On our Family@Heart course we've been exploring what happens to us when the outside world interferes with our plans for a wonderful life.
As we've been doing a bit of emotional archeology - digging around the feelings these events gave us - we've unearthed frustration, anger, stress, blame and disappointment.
Disappointment is a complex emotion, you can feel disappointed by someone or something, as well as feel a disappointment to someone or to yourself. Where ever you land on the spectrum of feelings of disappointment care and compassionate attention is needed, because disappointment is like an unexploded bomb; hidden inside are the emotional trip wires of unexamined needs.
Inside all of us is the need to feel worthy, to have a sense of belonging, of wanting to be of value to another. If we don't acknowledge and address these needs mindfully we become oversensitive and easily triggered. We feel frustrated, critical, stressed. We'll start demanding and comparing and instead of doing our best we overachieve and strive for perfection - all because underneath we feel vulnerable, terrified that we'll be seen as not enough. If we avoid being in touch with these deeper feelings vulnerability will seem like the plague, to be avoided at all costs.
Learning to handle feeling vulnerable makes us more emotionally resilient. We handle stress better. We become willing to take responsibility for our emotions and behaviour rather than use denial, blame or criticism. We can be in touch with our emotions without feeling weak or having a meltdown. If we make a mistake we don't crucify ourselves but simply take steps to apologise and remedy the problem.
Understanding the hidden needs beneath disappointment, and the emotions that are attached to it, helps us to communicate better, relate better and thus make more emotionally intelligent choices. We become not just wonderful to be around because we're more compassionate, tolerant and loving, we also begin to experience the world differently, we see life from a whole new perspective - and discover a wonderful world.
There is no big secret to being wonderful, you can become so by asking yourself some simple questions. Anytime you feel yourself being demanding, overwhelmed, ddisappointed, frustrated, stressed or criticized ask yourself:
I wonder what I was expecting to happen?
I wonder what I was hoping to feel?
I wonder what the feeling of vulnerability is?
I wonder what I need to learn?
I wonder what I am being asked to give?
Listen to the answers with a gentle heart and let yourself be wonderful!
Next Family@Heart course starts March 2014. Book early to reserve your place.