In!

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