While working on homework last night, I became very distracted by my younger sister and mom arguing upstairs. As I sat on my laptop clicking through emails and writing to-do lists on my legal pad, I had to use every fiber in my being not to run upstairs and shut them up. I did not even know what their disagreement was over, but I did not like the way that my sister was yelling and treating our mom, and I did not like that my mom was taking it. I love the convenience of living at home, but sometimes it can be really stressful. I have a tendency to own the feelings and actions of my mom and sister, and that gets me into trouble. This time, I had to bear it the best that I could.
I quickly texted my life coach, Jen, about what was going on, and waited for a reply. I sent her three long paragraphs detailing the crazy family drama, and she replied an hour later stating, “Ignore it.” Well, that was what I had done…it was all that I could do to be somewhat sensible, but inside I was fuming. I replied to her text with a “Thanks…”, which could have been interpreted numerous ways. By this point I was reading a textbook in bed, and I let my phone drop into the mass of blankets and pillows around me hoping that it would be lost forever. I felt hurt. I felt like she didn’t care, but more than anything I was confused. My expectations to get a warm and fuzzy message to simply affirm my beliefs was not received, and I felt let down. I went back to my book and let the thoughts fade away with every passing tick-tock on my wall clock. I strongly dislike that helpless feeling I get in my relationships when I feel myself forming resentments.
Later that night, I talked to someone about my mom and sister, and I decided to bring up my frustration with Jen and I’s relationship. It did not occur to me that I was not helpless and there was something that I needed to do: communicate my frustrations. What a novel idea! I just expected her to understand me and how I felt without giving her any insight or feedback on my personal experience. I rushed home and sent her a strong, heartfelt message. It was nerve wracking, but it had to be done. She replied back with compassion, kindness, and understanding. My stomach knot released, and my heart lightened. All of the build up began to escape with my out breaths. We made plans to get together at the end of the week to catch up.
I always love experiencing points of confluence in my life between separate entities. As I previously mentioned, I am reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook. Before bed and after telling Jen goodnight, I read the chapter “Seek and Speak Your Truth.” Having mentors, bosses, friends, and family teaches us the most important thing in relationships is good communication. When I put my feelings out on the table, as hard is that may be, problems get solved. Too often, we stifle these gut feelings, and things worsen quickly. Part of being mindful is getting in touch with not only my mind, but also my physical sensations. I believe that many of my emotional qualities manifest into my physical being, so doing body scans and being aware of my own body allows me to grow and improve. It is painful at times, and I have fears that people will not like me or my feelings are unimportant, but I am finally seeing how untrue that is.