Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Not The Message, It's the Method....

Today was quite an interesting day, with another learning opportunity, another "failure" in taking the high road. It happened during a staff meeting, so worse yet my "sin" was witnessed by a whole group of folks...who, as it turns out (all except the object of my distain), don't think I really did anything wrong because what I said was true. But what bothers me, is how I reacted in anger and total frustration. Immediately afterward I was embarrassed at my tone and lack of "emotional control"...everyone present knew I was mad. The delivery of that message just felt all wrong.

So many times in life we can see Truths and feel totally justified in speaking out! But "an eye for an eye " a.k.a. "attacking back when felt attacked" just doesn't feel right. Nor Peaceful. Nor good. Afterward the recipient likely missed out on any of the message with the negative vibrations of how it was said clouding it all, lingering on and on ...

The big challenge for me is being able to visualize how I could have done better. Somehow sitting in that meeting passively not saying anything just doesn't feel right either. I'm not even regretting what was said (basically I told a coworker to stop judging my actions unless they were in my shoes and did my job) but my method of delivery! I felt thrown under the bus and attacked! Attacking back felt so automatic and justified...but it didn't give me what I most feel heard & understood.

After the staff meeting I was told by several folks how pleased they were that I spoke out! This left me feeling briefly consoled & justified. Deep down though I knew I could have handled it better because I'd given away my Peace. I felt remorse right away, but was somewhat confused as to why. If I was in the right, why did it feel so wrong?

Less than 30 minutes later I apologized to my coworker (the target of my angry reaction) for my poor responds to her criticism and for my angry and disrespectful tone. I clarified that what I said was honestly how I felt but I regretted and was sorry about how I said it. She didn't look me in the eye when she said "That's fine" so I knew I wasn't yet forgiven and the sting of negativity was lingering still. It was clear from her nonverbal language she was not fine, but what did I expect?

Two "wrongs" just DO NOT make a right! Argh! Even if the intent is good, when speaking out of anger or fear (and I believe the root of all anger is just that, fear) it loses positivity and turns that potential good into a negative energy or vibe...moving us further away from the ultimate goal of mutual understanding.

How many times in life have you spoken the Truth but were left feeling like somehow you did something wrong? I'm admitting that I did & look forward to the day when I react automatically without defensiveness but inclusion, without anger but with compassion, and without fear but with love. For who can ever really hear the Truth if they feel threatened or not valued? Not many people that I know...and as of today anyway, not me.

It's my hope one day I will look back on this post & realize I've learned the Better Way and I will be able to be heard because my method will come from a Higher Place of kindness and Love...

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