What Are You Communicating?
You see, it takes the same amount of time to say something in a kind tone as it does in an angry tone. It really doesn't matter what you're saying if your body language & tone don't align with your message. We can pick up on the little resentments & frustrations that are communicated to us.
A story. I was writing in a coffee shop earlier this week. I was sitting at a row of tables waiting for some friends to show up. A dude sat down at one of those tables. Instantly I was frustrated. There are TONS of open tables in this place & he had to sit at the one that was going to interfere with the conversation I was about to have. My gut reaction was coming from a place of frustration, but I checked that & greeted him in a kind way. Dude was just chilling, really. No phone, no computer, nothing to read, just a dude enjoying a cup of coffee by himself in a coffee shop like a crazy person. I decided to set my frustrations down & we had a little conversation about mindfulness that would've been wildly different had I let my frustration lead.
Another story. We're in a season at home where Jenny is the main money maker & I'm the one taking care of errands, kids, meals, bed time, etc. There will be moments I catch myself feeling resentment at all the time Jenny spends doing only the things that light her up while I'm doing the dishes yet again. She works so hard for herself & our family, but she's working hard on things that she loves a lot (which is amazing!). She also has more friends here in KC that she spends time with than I do, so she gets more time away from the house than I do. For whatever reason, those 2 things slowly build up resentment if I'm not careful in checking the WHY behind my life. And as the resentment builds, Jenny picks up on it the tone I speak to her in. She sees it in my body language. It underlies every action/word towards her. And that's not ok.
So, what can you or I do when we find ourselves in similar frustrated situations? A few weeks ago, I wrote about serving from a place of abundance vs. a place of sacrifice. It comes down to being honest with myself. It comes down to carving out a space for me to sit with my feelings. To know that all feelings are impermanent. All feelings come and go. And to be honest about where these frustrations are coming from. For me, there's always more to the story than the initial one I'm telling myself. Sitting with the feelings & asking why helps tremendously (make sure you're giving yourself some grace in this process & not judging yourself).
Something else that helps me is sharing my feelings out loud to someone else. Something about getting all vulnerable with another eases the confusion as to why we feel a certain way. When I'm feeling uncalled for resentment towards Jenny, instead of just keeping those feelings inside and letting them fester, I choose to talk to her about what I'm feeling & why. Talking through these uncomfortable topics is one of the reasons I feel so connected to her.
Because I know, without a doubt, my wife loves me so much. I can see it in her eyes when she looks at me. I feel it in her touch when she softly runs her hand down my back or along my cheek. To this day, I still get butterflies when she comes near....like how did I get so lucky to have a partner who loves me as well as Jenny does. And if I'm being 100% honest with myself, how can I resent a woman who makes me feel like that? I have all of my needs met in my life & she's happier than she's ever been. Because she's happier, she has more joy to share with the world, and you can keep going in an upward spiral of love to give. How can I possibly keep choosing to communicate resentment when upward spirals of love are involved?
I share all of this only because I want to ask you to spend some time this week and ask yourself what messages you're communicating to your loved ones. What messages are you sending out into the world? And if you don't like the way those messages make you feel, what can you do to change them? What needs to happen so you can live from a place of LOVE & kindness?
NOTE: If you feel you don't have a safe space to talk through these things, please reach out. I'd love to offer a judgement free listening space for you. Just shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org & I promise to get back to you.