The best thing about going inward is that we don’t have to hide or put on a face to engage with the outside world. When we work with our interior landscape, feelings and emotions are free to emerge. The honest conversations that we can have with ourselves pave the way for more honesty and openness in our interactions with others.
These moments of introspection help us know ourselves. They teach us how to hold space for our own experience. This, in turn, expands our capacity to hold space for others.
If you suppress your emotions, numb them, escape them, judge them, or make them wrong, you’ll find that you do that with others.
What happens to the quality of your leadership, friendship, coaching, parenting, advising, or any other interaction when you’re judging the other person’s emotions? You may find you’re not that effective in your role.
No question that these times are difficult. We’re long past the point of “adventure” in this great social experiment. This is where things get hard. The natural inclination at this point is to resist.
If you’re not resisting the construct of the environment, look around to see what you are resisting. You may be transferring your resistance to something else.
Some common ways we resist:
- picking fights for no reason
- looking for ways to back out of commitments
- judging the way others work or live, what they listen to, their beliefs, attitudes, routines
- rigidly clinging to the way you like things to be done, refusing to allow others the space to do things in their own way
- aiming for a specific result that looks a certain way, for yourself or someone else
- trying to control how someone does a task
- feeling annoyed when someone doesn’t measure up to your standards
- verbally or emotionally attacking others (even if it’s in the confines of your own mind and your story)
- seeking to blame someone or something for your current circumstances
To be clear, these are natural tendencies. They are our habits. We more likely engage in these behaviors than not.
The beautiful gift of this time is the opportunity to create awareness of these habits and begin the long process of shifting them.
We are in the place where it is getting hard. Habit directs us to resist. The path of transformation is to stay.
Go into it. Hold space for what arises.
Learning how to accompany yourself through the storm is a skill that pays dividends.
Criticism and berating serve no productive purpose in times of change. Go in gently, with compassion. There is much healing work to be done on the inside.
Learning to hold space for yourself with compassion will deepen your connections.