One of my young adult children hurt my feelings. I am sure that was not their intention, however, my ego got bruised. I know it is my job to cope with my emotions, so I sat with the feelings. I asked myself, “what is the best outcome for this situation?” In the past, I would have ruminated and thought of all the ways other people had hurt me in similar ways, and added up all the reasons why *maybe* I deserve to be treated in ways that are hurtful.. etc., etc., etc. Yup, the old me, would have spun this situation into a full fledged drama. Not anymore. My brain has changed. It took time and careful work, but change has been taking place.
So here is what I did. I felt the tears rising. Instead of ignoring them, I allowed them. But I also told myself that the tears were old tears from old wounds, old tapes and old beliefs. I didn’t have to encourage them to stay, nor deny them. They were just “there.” I knew my brain wanted to jump into the hamster wheel and start the old dialogue I used to have about these types of events. Instead, I heard a small inner voice say, “Go eat five cherries.” ( I am watching my sugar intake, so five felt like a reasonable number) I got five cherries and I ate them. Quickly. All the while thinking about the situation. I realized I had not enjoyed the cherries. Nor was I much aware of having had consumed them. I went and got five more.
I spread them out on a napkin. I picked up one and felt its firmness. I bit into it and noticed the way the tougher skin tore open to reveal a soft sweetness. I noticed my teeth moving through the flesh, felt the cool juice fill my mouth. I noticed each swallow. Wondered what health benefits the cherries offered. I did this with each cherry. When I was done, my emotional upset was gone. I was back in the present moment and did not have to jump into the emotional hamster wheel and allow my thoughts to place the drama queen crown on my head.
You can do the same thing any time your daughter pushes your buttons. You don’t need five cherries. Use whatever is right in front of you.become mindful of the present. Get lost in the minute details of an activity, or a flavor, or a sensation. Allow yourself some space to stop your mind from whirling out of control.
After I ate the cherries I was better able to put the events that lead to my hurt feelings into perspective. I was better able to not dredge up old wounds that like to raise their hand and remind me they are part of my past. I let go, and got on with my day.
You can let go too. Not every upset with your daughter is worth your emotional investment. Life is far too short to allow our negative reactions to take over. Life is far more enjoyable when you savor the act, feeling, taste etc, of five cherries.
To the moment, in all its richness!