How do you react when s#%t hits the fan?
We all have an idea of who we are. We say a lot of things in passing, or during conversations that paint a picture of who we are, what we believe and how we would behave in a given situation. But what happens when life doesn’t go as planned and s#%t really hits the fan? How do you behave then? How do you behave when there is no one around watching and life kicks you in the crotch?
I’ve come to find that despite what I say to people and the ideas I have about myself there are much deeper layers to my being.
Despite who I think I am, my behaviour reveals who I am. I can make assumptions and discuss my views about life but the truth is in my actions and reactions.
If you understand this, and you understand that our emotions are created via our belief systems and filters of reality, you can use the tough times and moments of emotional disturbance as an opportunity for growth.
Next time you get emotional, try and catch yourself. Notice the changes in your physical state. The way your breathing has changed, the muscular tension in your body, your accelerated heart rate. Then quickly reflect on what specifically may have triggered this. What thoughts were running through your head the moment you began to get emotional?
Next, pause for a moment and consider if your thoughts about the situation were valid.
Is this really a life or death situation?
Could the situation have been any different?
Could that person really have behaved any other way?
Are you benefiting from the situation in some way?
It takes some deep reflection, but if you look at the reality of the situation clearly, your emotions dissolve and you find peace among the chaos. You can even reflect on the situation afterwards once you have calmed down a bit. It's a powerful practice.
Now, all of that being said, I’m certainly not claiming to be a monk myself. I still get emotional at times and I am also constantly learning more about myself through reflection. But I have noticed that I catch myself very quickly now, and I can’t remain upset for long at all. This reflection quickly dissolves my stress and helps me learn and grow. I hope it can do the same for you too.