Snap Out of Your Automatic Reactions and Create Presence, Joy and Fullness in Your Relationship!
You know those times when you’ve had a heated argument with your partner and are still feeling angry and resentful? You know that if you could only apologize or touch them tenderly, things could move on, but you just can’t let go of your anger!
* You KNOW, because you’ve heard it everywhere, that YOU are responsible for your own happiness. Right?
* Your partner doesn’t have the power to MAKE you angry or sad-no one can MAKE you feel any way except Y-O-U! Right?
* You have a CHOICE about how you react to what your partner does, right?
Rationally, you know this to be true, but why is it that you cannot control your emotions? Like clockwork, the very next time your partner comes through the door in the evening 30 minutes late, you are in an argument before the door closes.
Once the fight ensues, you don’t feel capable of choosing to stop and end the argument with an apology or an act of tenderness. Your automatic reactions have assumed control of you. You waste hours feeling furious instead of spending good time with the one you love. How often does this occur in your relationships?
CLIENT STORY: I want control over my reactions!
Linda used to find it impossible to let go of her anger and reach out with forgiveness to her husband directly after a heated argument. Why? Because once she automatically engaged her reaction of anger by complaining, insulting and blaming, she was no longer capable of choosing how to react. Her emotional response took on a life of it’s own!
What’s going on? Linda was not conditioned to consciously experience her feelings of anger-a normal human emotion. When sensations of anger arose in her body, her programming kicked in and she automatically placed responsibility for her anger onto someone or something else. Once Linda began reacting to her feelings of anger by projecting them outwardly, she began a vicious cycle of anger and regret.
I helped Linda with the four easy steps of the SNAP Out Of It NOW! Method. Linda learned to:
1. Acknowledged that she was stuck in negative thinking (about what it means when her husband comes home late), and that she was unconsciously reacting (complaining and blaming) to her own negative thought patterns.
2. Experience herself reacting-to really think about and to fully become aware of her reactions and their consequences (no-win situation leaving her feeling empty and her husband unhappy).
3. Sense the feeling within her body (heat rising in chest) that was provoking the impulse to react with blaming.
4. Breathe with focused intention with the feeling inside. As she breathed, the feeling dissipated and she no longer felt controlled by her automatic “angry” reaction.
Linda discovered how to quiet her mind and how to connect with and experience her feelings. When she acknowledged and experienced the feelings within her, she no longer felt the impulse to react with blame toward her husband.
After 3 sessions, Linda said to me, “I am no longer controlled by my feelings of anger. As I breathe to the sensation of heat rising in my chest, the sensation dissipates and I am back in control. I feel better about myself and I actually look forward to seeing my husband when he comes home. If he comes home later than expected I find something to do to fill the time.” Linda began to feel appreciation for her husband rather than only anger and resentment.
Part of the stress in life is that feelings of anger and resentment get in the way of the desire to be present with the ones we love-whether they are parents, spouses, children or friends-and to create joy and fullness in our relationships.