Friday, December 18

Calmness in the Eye of the Storm, Revised ........... 12/18/15

      I am posting this today.  Many guests of this inn were not  around, when it was writ-ten more than four years ago. I've revised it.  Here it is:

     It's impor-tant sheltering ourselves.  Like the fellow in this picture. 

     Especially when over-whelmed by the waves of
an abusive person.  It is key for serenity.  Tak-ing care of ourselves is critical when experienc-ing despair, frustration, self-loathing or the nega-tive behavior of others.  

      Like yesterday.

          An important part of my personal growth has been Al-Anon Family Groups.  A supportive community of  wise and practical people.  And an emotional and mental life saver for me. Check the link for more info.
      It is easy sur-rendering our boundaries, being intimidated.  It's usu-ally a default reaction when relating.  Espec-ially when we're with an angry or manipu-lative individual.  I'm happy with a recent response.  It was a time of drama,  some-one having an emo-tional meltdown.
       I didn't please the un-pleasant per-son.  I didn't bear the burden of her  misbehav-ior.  Nor did I yield to overbear-ing conditions. For more about principles that help us relate with difficult people, read this

        Yesterday was a humdinger of a day.  Lots of turmoil.  There was no need watching an action movie if I wanted excitement.  Relating with a volatile person was plenty.

        In the midst of her violent actions, I checked in with me.  That wasn't my tendency as a kid.  Or when an adult in my twen-ties or thirties.  Thank God for personal growth. 

       When we have it, we respond. We
don't react, during stressful times. Be-cause I responded, I thrived even when a vase was thrown and smashed.  I even basked in serenity, while in the eye of yester-day's emotional storm. 

         Years ago, I believed the needs of others were more important than mine.  That's a lie.  Yet, this false belief was groomed into me as a kid.  I was trained, coerced, into being codependent.  By my school, church and parents.  Now, I know better.  

     Paying attention to my behavior, thoughts and feelings is critical.  Meeting the needs beneath them increases my joy and peace of mind.  If we do not nurture ourselves, our spirit and soul will demand attention.  Depression is our neglected psyche issuing a silent scream.  This draining emotion informs me I am not taking care of myself. 

       I am experiencing an unmet need. Yesterday, it was two: tranquility and respect.  Applying principles instead of being passive provided me with emotional safety.  Even when witnessing intense drama.  I'll list them in today's gratitudes. 

 1.  I'm thankful it's best staying present when facing a crisis.  It's better responding, than reacting. 

When I react during an emotional storm, I lose.  I give away big chunks of my values.  Trying to soothe the situation by giving in, is a bust.  Like yesterday's vase.  Manipulators, angry or abusive others discover our vulnerability when we do.  

      Bad idea.   We made ourselves their prey. 

  This is not my response now.  For more about dealing with emotional bullies, read this.  It provides an excellent article: "Words Do Hurt--Stop Bullying From Affecting Your Health." 
      Bullies are more than thugs who harass kids on school playgrounds. They are not just those occupying the seamier parts of town.  They can be siblings, our spouse, boss, among others.  Yikes!
2.  As I get stronger, I am not rattled when "bad" things happen.
3.  I'm grateful that---with practice---while enduring a person's  emotional maelstrom, I emotionally step aside.  I use emotional aikido. 

      I can pause, deciding my response.  This is what police, fire fighters do.  Those who work in psychiatric hospitals, too.  It's the best approach when in a crisis.   We want to consider our options. 
4.  I'm thrilled that moments that once disturbed me can now be seen with humor.  I'm thankful for viewing through the prism of healthy principles.  This lens allows my joy to remain, even when enduring pressure. 
5.  I'm thankful for skills that allow me to thrive during moments that at one time overwhelmed me. 

    Yesterday, it was helpful detaching from an aggravated person.  I remained courteous.  But I was firm, too, towards a person who yelled at three different people.  This included the mailman.  She smashed a flower pot, dirt, flowers and all, on the floor, on her carpeted living room.

      If only she could have been a little more emotional. (I'm kidding.)
6.  I was calm while witnessing this emotional meltdown.  My face was relaxed.  I spoke in a measured manner.  My heart rate, wasn't too elevated.  

      Of course adrenaline kicked in.  I'm human.  During the drama, I considered my options.  One was getting away from that person.

      It's reassuring, knowing I'm not a helpless victim.  I've choices.  Doing what provided serenity, during an intense, unpleasant moment, was my priority.  

     After the outburst, I left.  Time elsewhere, enjoying freedom from emotional drama, was how I took care of me. 

    Others do not determine my moods or define me.  Allowing that to happen is being codependent.  


Thumper said...

Dear Pablo,
I am learning to not let other people determine my moods or define me. I am not a victim unless I decide to be. Practicing and having boundaries helps me to live by these principles.
Thank you for being a great role model.

Pablo said...

Dear Thumper,

How does it feel, not letting others take your power? How is it, maintaining your integrity---being true to your values? What gives you the strength to stand up to pressure from others, who want you to do their biding?

Thank you for your comments. They make this place more lively!

You have my prayers,

The Innkeeper

Donya said...

Things I'm grateful for (and they're big)
1. learning nonviolent communication. I don't have to be sucked into someone's anger or moods anymore!
2. Learning boundaries. Wow, it's wonderful to teach people how to treat me. Many people and books I read told me I should have them. It wasn't enough; I am grateful to be taught and shown how to do it in a good way by someone who knows how to do it.
3. How to ask for what you deeply desire (stuff that really matters) in a good way. Sure beats getting depressed, angry, building up resentment and then blowing up, being bitter, being in a bad mood. Of course, yelling and screaming don't work and makes one feel terrible.
4. Learning authentic communication. Again, reading about it isn't enough. And there isn't enough out there so where can one pick it up? Again, someone has to teach, coach, support you while you're still learning and getting on that bicycle.

Pablo said...


How have you found nonviolent communication helpful? How does it prevent you from being sucked into the negative moods of others? Thank you, for dropping by and sharing your insights.

I'm glad you are getting the support you need to handle life's difficulties. It is hard, handling problems by ourselves.

Thank you, for visiting the inn!

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.