Spring is coming and with it longer days and milder temperatures. Farmers will begin churning up the soil in their fields, turning over rocks, and bringing the rich nutrients to the surface. What has been buried underneath those rocks–unturned, hidden, aching to grow in the warm welcoming rays of the sun? If we relate this analogy to our own lives, what will we find hidden under our metaphorical rock?
What relationships have you been suppressing? Perhaps you have an unreasonable boss, a customer with unrealistic expectations, or a friend or family member who is self-absorbed. Sometimes if we avoid an undesirable relationship, our emotions can surface when we least expect it in an undesirable way. If we take the time to over turn the rock and explore our feelings with control, we may be able to prevent cataclysmic volcanic eruption.
Self-awareness is key. What emotions are you feeling in the relationship? Be honest with yourself. Do not label these emotions as good or bad. Simply reflect on the emotion itself and allow yourself to feel it. We all get angry, defensive, hurt. It is a part of our human experience.
Next, think about your ownership in the emotion even if it is uncomfortable. Avoidance and suppression bury feelings for a reason, they can sting when they surface. Rather than avoid a feeling, move toward and embrace it and all its ugliness. Doing so will eventually see you through it. This is all part of discovering our own arrogance.
Now think about what role the horrible boss or selfish friend may play. What is it about that person or their actions that pushes your buttons? Knowing your pet peeves and triggers with the individual can help you get clarity and develop the ability to take control of the situation.
Finally, you cannot change someone else but you can alter your outlook. Relationships are partnerships where we have a responsibility to be honest and forthcoming. Only by unearthing our emotions, turning over our rock, can our relationships receive the light, fresh air, and space necessary to grow.