Paula Erskine (Canada)
An unpleasant experience with a colleague on my flight triggered me to search for the knowledge to find calm and peace. I wanted to learn how to effectively diffuse someone’s temper. I felt the negativity entering my system and all my nerve buttons were being pressed. It caused me to react negatively in defense of what I thought was my self. I quickly learned, that telling someone to calm down, or relax, does not work!
It was a wake up call. I had always thought of myself as a positive person, enjoyed jokes and laughing. I also thought of myself as someone who could get along with most people. But in that moment, I could not recognize myself, I was not proud of my actions, and even though I thought I was speaking very calmly and what I thought was kindly to my colleague, I only managed to enrage him. My words made him feel like his issues were irrelevant.
Truth be told, it was a trigger, to an old problem. I could be positive in a positive setting, but I could not always resolve a conflict. I disliked confrontation. Working in a negative atmosphere could consume me. And I had no tools to deal with difficult personalities. Sometimes «killing them with kindness» worked, but sometimes, it came across as insincere and sometimes made things worse. I often tried to prevent conflict by creating a laughing or joking atmosphere and improvising humour. But if someone has made up there mind not to like me, based on their own experiences, then my efforts are futile. I tended to focus on the negative thing, which created more negativity in me.
Searching for Balance
I also wanted to balance my emotions. When I was happy, I wanted to socialize, laugh enjoy my life and little blessings. When I was down, I hibernated, I was so sensitive, I couldn’t face anyone, and I protected myself from harm by staying away from people until the mood finally dissipated. If someone was telling me their problems, I just absorbed their problems trying to carry their burden. In fact, they did not feel lighter afterward. But I felt the pressure, I felt the load and it was accumulating on my shoulders and filling my brain.
I felt generally positive, even through tough times. I consciously never put myself down, and I don’t allow others to put themselves down too. I was inclusive, not wanting people to feel left out, as I was in grade school. I was usually the «peacemaker» wanting everyone to get along, including my divorced parents. My fellow students thought I might end up being a nurse as any kid with a scrape was escorted to the office by me, or that I might become a social worker as people always liked to confide in me. Even then, I couldn’t imagine myself doing any of these jobs as I would just absorb all that suffering with no outlet.
In large part, my emotional imbalance was due to an undiagnosed thyroid problem, which I finally started to receive treatment for in my thirties. I knew that hiding during my down days would not solve my issues, but I had no resources on how to express myself without getting emotional. I sought help from a naturapath and my doctor and got some relief. I reminded myself of my blessings and tried to think positive to get through the next wave.
Source: Sahaja Yoga Halton