When we surround ourselves with like-minded people, those who share our vision, or at least listen and support us, communication can be easy.

What happens when a person or a situation comes along that pushes our buttons? Maybe we just don’t see eye to eye, or someone misinterprets what we’re saying, or in some other way it becomes what feels like a challenging interaction. It’s possible we can be thrown off our centre, rattled.

Sometimes we fall into old habits when faced with such a situation and react differently than we wish we had. Later, upon reflection, we might feel we’ve failed or fallen short, or feel regret. How much time have I spent, over the years, replaying conversations and situations, wishing I had done or said something different? A lot!

We might be even harder on ourselves if we’ve been doing work to become more resilient: connecting to our heart and intuition, reading self-help and spiritual books, perhaps meditating, or engaging in healing practices. We might say to ourselves: how is it that I’ve been doing all this inner work, yet I still reacted that way in that situation? I should have handled it differently!

Some things to consider:

What if – how it all happened was exactly how it was meant to unfold?

What if – it was an important experience that needed to happen to get our attention? It offers us an opportunity to learn about ourselves or others. Let’s tuck away this experience, let it gently integrate, in order to inform our next interaction.

Might there have been a time in the past when we didn’t even think twice about such a reaction? Did this used to be our usual reaction? Would a different approach have been ‘Inconceivable!’? (…for any Princess Bride fans 😉 ). A desire and willingness to do differently is powerful and valuable, even if one falters at times.

Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself grace, love, and forgiveness. You aren’t meant to be perfect.

How do I approach situations like this?

Take a breath, and take a figurative step back – and note that I’m allowing whatever it is to ‘get’ to me. Awareness is the starting point.

Remind myself – I did my best in that moment and in the moments and days afterward; and my reaction and my handling of the situation does not define me. I am always evolving, growing, and improving.

Ask myself – how will I choose differently from this current moment? Remind myself that I have the capacity to shift and change in each moment: my attitude, my approach, and even the grasp with which I’m holding onto the story of the situation.

Refocus toward the present moment. This may require a frequent, conscious reminder. Our mind looks for something to keep itself busy, and in the absence of something – thoughts of the past will creep back into our awareness. It is important to shift focus toward something new or different.

Drop into my heart. I check in with my spirit guides and ask for guidance from source. After a specific experience two years ago that had me feeling rattled and wishing I’d responded differently, I asked my guides for support on how to make peace with such a situation. These are the messages I received, which are still relevant now – for anyone:

“Their words reflect their desires, not your purpose.”
“Self-criticism and worry only serve to ruffle the feathers of the heart and the soul. Soothe the heart and soul with self-love.“
“Any one part of your life – your belongings, your reactions, your point of view, your style of communication, your relationships – does not define you. It is a snapshot of things related to who you are at a moment in time in this experience. But you are so much more than any of that, and also so much less than any of that – so much simpler than that.”

Beneath the persona that we present to the world, beneath all of the layers of our ego – built up with education and experiences that inform our reactions and attempt to protect us – is something so much more, and yet so much less at the same time: we are each just so simply spirit.

All of our experiences create the tapestry of our spirit’s journey in this lifetime. May you be patient and kind to yourself as you move through them all.

I’ve removed commenting on my blog posts due to the volume of spam I have been receiving. If you’d like to comment or ask anything about this or any blog post, please reach out to me at carla(at)energycontinuum.com – I’d love to hear from you.