Something I think about often in my personal life and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it at least a couple of times in this blog: my mom and my grandma are quite angry and bitter and I don’t want to turn out like them. I simply do not have any desire to carry such negative emotions inside; they drain my energy. Most people that know me would say I’m chilled and don’t get stirred up.  Yet in my own relationship with my mom and with Col, it’s shocking how easily I get pissed off. I could brush it off as them knowing how to press my button, but I’m more and more alarmed at the frequency, and I think I have to acknowledge it’s more about me and how I handle my reactions and less about them and what they do (as perceived by me).

I’m not a Buddhist but I do usually find myself turning to Buddhist practices. And here are the 2 things that I need to keep reminding myself:
– Every action creates a reaction. The only way to stop the negativity and to avoid escalation is not to react, or to react positively. Not every conversation is an argument where I have to boil everything down to small details to see who wins the logic contest. With my mom, a lot of time she says things out of habit; I do not need to make a big fuss every time. With Col, he does not want to hurt my feelings with his words; he doesn’t know exactly how they affect me. And sometimes, it’s me who’s overthinking his motives and then react based on my own projection.
– Physically, the best way to calm down is to be conscious/mindful of my breathing. The second thing is to repeat in my head the importance of kindness. The ultimate goal in life is to love. I’ve seen enough suffering. If people are happy, then I’m happy.

Update: 3 hours after I wrote this, I already failed spectacularly with my mom.

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