Hey Happy Addict!!
Weddings…. they are by design all about the best things in life (love, people you care most about, joy, celebration)
By their nature (lots of planning, decisions, spending, differing opinions), they can also bring out our worst.
Here at Zen Brides we are all about looking in every crack and crevice to find and share as many different ideas as possible on how to avoid the upset and embrace the beauty of this special time, and really, all of life in general.
Because life happens before, during and after a Wedding.
And that’s why we do what we do here on this blog and in any resource we share. Life is in every moment, and a Wedding is one of those BIG special moments. But the experience we create planning a Wedding and on the day can reverberate throughout all our other days too. And those days make up our life just as importantly as our Wedding Day does.
So in the moment someone upsets us during the planning, we may feel completely justified in lashing out. And we probably do so in the hope they will really hear us. That they will come to our way of thinking. And that they will be sorry for upsetting us. This is such an understandable way of feeling about any situation where a person comes at us in a way we don’t like or don’t agree with. We can feel it at work with clients or colleagues, with our friends, our kids, our partners and our parents.
I know I feel this often, and I know that searing feeling can come so easily, and so fast.
I’m not immune to any of this – but I want to share some lessons I learnt around this topic just this week. Because the thing I know for sure is that this learning process of self awareness is an ongoing one. Now you can look at that and think, how terrible that I will never quite “get there”, but I have come to love the process of finding my best self a little more each day. Maybe it’s a little weird, but it excites me to hear an insight and have a new realisation. It’s actually pretty thrilling to know that life can actually keep getting better, and that makes “the best is yet to come” truer than I used to think. And that IS exciting…
A few days ago I was chatting to a therapist. And he shared something interesting that I heard intellectually, but didn’t fully get till the the next day. He said that when you have an intense feeling – the kind of day to day ones when you have an argument or someone offends you at work and you may feel anger or hurt or disappointment.
Well he shared with me that most feelings like those do not stay around with any intensity for longer than 40 minutes tops. Wow. That’s not really very long when you consider that if we act on those feelings in the heat of the moment, an argument created out of them can last hours, days and even years.
He wasn’t suggesting not to feel the feelings or ignore the issue, but just to be aware their intensity passes super quickly in the grand scheme of things. I know if I’m angry I feel better if I go for a walk or have a shower – practically anything that gives me some space and time. But to know that the day to day feelings generally start to dissipate within 40 minutes is actually pretty astonishing. Which, brings me to lesson two…
Now this lesson came the day after my chat above. And I guess it was perfect timing to see it in full swing. I received a work email in the afternoon that was in essence, a complaint. I’m ok with constructive feedback (it still hurts but I do genuinely value it), but what gets me riled up is when complaints are delivered with a little side of nasty that strays off topic or is based on assumptions rather than fact. Like I said, I’m just as human as the next person, and I can definitely take this more personally than I should. I care about my work. And in this case I was hurt. And disappointed in the way it was put to me.
A few minutes after reading it, I had a coffee meeting booked with a client who I really enjoy spending time with. I walked out of the office feeling deflated and upset as I headed towards the coffee shop. As we sat down I let her know I wasn’t quite feeling myself. The best thing that happened is that I decided not to think or talk too much about what was bothering me and instead connect with her and chat about things that make us happy, before we tackled some work.
We shared some upcoming holiday stories that had us reminiscing and laughing, and suddenly I looked up from my coffee and realised the email really wasn’t a big deal. I mean really felt it, not just intellectually, but through every part of me. The fog had lifted. I thought of how I would handle it with a little more ease and grace. It really was ok and it’s just part of work and life. It may as well have been weeks rather than just the 30 minutes that had passed from my initial hurt.
And in that moment I understood what the Therapist had said. That it was far more powerful than I had realised the day before. Because getting this, rather than just knowing it, could be life changing. Imagine all the times you feel cranky or let down by someone – and then recall how often you have let them have it in the moment. It felt good for a little, but it rarely felt good later. You may have said things that now play in someone’s mind and heart. And you may have taken something sweet and tainted it a little.
It’s ok to feel what you feel. And it’s perfectly fine to feel disappointed and want to sort things out. Maybe just wait 40 minutes before you do… I can’t promise it will be perfect, but I do hope it will be better.