Learning how to navigate through life requires that we become emotionally agile. Sadly, most of us lack the emotional awareness we need in order to understand ourselves, much less our relationships. I found myself in an extreme struggle with my own emotions and thought it was a good subject to share. I’ll admit, it’s embarrassing, but it’s real life. I’ve never met a person yet who didn’t tread down the slippy slopes of reaction and regret. This wasn’t my first time, and although I like to believe it will be my last, I know better. So hear I am, being vulnerable in order to better understand myself and hopefully help you to understand better too.
This last month I was forced to hit my pause button. Through unexpected circumstances, I got the chance to learn how quickly a boundary violation can become a two-way street. It all began when I learned that my loved one betrayed me. At first, I was hurt and sad, and since we shared a large investment, I also felt that my sense of security was threatened. In this state, all I could see, feel and think about were these strong emotions. My mind kept trying to make sense of his behavior. I was left reeling and confused. Eventually, my hurt turned into anger. My anger left me unable to communicate how I felt and what I needed in healthy ways. I lost my ability to speak with kindness, respect and clarity. In short, I was reacting as if there was actual danger instead of just loss.
Not only was I betrayed by a person, I was also betrayed by my outdated survival mechanisms. Although, I did have every reason to be angry, hurt and sad, the truth was that I was not in physical danger. Yes, my emotions and reactions would have told you a different story, but that doesn’t excuse my behavior. It didn’t take me long to realize my regret for the loss of self-awareness. This was a very big ah-ha moment for me and a big catalyst for change.
I think it’s pretty fair to say that most of us were never taught the language of our emotions. Instead, it’s as if emotions remain a foreign language that we only know the swear words too.
That event inspired me to dig deeper into emotional awareness. I discovered two profound books and an 8-week course that helped me to decipher and translate the unspoken meaning behind our emotions. This course helped me to better understand my emotions so that I could view them in new and healthy ways. Since then, I have reframed my understanding of emotions and feelings into a new perspective; one that empowers me to make better decisions and helps me to be more responsive instead of reactive.
Our emotions are our information superhighway. They are the reason we can make decisions. Without emotions, we would truly be stuck.
I hope this inspires you to step back a little bit and hit your own pause button . . . Before you are like me and life hands you one.