My first marriage was a horrible one. I was young, so was he. We fought and things got nasty… in the end, we broke up due to extreme abuse and me in the hospital for 2 weeks but that isn’t the important part of that story.
The important part in my opinion was what a learned from that experience and I learned a lot. Listen to my gut instinct (that had told me this was not going to end well), trust myself to be okay without a man (who knew?!), listen to the people that care most about you, and a ton of other very important lessons.
The one I want to share with you is the one that has changed my life and my relationships with people forever. You see, I was a bit of a firecracker when I was younger. If anyone said anything at all out of turn, I’d pounce on them and usually end up regretting it later but was still too stupid/young/inexperienced to think about that before I pounced the next time. I wasn’t a mean person but I did feel that the whole world needed to hear what I had to say and I had every right to share it. While that is partially true, there are a few barriers now that I think have been life changing. For me and the people who are around me.
Each time I feel anger, disappointment, an urge to do something that I probably should not, I stop myself and wait for 24 hours. Let’s say that I am really ticked off with my husband for just going out somewhere for hours and not telling me where he was going or when I should expect him back. He does this often and most days I am fine with it… but when I need him for something or I start assuming he has drowned or dropped dead somewhere because he’s been gone for 16 hours and no one knows where…. well. I get peeved BIG TIME. I think most anyone would.
That said, I do not react outwardly when he comes home. I do express that i am not happy about it but I say nothing at all about it until 24 hours has passed. This gives me time to calm down, see things more rationally and actually think of how to approach it other than “attack cat”. By “cat” I am thinking more lion or jaguar than domestic. 😉
It still shocks me almost every time but by the time 24 hours has passed? I just don’t care about it any longer. If I do still care about it? I am able to relay it in a calm manner and actually propose a solution rather than just a bloody battle.
The next important lesson if I still feel really peeved is for me to ask myself another question. Will this matter in a week? Will this matter in a month? Will this matter in a year? Quite seriously, who can recall what they were thinking a year ago unless it really stood out for some important reason?
I think this is an important skill to teach our families and our friends as well. It does not only apply to being angry. It can apply to having a really bad day, losing someone special, feeling suicidal, wanting to lash out, or any number of things that feel like such a huge deal at the time. Many of these are a huge deal but they very rarely last in their intensity. Even something so hard as losing someone by a break-up, a move, a fight, or even a death. In one year you will be healing and although it still may hurt, things will be better a year from now.
The next time something happens and your automatic gut reaction is to respond immediately or as though things will always be this way… think silently in your mind…
Will this matter or be as fresh/painful in one day? One week? One month? One year?
I think you will shock yourself by how many times your answer will be no and you can just allow that feeling to go or deal with it in a much more productive way.
Not ever fight needs to be fought.
A bad day doesn’t have to mean a bad life.
Time really does heal. Perhaps not all wounds but it sure takes the intense sting out of them.
You are well worth a more peaceful life and you can begin to create that today if you have not already.
Will this lesson matter in one day, week, month, year? Yes it will . 🙂 I promise.