If we can hold our anger, our sorrow, and our fear with the energy of mindfulness, we will be able to recognize the roots of our suffering. We will be able the recognize the suffering in the people we love as well. Mindfulness helps us to not be angry at our loved ones, because when we are mindful, we understand that our love ones are suffering as well. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home
This is a tough one for me, and one of the most important lessons I need to practice constantly. I have three children, young adults really. I love them with every cell in my body and I can easily be quick to anger over something they have done or not done. I know from experience that I am reacting from fear, my own fear. I want them to be safe. I want them to make good choices for themselves, their lives. I want them to be kind to others, especially each other. And I know when I react with my fear and anger then I lose the opportunity to learn and connect with them in a meaningful way.
The same thing can happen in my work. When I react in fear, disappointment, or anger then the opportunity to learn more about the other person becomes much more elusive.
Today I was working with a client who was asking for help yet was also very resistant to any of my suggestions. I was prepared for this to be a difficult meeting and did my best to stay curious and open. I did ask several questions which resulted in some superficial observations. I knew there was a deeper reason for their resistance. We both ended up a bit frustrated.
This lesson helped me to remember that even in our fear, our hurt, our sorrow, we will ask for help and not be ready to receive it. Truly, it is all such a process-the emotion, the desire to feel better, the desire to do things differently, the discomfort of leaving our familiar responses for new ways of being, the push-pull of asking for help. I feel so grateful to do the work I do. I learn so much from my clients; I learn so much about myself. Contact me when you find yourself in the push-pull, firstname.lastname@example.org.