“I am just misunderstood,” she says. She has tears in her eyes. Her pain has come out in anger again and she’s pushed away the people she loves the most. Have they actually become afraid of her? “I just want to be hugged and loved, but they don’t come near because they don’t know what to say. “I’m sorry,” comes from her lips as it has several times before. She means it. She always means it, but hasn’t yet learned how to control the behaviors attached to such strong emotions.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
Do your actions often misrepresent what you truly feel inside?
You are not alone.
It can be so difficult having pent up feelings that you have held in for as long as possible, trying to keep them from coming out and hurting others, or trying to keep them from exposing your truth. But they can only stay down for so long before something happens, sometimes not even so closely related to the matter at hand, that triggers a flare up of all of those things that you’ve been keeping inside. Out they erupt like a volcano on whoever is “lucky” enough to be sacrificed for the wrongdoing committed by those before them. They have no idea why you’re having such a huge response to something they think “isn’t a big deal,” and that only makes you more angry. It can make you feel alone.
The truth is, you are not alone. So many of us feel that way; but remember, a characteristic of this experience is not knowing how to express it. So those who feel this way, usually don’t know how to talk about it – so you often don’t know who it is.
A NEW PRACTICE IN SELF-AWARENESS
Try something new the next time you recognize this phenomenon happening.
- Notice what’s happening in your mind, body, breath – just observe for a moment.
- Now use all 5 senses to take in the scene around you. Become fully present in the moment.
- You’re giving yourself a moment; before saying or doing anything else. Deepen your breathing. Tune in with yourself. Sit down if you can. Just take it all in. Focus on your breath.
(NOW… YOU’RE SET… YOU’RE CENTERED…YOU’RE BREATHING…LET’S DO THE WORK…)
- Continuing to breathe deeply, ask yourself the important questions: “What is this situation reminding me of? When have I felt like this before?”
- You may be surprised what you come up with. You may see different faces, different times, and completely different situations than the one you are currently in.
- Move forward from a more informed, fair, and balanced posture – in Wise Mind.
HOW TO MOVE FORWARD AFTER THE PRACTICE
You have several options after this practice.
1. You may choose to express your emotions to someone who had the potential to trigger you (unbeknownst to them). Except now when you deal with them, you’re able to stay focused on the issues you have specifically with that person rather than dragging any baggage from the past they have nothing to do with. It’ll help you stay fair in that relationship and not do any damage to something that you value and would prefer not to be affected by past negativity which you’re still trying to heal from.
2. Through your meditative moment and exploration of where you’ve had those feelings before, you’ve gathered some intel. You can use it to communicate more effectively. Don’t be afraid to share that in your conversation. Feel free to say, “this is reminding me of a time I felt like this before and I don’t like it.” This way, you’re a) being honest about your inner experience, b) owning it, and not blaming someone else for behaviors of another, and c) not taking your anger out on a person who doesn’t deserve it.
3. It is possible after the self-awareness practice, you realize the strong emotions you are feeling actually have nothing to do with the people or situation your currently dealing with at all. Yes, something happened and it triggered an emotion that reminded you of a time you felt that way before. But after further analysis you realized that the current situation is completely different and should not be generalized into the same category as your previous experiences – or it/they should at least be given the benefit of the doubt. With this option, you decide to let your last step be the Self-Awareness Practice itself. You go on and grow on, privately continuing your journey to a greater you.
No doubt, you will have a chance to use all of these methods at some point or another with as many opportunities as life affords us to regulate our emotions and manage stress. Encourage yourself, feed your mind/body/spirit good food, and build confidence in your Personal Inner Renovations Project.