What shakes up your sense of inner peace?
Gosh, these are really stressful times, aren’t they? I hear from so many people who are having trouble sleeping, who are experiencing headaches and back pain… and you know, these are understandable reactions to overwhelming stress. But they are no fun!
And pain or sleeplessness can lead to other problems too, because when we’re not at our best, we don’t always make the best choices about what we say and do.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since I heard from my student Wilma. Wilma’s been having trouble sleeping and having a lot of pain, especially since the start of these pandemic times.
In this episode of Inner Peace for Challenging Times, you’ll hear how my student, Wilma, found a new way to be with her triggered feelings so she could effectively address a situation where she said and did things with a friend that didn’t make her feel very good — and how it helped her feel more self-acceptance and and peace inside.
Wilma found out that her really close friend Sally was going to move in with Sally’s son and daughter-in-law. All Wilma could think about was all the times she’d listened to Sally saying she was afraid her daughter-in-law didn’t like her, and how she hoped she never had to live with them. And suddenly, the move was done! Just like that!
On the phone with Sally, Wilma completely lost her cool. She sounded off about how she couldn’t believe this had happened. Wilma’s worry about her friend made her voice seem critical and angry, and the conversation didn’t go well at all. Triggered people trigger other people. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Wilma was so sorry about what happened and she wanted to find a way to get calm enough to patch things up with Sally, to let her know she respected her decisions, she was just worried about her.
She’d been learning some self-care practices from me so she decided to give them a try. She was actually standing in line at the grocery store when this happened.
Standing in line, remembering her friend, feeling a lot of intense emotions… Wilma found herself pausing. Pausing! That’s the powerful move I always suggest first.
Wilma paused and sensed how she was feeling. Then she put her feelings into words, quietly, to herself.
“Wow, I am feeling so fearful and pained in my heart. And I can say Hello to that. I am here with that.”
It made a difference. Later, at home, Wilma was able to feel calm enough to return a voicemail from her friend. They had a good talk. Wilma said she was sorry, and Sally was appreciative and understanding.
You see, being in pain and not getting enough sleep can make us vulnerable. And then one little trigger, like being worried a friend is going to get hurt, can set us off to say things we’re sorry for.
It’s funny — and kind of sad — that being worried about another person can lead to sounding angry and critical of them and their choices. But it happens all the time!
Here’s what I love. Even though Wilma got triggered, even though she said things she was sorry for and she was afraid her friend couldn’t forgive her, she was still able to remember to pause and acknowledge her feelings.
And it’s really my favorite little miracle… that pausing… and sensing how we feel… and then putting our feelings into words… can be so amazingly helpful.
Wilma did all that. And then she did one more thing. She said to her feelings, “I am here with you.”
The shift here is that you don’t just have your feelings… you don’t just get carried away by your feelings… if you pause, you can also BE WITH your feelings. That’s what we call the Inner Relationship.
And it’s an inner relationship of love and compassion. And caring. After all, you of all people can understand what led to those feelings! And you can say to them, “No wonder you feel that way!”
It’s such a kind and self-loving thing to do.
And when we’re kind to ourselves, it’s easier to be kind to others, especially the other people we care about. It just naturally works that way!
Do you want more of my tips for calm in the midst of stress? Sign up for my free e-course, Get Bigger Than What’s Bugging You. In five simple lessons, you’re well on your way to responding differently to the triggers of life.So here’s to you… having a more peaceful life.