I had a bad day recently.
You know the kind... it seemed like everything went wrong and nothing was working right. When you put great amounts of time, effort, emotional energy and money into things and they just don't seem to go your way, at times you can feel defeated and stuck in that uphill battle.
I felt that way recently and after that long day of one thing after another piling on and adding to the overwhelm, I simply went to a dark place. In an instant, after so much accumulation throughout the day, I felt bad. Bad about all the things that happened, all the people that were associated with those disappointments and all the inner conflicts that caused me to feel this way. But mostly, I felt about about me. Fortunately and unfortunately, that's what it always boils down to at the core of our feelings and emotions - how we feel about ourselves at the time. If we are happy with ourselves, we feel happy to whatever happens to us. If we are not happy without ourselves, we feel unhappy to whatever happens to us. (This is a big topic that we'll save for a future post).
So, at the time, I didn't feel very good about myself and went into a dark depressed state and just wanted to mope around and feel sorry for myself. So I did. Luckily, when this happens nowadays, I spare others from it and let it ride its wave by myself. I understand its purpose - to help me be aware of character traits I would like to grow within myself - and at the same time I don't want to impact anyone else as it's happening. After the emotional wave rides itself out, then I focus on what caused it and ask many others for help and together we help each other grow from it.
All that works fine and dandy, unless you have a friend that is always there for you and cares so much about you that they have to help - as it's happening......
"Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!! Why? Why do you HAVE to be there for me ALL the time!!!! Just let me be miserable for a few moments! It will pass and then I can work on it!"
....That's what I want to say, but I don't, because I know why that person is always there for me - because that person truly loves me no matter what and has compassion at all times. They don't want to see me hurting and they know I have the same feelings for them. So that's what they do and how they do it.
So during this particular evenings' pity party, I blew off my friend's support. This person tried 3 times to connect and support over the next hour or so and instead, I stayed stuck in my emotional cocoon. After all, periods like these are always short lived and we are there for each other after the dark place opens up.
So all that works for me, but what about my friend? What about the compassionate person that is on the other end just wanting to help - being triggered by my not responding? What is that person feeling and what is my lack of response doing to them?
It took a book on 'Untamed Leadership' that I was reading during the tail end of the pity party to re-reminded me to put myself in their shoes. I know how I was feeling but how was my friend feeling? What was my lack of response doing to them? I had forgotten that very important part....
And then a whack upside the head! In an instant, my pity party ended and along came a rush of compassion and care for the person that has been sharing their compassion and care all along. In an instant, I remembered that my best intentions of keeping this to myself were probably negatively affecting someone I truly care about and love deeply. In an instant, I snapped out of it and became the better version of myself that I was reading about. In an instant, I reached out to my helpful loving friend to care for them and make sure they were OK.
And in an instant, I was reminded that I most often do the right things and care and love others at a much higher level - when I put myself in their shoes - first.
And for some reason, their shoes always seem to fit when I wear them - and in doing so, instant peace shows up in my life.
Keep Goin. And always put their shoes on first.