A serious benefit of aging: the more I’ve grown the more I’m able to see things that I thought were hurtful are really just facts about other people and the world.
If someone says or does something unfair or unjust or mean, I’m more and more likely to think, “what are the circumstances in that person’s day or situation that lead to that?”
Initially, as you grow in this direction, you may need to practice dismissing yucky things with a healthy “fuck off” followed by walking away, literally or figuratively. Eventually as you grow stronger, you can dismiss it with a shrug, and even be genuinely curious about what is going on for them.
“Huh,” you think, “why would this person do that?” I think this strength grows in step with self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and faith in self.
Tip: You can use a prickly moment to ask, what’s going on inside of me? Name it. Observe the physical components of posture, heat, tension, facial expression. Observe what is your tendency in resolving the emotional turbulence: TV, food, isolation, lash out at others, buy something, drink, etc?
If you have a receptive audience, there’s nothing more powerful at dismantling your own anger or intense emotional reaction than saying, “I’m sorry, I’m afraid, and this is what scares me: xyz”
Emotional growth takes intention, and pain, unfortunately, among other things.
Here are some question and topics to bring up with people during calm times:
How is patience different than grin and bear it?
How is forgiveness different than permission?
How can something bad/mean be more about them than you?
What is emotional safety?
Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Love, Joey Riv