I did an experiment this week. I chose not to immediately react to things things that tend to get me angry or hurt. Instead I waited to see how they played themselves out.
The first incident happened on Saturday- someone did not return my phone call. Several days went by. I felt vulnerable. I was tempted to dwell on feeling hurt and sorry for myself- but did not indulge these feelings. On Sunday my upcoming class series on making change starting this week did not get announced at the church service. It was a set-back. I figured not enough people would come to my class. On Wednesday a crisis happened with one of my clients and my coworkers did not inform or involve me. I was tempted to personalize it.
The outcomes were interesting. Four days later the person that did not return my call called and apologized saying that her phone broke and she lost all of in-coming call numbers. She was happy to find my number and was psyched to get together.
People did show up for my class. They heard about it in the March newsletter. I called the coordinator at the church about doing a new class on dreams and symbols. She apologized about not promoting my class better explaining that they had staff turnover challenges. And... in addition to the new class description, she is going to put a paragraph about my upcoming Metamorphosis retreat (that is not even at the church) in the April newsletter to help me out. Their mailing list is large and it may be the break I need to make more people aware of the retreat.
The crisis at work was not even with my client, but a client that had a similar name. They did not call me because nothing happened with my client.
I wonder what percentage of the things we get upset about turn out to not be so upsetting- if we would not immediately react and let things play themselves out? I wonder how much less emotional energy we would expend?
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009 and will publish my second book Natural Way of Being in 2018.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.