Do you ever get so angry at someone that all you see is the worst in them? Often, it’s our closest loved ones that have the tendencies to hurt us the most, not see our pain or even worse, they see it and choose to ignore or belittle it. What do you do at that point? Ignore, Complain, Fight, Leave?
In the nearly 20 years that Bini and I have been together, we have gone through all the emotional roller coaster rides you could possibly think of. Add young age and stupidity in the mix and at some point, we were about ready to kill each other. Had I known then what I know now about not reacting quickly, I would have saved myself from so many years of agony and disbelief.
Even today, however, knowing all I know, I have yet to master in the art of true peace and waiting until I am fully calm to discuss a matter.
As I write this post and reflect, I can't help but feel disappointed in myself for letting my emotions get the best of me. It’s something I really am trying to focus and work on, and it’s proving to be more difficult than I could have ever imagined. One thing, I do know for a fact, is that reacting immediately and trying to get my point across while I am upset always leads to a fight. It has NEVER worked with Bini nor with my family and friends, plus it almost always leaves me upset, off track and thinking about the fight instead of going about my day.
When reacting immediately to any situation the result is almost always detrimental. In the heat of the moment, you have to kind of catch yourself and stop! Let the person know you need to walk away and calm down to continue this conversation. Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about what part I play in any argument I’ve had with anyone. What I could have done better? How I could have reacted differently? Was it even worth my time getting upset over? Believe it or not, a lot of the problems we face are only problems because we make them out to be. A perfect example would be a recent issue we’ve had at our house:
I’ve added a ton on my plate and as I mentioned in last week’s blog- everyone at home needs to pull their weight, especially these days. Well, Bini has a ton of work and projects that he has to take care of as well and I automatically expected him to cover me at home, while I took care of business for the next two months. It was all going perfectly fine until about 2 weeks ago when he either couldn’t take the kids to practice or watch them for me while our babysitter was off. At first, I was understanding (I mean the man has to work, right?), then as things got harder and harder for me, I blew up on him…Guess what though, half way into the fight, I already knew I lost his attention and I could tell everything I was saying was going in one ear and out the other. Had I given myself a chance to calm down and clearly stated my expectations, I would have NEVER lost my cool and he would have understood my point perfectly. However, because I reacted so quickly and harshly, none of that happened. Instances like these tend to happen a great deal and at some point during my reflection time I realized that if I want to see different results, I have to do different things.
Another issue I see so often in our community, is that we hold on to pain instead of openly talking about our issues. We bottle everything up to save ourselves from what we believe would be a petty fight or because we expect the other person to read our minds and know their faults.Take a look at what we are really doing here though; by discussing our feelings we can let it all out and get to the bottom of our issues. By being real and authentic, we are allowing the other person to fully understand how we are feeling. However, when we decide to let those feeling stay bottled up inside, they tend to keep growing until something big or small triggers those feelings and we explode (and that ladies and gentlemen is when the Madea side of us comes out).
For my own sanity and the sanity of everyone I love, I’ve decided to begin practicing being at peace. Being at peace in that moment of frustration so that I can respond instead of react, push love instead of anger, calmly state my point instead of yelling – basically, not lose my cool. Just like the title of this blog, I am practicing to pause and insert peace in a moment where normally anger would take over and my reaction would not be so good.
I can’t tell you what the outcome will be because I am still going through the motions as I write this blog. What I can tell you is that, while reading this, if you saw yourself in a lot of what I wrote then, I encourage you to try this new method with me (trust me, it’s NOT easy).Together though, we will get to a point where we can honestly laugh about the things that used to annoy us so very much.