Are you strong? How strong exactly do you think you are? I’m not talking about physical strength; I’m talking about emotional, psychological strength. Can you handle a failing grade? Can you deal with your best friend fighting with you? How about that break-up? Well, if you haven’t thought about it yet, you should. Things build up over time. You should never let anything fester.
We’ve all been there: that place in life when the drama seems to outweigh everything. Let me remind you right now, it will all pass. Eckhart Tolle, a modern spiritual guru of sorts, once said “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but rather your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you’re thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral.”
This has become a personal mantra of sorts for me. Whenever my insecurities get the best of me or I feel weighed down by all my “baggage”, I stop and take a breath. Maybe two or three. Then, I try (I’m not always successful) to understand where the situation ends and where my feelings begin.
For example, I recently got into an argument with someone I really cared about. Verbal jabs and parries were exchanged, hurtful things thrown at one another like emotionally charged grenades. At the end of the argument, I vowed never to speak to that person again. When that thought crossed my mind I stopped. I don’t like letting go of any relationship least of all one that I’ve invested in. I took a few breaths and I thought.
What led us to that argument? What did the other person do? What was I culpable for? In the end, if we both did negative things. How can either of us sit on the proverbial high horse? I realized then, and constantly remind myself when employing this method, that it didn’t matter. Who cares? If we’re both at fault then we both need to apologize. It doesn’t even matter if the other person won’t say “I’m sorry.” I can own the things I did wrong.
In the past after a fight of that magnitude, I would stay heated for days. Raw emotions and all that jazz. If I saw the person regularly, I would give them the cold shoulder. If I didn’t, well that was better. Moreover, as time passed those arguments would infect my headspace. They would chafe; they would color my everyday interactions and emotions.
That’s not something I wanted – to fault other people for the actions of one individual. I taught myself this method of dealing with situations. It may not be for you, but you can’t deny that there is some truth to what Mr. Tolle said. If you stay aware of your thoughts, you can to an extent control your feelings. Being aware of them prevents you from being and acting at their mercy.
It’s something to take note of in the middle of the school semester when things start building up. You don’t have to carry all that baggage around. You might be lugging around some empty metaphoric suitcases for all you know! Stay strong, you got this, it will all pass.