Monday, August 18, 2008

What is the intention?

I got a letter from someone today that hurt and enraged me. I was seriously upset. I spent more than an hour (and several drafts) trying to respond. I went through the cussing draft (which I knew I wouldn't send), the trying to be nice draft (that ended up with much, shall we say, passive to active aggressive verbiage), and the trying even harder to be nice (but so bland that I just got more annoyed) draft. I called a friend to try to get a reality check and to get some understanding of the situation from another point of view. I wrote some more unsuccessful drafts.

Then I thought, "What is the true intention here?" and all my upset seemed to melt away. I saw that the other intention was loving, if ill placed. I clearly saw that all the negativity from the person who wrote the letter was based in fear. I saw that no response from me by email would help anything. I saw that all I could do was be loving in my response and take the upsetting things in small bits, possibly many conversations.

I still feel hurt, but actually catching myself in the moment and knowing that fear only begets more fear allowed me to release something in a way I never would have before. Normally I tune right in to the fear cycle and up the anger quotient. Normally I hold onto it for days. Normally I use my hurt to fuel not just the upset caused by the initial situation, but for all the things I don't like in my life.

This time I did it differently. There are things that need to get ironed out, but I am not angry. I am still sad, and fear that talking it through could still escalate into anger, but I know if I just keep my mantra, "What is the intention" things will go well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    I found you via Cheerio Road... and I wanted to say that I can totally identify with this post. I had something similar happen this weekend, and I think I may truly be learning to let go of the need to respond directly and to instead develop a more peaceful and holistic approach.

    Anyway, it's nice to see another (trying to be) mindful mama out here!