As an adult, I have determined people can still hurt my feelings. Intentional or not, I still find myself wondering how a person could not see how their choice affected me. There are times I find myself in a space where I cannot focus on my given task, or my day is spent agonizing over an issue that someone else has inflicted on me.
Sometimes I want to return to my teenage self when I was able to “go off” on someone to let him or her know exactly how I was feeling…but I know at my age that is no longer acceptable. In my earlier years, those types of actions fell under the category of “she’s still young” or “she doesn’t really know how to handle her feelings”. So apparently being an adult means that I am supposed to magically handle my feelings because it is a part of life.
Things happen – or better yet shall I say ‘life happens’ – and we just deal with it the best way we can.
Well, that does not always work for me!
It is hard to say it happened…just deal with it. It is hard to tell myself that the person that offended me apologized…so just get over it. Then there is my personal favorite…just put on your big girl pumps and move on. That just does not always work for me when I have something I want to say. I want to get these feelings off my chest!
I have found a more constructive way that helps me deal with these feelings.
It also helps prevent collateral damage that could be done if I let into the person I feel has wronged me. You see this underrated gem is simply the art of reflection. One definition of reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and to attempt to learn more about their fundamental nature and essence.
For me, it can sometimes turn into a downright venting session that ultimately reveals something to me about my character…or even something deep that I needed to acknowledge. As much as I love to write in a journal, I have found that when the words come out of my mouth it is ten times more powerful. So usually in my car or in the bathroom, (if you are a mom I know you get it) I pull out my phone and record a video.
I hold my phone smack in front of my face and talk to that person. I let it go…like Elsa! I release and relinquish until I feel satisfied. I shed every bit of that issue, those feelings I had, the frustration I face…EVERYTHING! Then I decide if I should watch it or delete it? If I decide to delete it, I am also deciding not to let it consume me any further. That issue is now deleted physically, mentally & emotionally.
On the other hand, if I watch it, I end up becoming my own hype girl. I find myself talking to the screen encouraging myself, re-affirming what was shared. Lastly, I make another bold choice whether to share it or perhaps keep it as a reminder. Either way, I always leave that space feeling better!
I want to share some tips for healthy refection if you ever find yourself needing to do so.
- Reflect on a particular situation or experience. Think about how you felt and describe it in detail.
- Reflect on how you handled it both internally and externally. Talk about what you did and if you would do something different now that you are where you are.
- Reflect on your expectations. Did you have expectations and were they realistic? How did those expectations affect where you are now?
- Reflect on what you have learned and how you want to move forward.