Dealing with Hurtful or Irritating Situations

How do you deal with people who let you down? How do you deal with situations that don’t agree with you, say a traffic jam or absolute chaos at a shopping mall or an irritating co-worker?

What we typically tend to do is to reason with ourselves. We start using logic to quell the emotions. We tell ourself, “Oh but she/he isn’t like that” or “What can you do? This is how things are”. But haven’t we all experienced that reasons don’t really address the underlying emotional state in our hearts? No amount of logic helps in emotionally charged situations.

How do we begin to deal with it?

Sunset at Kumarakom. 2020

Generally when irritated or hurt about something which isn’t right, we adopt the ‘Path of Blame’. That is we generally start ruminating over why this person or that situation shouldn’t be like this. We adopt general helpings of criticisms to mentally put the person or the situation down. This leads to the mind getting worked up more and more. The only way to release the emotion is to shout it out. Irritation leads to us getting Defensive which leads to Blame which leads to Anger which leads to regret. This path leads us towards strengthening our egos but weakens us as individuals immensely.

There is the second path. This is the Path of Helplessness. This is the path of surrender. Surrender has negative connotations of being weak and vulnerable. That is not what is meant by surrender. In this Path of Helplessness you convert the irritation or the “something is not right” feeling into acceptance. Tell yourself, “I am annoyed” or “I am hurt by what the other did to me” or “I feel really bad that I have to go through this traffic every single day. It drains me emotionally”. This is a form of accepting the negative feeling in ourselves. This acceptance makes a huge difference. Sensitive people will perceive the shift in energy in the chest region. Once you accept this feeling, offer it out of helplessness. Offer to whom we ask? Offer it to the universe or to God or to a Guru. Anything greater than yourself. Tell yourself, “Help me with this feeling. Show me a way out. Guide me”. This very offering releases the ties of bondage between the mind and the emotion. This path strengthens us and makes us light.

So the next time you are faced with a challenging situation, consider these two paths

  1. The Path of Blame : Uncomfortable Feeling > Defensiveness > Blame the External > Anger > Regret
  2. The Path of Surrender: Uncomfortable Feeling > Acceptance > Offer out of Helplessness > Settles the Emotion > Freedom from Mental Chatter

Let me know if this has worked for you!

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