Whether it’s at home, work or play, we all have times when we find ourselves affected by others’ moods or things that have happened. We all know the power of feeling good, we all know that it’s not what happens but how we respond to what happens that creates our experience. Easier said than done.
Yesterday I woke up feeling good and ventured forth into the day. It quickly became apparent that my youngest daughter was not in a good space, and was fast pulling her older sister into her negative vortex.
At first I tried to simply be present for my daughter to figure out what was upsetting her. To calm the sibling arguments we read books, which helped for all too brief a time, the outbursts were relentless. I tried to lead by example, to make requests fun and keep myself in a positive space but confess I was worn down after only an hour and found myself stressed and short in patience.
Even with a nice break in the middle of the afternoon at a kid’s party on the beach, the energy seemed to just pick up where it left off once we were back home. Summed up, it was a horrible day; lots of yelling, screaming, sniping, even hitting, from the kids, and their dad and I allowed ourselves to be well and truly sucked in.
Although in theory you know you are the creator of your own reality, in practice all too often we blame others for upsetting us. Really this is because we have been taught to respond to things from the wrong vantage point. For many, your upbringing has taught you habits that contradict your knowing that you are the creator of your own reality.
Think of it like this, you came into this world with certain intentions about your life. The first thing you encounter is resistance, with everyone trying to tell you what is best for you. Rather than teaching you to tune into your intuitive guidance, well meaning parenting styles, cultural and social expectations may even have broken your confidence in yourself in the attempt to control your behaviour.
Recognise this, as you become conscious of it, you’ll start to ask questions about who you really are and eventually this will help you gain more of a sense of your true self. Gaining a fresh perspective is important when it comes to dealing with conflict particularly.
Over time we stop seeing those closest to us, unable to see the wood for the trees. Those we think we know best, we actually know the least. Sure, you will constantly see ‘evidence’ to support what you know about them, because we get what we expect. We stop seeing them through fresh eyes though and the stories you attach to the behaviour of those closest to you are just that, stories.
The motivations of others are known only to them, and while your version of their story often features you as the victim in some way, it’s more probable that they are not even thinking about you, they are simply trying to create the best reality for themselves.
First and foremost, be true to yourself. In the same way you’ve stopped paying attention to the others around you who are closest; it’s even truer of you. There will be a whole bunch of labels that you put on yourself – organized, messy, easy going, serious etc – that might not even be the right fit for who you are now.
To see yourself or others through new lenses, in order to resolve or avoid further conflict, it is vitally important to first get yourself into a good space. Never does a good decision come from a place of feeling bad, it just leads to more of the same. Only from a good place can you get the clarity needed to seek a good outcome.
While ultimately you want to be in a place where you can be unaffected by the mood of others, the goal is not to suddenly become Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa. You are breaking lifetime habits and creating new ones, go easy on yourself, just start in reflection, looking at some of your least and most proud moments.
Contemplate what might work better for you as you move forward. If you have a particularly troublesome relationship that causes frequent anguish, you are not going to change its momentum in the midst of another sticky moment. The time to focus energy on it is when you are in a good space.
The trick is to build an alternative picture about what is going on. At the moment you are stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts, behaviors and experiences triggered by stories and similar feelings in new situations. Your inner being screams “I just want to feel good and this is making me feel bad” we turn to others to change their behaviour in order that we feel good. Their inner being screams “you are not the boss of me” and so on.
Try to attribute the best perspective that you can, give people the benefit of the doubt as, ultimately, all anyone is seeking is happiness. Relooking at someone through different eyes in calmer times can help you create more helpful stories, thoughts and thus behaviors, experiences and feelings when you run into another disagreement.
Life is simple, let your feelings guide you. Good feelings mean you are in tune, on track - it’s like a river of light illuminating what you intended for your life before it even began. You are unique and so are those around you, if you see the best in them it will create the space in which the best of both of you can show itself.
Remember even small steps make a big difference. If we keep trying to be just to be that bit better, in time the momentum will change and the trying will be a thing of the past. If you are teaching through your example, that first and foremost you must feel good, better and better decisions will get made in the moment and better and better outcomes will be achieved.
It can certainly be done as a matter of course by future generations if we lead the way and show by our example the way back to inner peace.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
By signing up you will only receive emails from shonakeachie.com and you can unsubscribe at any time. This is a two-step process, you will have to verify your subscription by clicking the link in the email you should receive after clicking this 'Subscribe' button. If you do not receive the email please check your Junk mail, thank you.
Please note if you are using the Google Chrome browser and want to subscribe to the RSS Feed you will first need to get an RSS plugin from the Chrome Store.