Acceptance Can Be Hard to Do.
On Thursday, last week, I shared on social media how that morning was a bit challenging for me.
I’m on an Adventure in Acceptance this month and in the YouTube video for the day I talked about how I used this challenging experience as an opportunity to learn about acceptance. I shared that it can be hard to accept anger or anxiety when we’re feeling stressed or experiencing a crisis. It was a good lesson and reminder for me.
Another lesson that I learned that day that I thought was worth sharing is that working harder is not necessarily better.
No Time for a Breather.
In the thick of frustration we tend to work harder thinking it will make things better. Not so. At least not in my experience and that morning was a good example.
I was shoveling the snow at my parents house that morning hoping to get to work right after. As I dug into the snow I could feel that my body was tense. I was also aware that I was feeling rushed, like the cat in Alice and Wonderland, and frustrated.
Looking back that would have been a good time to stop to take a breather. But, I kept hurtling through the snow with my shovel and my tension trying to get to the end of the narrow walkway that is in between the houses.
Sign of Things to Come.
That’s when the sleeve of my jacket got caught on a small nail sticking out from the bricks. Up went my frustration another few notches and now it was turning into anger. Now again, noticing how I was feeling and being aware of the circumstances I was getting myself in, it would have been an even better time to stop and call a time out. To step back and see if I can calm myself down. But I didn’t.
I kept going, thinking that I have to finish shoveling the snow, before I go to work. There wasn’t any time to sit around reflecting. I had to get the job done.
Things Come Crashing Down.
And you might have guessed things got worse. To save you the story I ended up damaging a plastic cover that protects one of the basement windows. It’s there to prevent water from running through the window and flooding the basement. That was the point I punched the brick wall with the side of my fist, feeling burnt and even sorry for myself.
For that morning it took me a few good hours to calm down after the stress of the situation was over and I got someone to help me replace the cover. Needless to say I didn’t go to work that morning like I had planned. With all the weather we’ve been having in Toronto these last few weeks I didn’t want to leave it to chance and go to work with the cover broken.
There’s Value in Slowing Down.
The lesson I’m learning in all this? To listen to what my body is telling me. To not ignore the feelings of frustration and anger that come up. To use them as tools to guide me not to make holes in jackets, plastic covers, or to punch walls. To watch for the signs that tell me to slow down and catch my breath, and to take a time out even if I don’t feel I have the time.
Since last week, I’ve noticed myself paying closer attention to my emotions and my body, and I’ve stopped myself from pushing through my frustration and anger when they come up. I’m feeling more empowered by it.
In the future, I’d like to be at the place where even if in a moment I don’t feel like I have time to step back that I make the time to bring some clarity and calm to my mind.
I believe that had I slowed down I would have seen another option, a better one that could have saved my morning and my jacket. Because, as I’m learning working harder doesn’t always mean better.
Is this something that you can relate to? How do you respond to stress and anxiety? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for checking out this post.