Have you met someone who bottles up their emotions, keeps them quiet acting as if nothing is wrong, and then erupts all over you when you least expect it? I’m sure you have. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been exposed to the classic “passive-aggressive” move. It makes your head spin, causes you to rethink your actions and words and, sometimes, requires a good sanity check. First you’re checking your head and then, when the hurt and frustration of being blind-sided subsides, you’re secretly wondering about their mental stability.
It can be most difficult when this person is someone you’re close to. Someone you love, whom you trust and rely on. It hurts to find out that, while you have felt that things are fine and the air is clear, the other person is stewing and storing their emotions, saving them for the attack at just the right moment. You can probably relate to how much it hurts to find out you’ve been living a lie in that relationship. I’m not just talking spouse or partner relationships either, I’m referring to any familial relationship or friendship, for that matter. In any of these, the circumstances can leave you feeling heartbroken.
You may be wondering as you read, “How in the world is she going to relate this back to gratitude?”
Honestly?!? Me, too …
It took me an entire night of intermittent crying and numbness of thought to come to this conclusion but, I’ve decided that I’m thankful for what this relationship is teaching me about myself. I’ve decided that as I’ve matured I’ve become much more tolerant of the different ways in which people process their emotions. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m a bit too trusting and naive when it comes to people but, this isn’t always a bad thing. It means that I have an open heart, that I try to always see and believe the best about people, and that I’m generally a kind and caring individual. I’ve learned that I have a strong personality that I can either use to influence for good or cut people down. Over the years I think I’ve learned to temper this pretty well but I know my faults, I know where I need to improve and I’m willing to do the work to get there.
If the situation that has occurred inspiring this message had happened even as short as two or three years ago I might have fought back in an inappropriate way. Now? I think I’ve finally gained the maturity needed to navigate the relationship in a more healthy manner. The only thing I can hope is that the other individual is willing to do the same, and if not, I know that I’ve done my best.
Goodness … growing up emotionally is hard work!
In order to manage the higher ground when you’re put into this type of position, I rely on the following:
Perspective, I am thankful for perspective. Simply put, without it, this life would seem like an utter waste. It is hard to maintain perspective, especially on difficult days. I’m sure we’ve all been there when the last thing you want to hear is the phrase “Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?” I get super grumpy, I mean, don’t even look in my direction, grumpy on my really bad days and so believe me … I get it …
In defense of this ever popular saying however, I believe it is worth mentioning that even on my worst days it is only worth continuing because I know in the back of my mind that there is a purpose. No matter how I see the glass that day, there is still a reason for my circumstances whether self-inflicted or brought on by the nature of life. I have purpose, my existence has meaning. I know I’m in real trouble when I start to question the necessity of my existence.
I’ve had those days too as, I’m sure, have many of you. These are the days when we must dig deep and find the courage to accept that life comes with discomfort. Without discomfort there would be no growth and without growth I think I truly would feel useless.
Today the glass is, well, just so-so. At times it appears half-full and at others appears desperately empty. Through the peaks and valleys of my day I just kept thinking, “Perspective, it’s all about perspective.”