I had a charged conversation with someone recently, and it got me thinking how to reach for compassion if you’re feeling angry and upset and feel justified in your position.
I was pretty upset for a few hours after this conversation. It was only after a good night’s sleep, only the next morning, that I wanted to reach for a softening within me about the whole situation.
I was glad I had had the conversation. I could have said things in a better way but. . . it was a boundary that I had to make clear to the other person.
When I say boundary, I’m thinking of this article that I had loved during my compassion challenge week: https://www.blueosa.com/what-brene-brown-taught-me-about-setting-boundaries/
I love love love this:
The Brené Brown method of boundary setting is called BIG. BIG stands for Boundaries, Integrity, and Generosity. Put simply, how can you set boundaries in your life that help you stay in your integrity while remaining generous towards others?
I urge you to read the whole article from “The Compassion Smackdown” onwards if this caught your attention.
I’ve never been someone who’s had a problem with boundaries. But with this person, because of the nature of our work together, I’ve always seen it as a more transactional relationship. It was only when my husband pointed out that if I can look for meaningful conversations and moments with strangers, I should certainly think about bringing that intentionality here, with this person, with whom I spend some degree of time together on a regular basis, that I went OH. It sounds completely bonkers to me in hindsight that I didn’t think of meaning and value in the context of this specific relationship as well (there have always been acts of kindness in this relationship but they have felt transactional, not from the heart), but. . . it is what it is. Till it isn’t and it becomes something else, and hopefully, something more.
Back to my charged conversation: the realization that I would have had the conversation, no matter what was immensely helpful.
However, that entrenchment in I was right in what I was saying was deep and refused to shift and encompass a bigger, softer standpoint. Till I had had a good night’s sleep. Till about 17-18 hours had passed since the conversation.
It was only then that I . . . that the desire to shift this within myself was truly born. And with it a desire to see what was at the basis of my outburst. More important than anything perhaps was a willingness to sit with the tangle of emotions that I had felt during the incident and also as I thought about it.
I still felt right, but my rightness didn’t feel rigid. It wanted to be generous. It could make space for the other person’s story, their reasoning.
I breathed deep into my root chakra, and I felt, as I always do, this sense of stability, this sense of groundedness. It occurred to me that this is the energy I wanted the space between me and the other person to be full of. A sense of stability and groundedness. A shared healing space which could hold both our stories together. Where perhaps I can be right but that rightness can see that other person as well.