Self-Care Tip #132 – Awareness comes over and over again when you are a friend to yourself.
A reader posted in response to yesterday’s blog, When Someone Is Afraid Of You, You Don’t Have To Be Afraid Of Them. Just Be,
Sometimes it feels like any negativity dirties me up forever. I have a really difficult time dealing with any of the more negative emotions…. I am not sure how to “just be” with respect to those emotions…it always feels like anger whittles away my soul. Any ideas for coping through the times when we get really angry?
Taking care of ourselves requires awareness. Just seeing it for what it is. Being tuned in. Having that degree of knowing. Insight.
Awareness is sort of like “I love you’s.” When we hear them, we might need to hear it again 5 minutes later. There are no available stock options. If the love doesn’t keep coming, than problems start. Same with awareness. We restore our own awareness how best we can, over and over again. It slips and when new feelings come up, it may seem like it never happened.
My dad came over a week ago and spent the day with me and the kids. The joy of just being able to spend a whole day with him was unique. It was a different company than when he visits for an hour or on a timeline. This day was all ours. He left his car, and his cell phone behind. He rode with me and the kids, sans detractors. We were relaxed together. Present. There was a lot more time of just sitting quietly doing our thing but sharing even in silence our own selves.
Today he called, “To check on the tribe.” He reminded me that it had been “just” a week since we spent that time together. In my business of filling cereal bowls, the office, picking up dirty kleenex, training our dog where to poop – our time with Dad seemed like a long time ago. I told him half jokingly, “Dad, we aren’t a bank account. You have to keep coming. You don’t accrue interest on what you put in.”
So is our own self-care. It’s not that we are starting from scratch every time we take a bath. It’s more that when we get into the flow of caring for ourselves inside and out, it becomes a regenerating, constantly investing rhythm that may at some times take thought and at others just happen because that’s who we’ve become.
One step of coping is that regenerating, repeating, purposeful process of awareness. Our reader’s question about coping with getting angry put simply, requires awareness. Because coping is soooo much more than just that, I’m sure it is too simple but it’s a start. From there, come other bits of coping. But without awareness, hmm. Not much is going to happen.
Question: What is your process of coping with triggers such as anger? Do you think about it or is it cued subconsciously? Please tell me your story.
- Coping With Adult Temper Tantrums (online.wsj.com)
- One Of Our Favorite Bad Ideas (psychologytoday.com)
When someone does something to anger me, whether they do it regularly or if it’s a new thing, I almost always ask myself, “How do I want to react?” Do I want to wait until I can talk to that person alone? Or do I want to stop the behavior immediately? “What do I want to accomplish by reacting?” Do I think I can actually make a difference or am I going to cause unneccesary drama? and finally, “There is no deadline, I don’t have to react right now”. I have a right to bring it up later to the person and tell them that I have been thinking about what they did and it bothered me when blah blah blah…
My dad would visit and have a great time with us, then disappear for a couple of years. He would change his number and his address… then pop up out of the blue a couple years later and we’d pick up where we left off. He was like that since I was eight. Yes, it hurt, but I learned to accept that just because someone is capable of making a baby doesn’t mean they are capable of being a good parent. I’m not saying this is a good method for everyone, but it worked for me. There’s no point in letting him control me by filling my heart with anger when he’s not even around anyway. Then it wouldn’t be his fault if I let it ruin my life… it would be mine.
thank you for commenting Jasmine. you’ve “gone there” w your dad and his memory. nice description of presence. keep on!
Also, from experience I have discovered that sometimes it’s easy to confuse “anger” with having “hurt feelings”. When you know for sure which one it is that ails you, then it’s a lot easier to deal with…