Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feeling the Moment

Why do we have a need to hurt others when they’ve hurt us? What if their hurting us was unintentional or even unrealized after the fact? Does the knowledge that they do not recognize the hurt they’ve caused create more anger and bitterness toward them? Why?

What if all the hurt they’ve seemingly caused actually already existed inside of us and was just released by their actions (or inaction)? What are we to do with this and how can we make it better if we’ve already pulled the trigger (so to speak) or rather, been activated toward negative expression?

The sort of dilemma that I point to here can be felt in any of the various types of relationships we may experience. It can take place between the best of friends or simple acquaintances. The strength of its impact depends partly on how close the people involved are since it often hurts worse when we feel let down in some way by those who we love and who have loved us in return. But this is not completely accurate (in all respects) because what often creates the strongest impact on our ultimate reaction to any given situation is how we are already feeling inside. If we are very much out of alignment within ourselves or experiencing great sadness or some sort of imbalance then we will react according to that pain or un-wellness – and in this way, even the smallest of occurrences can be the trigger for our most over the top and emotional backlash.

Below are a few of the most pertinent areas of concentration or consideration that are necessary focal points in the healing and balancing process, for this issue in particular – but for many others as well. This is what I have found to be true in my life. Perhaps it will resonate in some way or provide someone with some form of understanding or maybe a place to start when looking at their own emotional encounters with other people. Take what you will from it, and live to your own highest potential according to your own understandings of self. Aho.

~ Understand your own internalized processes. Spend some time getting to know yourself; your history, your cultural perceptions, your psychology, your fears, your motivators, everything that makes you tick the unique way that you do. Learn to read your own emotions and reactions to things around you. Learn to apply these understandings of self to situations as they arise in your life. Go even further than your own history and created world psychology and spend some time learning about seasonal processes and how they affect you personally on physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual levels. Spend time in nature and in meditation as this will help center you and guide you in appropriate and beneficial directions which may present you with the keys to your own healing and inner strength. Basically, we need to be consciously aware of the underlying causes of our emotions so that we can accurately pinpoint those things that act as indicators or instigators of shifts in mood or thought processes and which may serve only to turn our focus away from what truly matters. In recognizing what causes the internal shift, we can understand ourselves better and through that understanding be able to correctly identify and then better communicate the disturbance to those we are having issue with.

~ Communicate honestly and directly for mutual understanding of any given situation involving those you feel you may react negatively to. Of course we should always communicate in an honest and direct manner but this becomes even more important when we have reason to believe that our reactions may end up hurting someone else if not handled in a more deliberate way. It can be difficult sometimes to verbalize what it is we are feeling and this can be due to several factors, including an insufficient understanding of what is going on inside of us or the situation that has triggered our emotional state, fear of being criticized or not taken seriously, embarrassment over what is being felt, or simply not wanting to reveal so much of ourselves. We may even feel that the other person “should” know what the problem is about and how to help correct it without us having to point it out directly. But we need to be cautious of “should” reactions because these are so often placed onto others yet based on our own perceptions which in many ways and under various circumstances greatly differ from the thought processes and perceptions of others. We need to learn how to be straightforward in our communications with others, in an honest and sincere way that also shows tact and concern for others involved. This goes a long way in settling disputes and reaching a place of mutual understanding before things are allowed to progress (or regress) to a point that makes resolution extremely difficult if not nearly impossible.

~ Focus on the issue at hand. Don’t allow things that do not directly affect the situation that is currently presenting upset to take the lead in determining your reaction. Sure, re-examining past occurrences can help in reaching an understanding of a person and their motives as well as our own true feelings about individual happenings… but we need to be careful not to draw too much from past situations when dealing with current ones since our emotions at a time of upset may lead us to over emphasize things which under a different light may not seem so important. Therefore, it is usually best to save such things for a less emotional time to fully analyze and interpret its meaning or value in our life.

~ Remember the importance of forgiveness. We all say and do things at times which do not present us in our best light or exemplify our most treasured or admirable parts of self. We will all experience times when we are overly critical, rude, sarcastic to the point of injury, or just plain mean. We will all remember times when we said things that we wished we could take back. And we all will understand the pain of having suffered such thoughtlessness from others in different points in our lives. We need to learn how to forgive, not just others but ourselves as well. Guilt is not just something that makes us feel bad as some sort of punishment for the things we’ve said or done, but it is a tool that helps us remember and become more aware of our own ability to cause harm – so that we can empathize with a person when they are acting out in hurtful ways and through this understanding find a way to forgive and perhaps even help provide support. And if we are dealing with someone we really do care for, this is what I would think we should want to do.

So much more could be said on the topic covered here, but for now I leave it at this. May we each learn to show greater empathy, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness toward those in our lives as well as for ourselves, and may we also learn to communicate our feelings more compassionately and effectively in all our relationships. Many Blessings.


uncertainhorizon said...

Lisa, as usual your words are very touching!

Brent said...

Great post with some good insight. People very seldom hurt others intentionally, it's usually an unintended consequence of their own problems. It can be very hard to realize though that everything isn't about us!

redravens said...

Thank you both.