Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Letting go of an emotional charge

Several days ago a friend was part of a meeting in which one of the participants threw a tantrum (not pretty in children and most certainly not pretty in adults!) and stormed out. My friend was really upset afterward and needed to debrief and process.

He wanted to let go of the emotional charge he now carried around the situation—but knew he couldn't until he'd talked it over a bit. Once we had talked about it, he said he was going to follow a piece of advice he'd heard from someone else: "Don't let that person steal your day." In other words, my friend wasn't going to let the tantrum-thrower ruin his whole day. My friend didn't want to focus all his energies and his whole day on this other person's bad behavior. He wanted to let go of his emotions surrounding the situation. Great idea!

It reminded me about those times when I've let someone else's behavior ruin my day. It really has never gotten me anywhere that I really wanted to be. One of my past work situations included a lot of days where that happened. So I wrote a few mantras on the back of my business cards and carried them in my purse so I could take them out and read them as many times during the day as I needed to be reminded: Don't let the behavior of others change my behavior. One of my mantras was: "I will live out of my own container of love and compassion, regardless of others' actions." Another was: "I choose not to place my self-esteem in the hands of another person."

I really like the piece of advice my friend got, though: "Don't  let that person steal your day." The image I get from those words is so provocative. I'm going to carry that one in my mind! What works for you?

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