You got off work late. Your boss made you stay an hour after you were supposed to be off. And you’d promised your kids that you’d be able to pick them up on time so you can take them to their sports game tonight.
But you can’t because you’re already running late. And now you’ve got to sit in traffic for another hour. Your spouse is going to be really upset with you when you get home. Because it’s just another example of you letting them down.
There’s already a laundry list of things you don’t feel like you’re getting right. Not to mention the stress at work. Ongoing issues with your boss. Performance reviews and reports that are due. Will you ever get on the other side of this?
This is a situation that’s fairly common. Home tension coupled with work tension. It leads to issues in a variety of places. Worst of all, it feels like there’s no escape.
So what do you do? How can you get out from under the thumb of your boss and still be able to fulfill your commitments to your family?
Tension is a teacher
Let the tension show you what truly needs to change.
I want to introduce an idea to you that might seem a little unusual. It’s a way to change your perspective that creates dynamic growth and transformation. And you can use this anytime.
Let your experience be the teacher you need to truly grow into a better version of you.
Is it fear that you’re experiencing? Are you afraid of what might happen in your job or in your home with your relationships with family?
Do you fear a particular situation with someone you’re in a relationship with?
These feelings are indicators of what needs your attention.
Feelings can also be your best teacher
This is especially true when you’re going through a painful experience, like heartbreak or a personal difficulty that seems too impossible to overcome.
Nothing is impossible when you listen to what the experience has to teach you.
“Pain can be your best teacher because it has your undivided attention.” (excerpt from Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole)
How do you let the experience teach you? Don’t run away from the feeling. Instead, sit with it.
Tension with your job can be the result of a lack of understanding, poor boundaries, and poor communication. It can also be a lack of self-love and confidence that leads you to bend over backward to try and make other people happy.
Instead, you end up in a constant people-pleasing position and always receiving the short end of the stick. It’s a no-win situation.
When you sit with the tension, ask it what it wants to teach you. This is a spiritual exercise. It can be one of the most revelatory experiences you have about what’s really wrong in your life.
We often do our best to try and avoid tension
This is one reason why Netflix is so successful. It’s much easier to escape the conflicts in life by binge-watching one of the 5 zillion TV shows they produce than sit with the pain and the tension. That tension isn’t going away, even when you hit the mute button on it for 4 hours.
Instead, it’s going to incubate itself. And wait for you to deal with it.
The same is true with emotional pain like heartbreak or anger or bitterness or anxiety.
Use the tension with your relationships to grow
How much time do you spend listening to your inner voice? Does it just tell you everything that’s wrong in your world and you deny what it says?
“No, I’m not going to do that! I don’t want things to be this way so I’m not going to think that way.” Denial is the same as fleeing the tension.
When fear speaks to you, ask it what it wants to teach you. When anger speaks to you, ask it what it wants to teach you. When anxiety and worry speak to you, ask it what it wants to teach you.
“What’s the lesson you want me to gain here?” is a simple way to engage with your experience.
The power of this dynamic is learning how to sit in the question and grow from the experience. Instead of avoiding, denying, or fleeing the difficulty. Doing so is on par with procrastinating about the real danger that lies in front of you.
It’s in your experience where the real opportunity to grow and transform into the best version of you is found. Because growth is contingent upon change. Change is uncomfortable and often involves tension.
The tension isn’t running away from you
It’s sticking around to teach you. Life is a classroom and school is always in session. Be the student who uses each opportunity to grow and get the most from it.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) spread all over the world, creating tension and panic in the lives of people from all walks of life. The outbreak was sudden and unexpected. The fall-out globally has been in epic proportions. Fear is rising in the consciousness of people everywhere.
This intensity isn’t going anywhere. So what do we do?
Fear is more contagious than any disease. The answer is LOVE.
Be the love in the presence of fear. Listen to those who are frantic, worried, and unsure of the future. Sit with them and hear their concerns without denying their feelings or experience.
In doing so, you are the PEACE in the room.
Listen to what the fear has to say. Listen to what the concern and worry have to say.
What can it teach you?
How can you bring LOVE to a situation of chaos?
Ask your inner voice/spirit these questions
That’s where Almighty Love (God/Source) sits with you. This is where growth happens. Perspectives open and change. You renew your mind, heart, and spirit.
And you learn how to BE. It’s in the BE-ing where change takes place, and where the tension turns to transformation.
* This blog post was originally published at dgrantsmith.com.
D Grant Smith is known as the Growth Farmer, which means he has an old-fashioned approach to living a whole & healthy life. Get his free ebook called Love Is The Seed To Success, that gives help in healing relationships and growing healthy ones. His new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole is about the journey into self-love and self-care after heartbreak and personal loss. He’s an empowerment superhero who would love to give you encouragement so feel free to reach out!
Image courtesy of João Ferreira.