What do our emotions have to do with our relationships? Do they really matter that much? And, how much of our emotional selves do we share with those that are closest to us? Not sure, well, this is one area that I’ve been exploring a lot the past two years, so, let’s take a look.
Here is how it worked for me prior to 2 years ago. Something would happen, and I would react to my emotion. Didn’t really matter what the situation was, the event happened, and I would react. Sometimes the reactive emotion would be sadness, sometimes frustration, and sometimes anger.
Not helpful. Why?
Because when we react to our emotions without the time to process that emotion, we are in effect causing a possible chain reaction, especially if your partner is like you. Think about it. How many times have you gotten angry about something, and then you lashed out, unintentionally, and then your partner, or friend, lashed out right back at you? Happens all the time.
Action, reaction; or, reaction, action; or reaction, reaction. A vicious circle, and cycle.
What can we do?
One thing we can do, which I’ve written about in other posts, is slow down our reaction time. How? One way is by adding reflection, and meditation time, into our daily lives. Having the space and time to consider all of our options when confronted with any situation is needed, and necessary.
Though most people don’t prioritize reflection and meditation, there are many benefits, which suggest that doing so is beneficial for our daily lives, and for our long-term health.
What happens when we add time for reflection and meditation into our lives?
When we choose to intentionally slow down, and create more time and space for ourselves to be quiet and to think more thoughtfully about our lives, we actually become less reactive to ourselves. And, when we are less reactive to our own emotions, and thoughts, we are less reactive to other people and their emotions. We create more time, space, reflective possibilities, and actually choice, instead of reaction.
What other benefits are there to making time to reflect and practice mediation?
There are many benefits of making the time to reflect on our lives, and to practice meditation.
Here are a few
- We are less reactive to ourselves, and all of those around us.
- We have more time to fully consider all of our options
- We better understand our own thoughts and emotions
- We create the space to become more resilient
When we are less reactive, have more time, understand ourselves better, and become more resilient, we are able to hold more and handle more. We are also able to do more, to create more possibilities for ourselves and those around us.
Does this mean that I will never again react?
No. Reaction is needed and necessary when there is danger, or when something urgent is occurring, and a choice is needed right away. However, what I’ve come to realize is that time for reflection can be added into most situations that arise.
As you practice meditation and make time for reflection, you are able to make choices with more clarity. You, in fact, have more clarity. Why? Because you know yourself better, both your mind and your body. You are in touch with yourself on a deeper level, which, in and of itself, creates more time.
What does all of this have to do with my relationships?
When you understand yourself on a deeper level, you also understand those around you better. Why? Because we are all human. We all have the same set of emotions, and thinking mechanism, our mind.
Knowing yourself well, is one of the most important parts of having a healthy relationship. Which does not mean, however, that all of your relationships will be easy. In fact, it may mean that some of your relationships will be harder. Why?
Because as you understand yourself better, you may find that you are less compatible with someone you’ve always been compatible with. It can be hard. However, overall, I think you will realize that understanding yourself better creates the opportunity to have the strongest relationships possible.
And, that is the case, because you have created a stronger relationship with yourself first.