Getting Through it
The conversation left me in shock and hurting from a deep place. I wondered how to respond. What do I do next? How could I “get through it?” I knew I could somehow, I’ve told myself and others “you can get through it.” The phrase is offered as comfort and reassurance. And yet, I wasn’t sure how I could get through it and not get stuck in the anger or hurt of the interaction.
So, I set about giving it some real thought. How do I “get through it?” I’m not very fond of clichés we say unless I can offer something of substance within the phrase. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Accept the experience. Acting like nothing has happened, putting the experience away somewhere inside is not helpful. I’ve heard people manage by saying, “I just let it roll off me”, or “I let it go in one ear and out the other.” Not a good idea! The first step in getting through it is to acknowledge it. Grasp that there is power in facing a situation head on. Pause, ponder, and profit from it.
: Take time to
: reflect on it. Review what happened, what was said.
: There is something to learn! See the remaining steps.
Have the emotional response. At first, I was shocked, then I was angry, then I was hurt. All of the above emotions, all important to feel and know. I knew that expressing the emotions at that moment was not in my best interest. I do know, however, that finding time later to allow the emotion was important. Stuffed emotions create physical and emotional problems. Emotions are message senders – they are telling you something about yourself, the other, the world, the belief or environment. Learn to identify the emotion and let it talk to you.
Feel the emotion physically and complete the following while paying attention to the physical reaction: “I’m feeling ___________ because______________.” The important message is in the because.
Learn from the event. You’ve now listened to your emotion and identified the “because.” That’s where you find the treasure in the situation. Some examples:
I’m hurt because I feel disrespected.
I’m anxious because I don’t know what to expect.
I’m angry because I’ve been misunderstood.
Taking the time to know how the situation impacted you, gives you important information.
You have the power to respond with the information and avoid developing mindsets or behaviors built as a reaction.
Make decisions based on the insight you gain. This is where you experience profit. I suggest that as you explore the insights, be open to looking at the situation as a means to grow. Perhaps there is something you can shift in yourself as a result of pondering the event. Take each insight and decide what your options are going forward. Examples:
Disrespected:You can provide feedback if it is a safe person, identify some new boundaries with that person, or ask for clarification of their intent.
Unexpected: Take time to get prepared, i.e. what can I control in this situation, what can I prevent, and how can I respond if something goes wrong?
Misunderstood:Is this an issue that needs clarification?In the future is there a better way to state your truth?Is this person interested or capable of wrestling this through? Did I contribute in some way to being misunderstood.
Getting through it means that you have understood what happened, processed it emotionally and gained some new insights that will result in some new power.
Pause – Ponder – Profit! You’ve got this!