Today is a good day. In a difficult year with that many struggles thrown at us, this morning shows us the positive change ahead. We are at the peak, everything else is getting better now.
I am sitting on a train right now, looking at the mountains outside, taking in the last rays of sunshine, and I feel a huge relief. For many in the world, the past week (and the past four years) was an entertaining yet cringy shitshow. But until today just as many of us didn’t feel the damage that has been done. Now knowing there is an end to the madness soon, just reveals how tense and anxious most of the world has been. We have been on high alert for so long, we thought that it’s normal. But it is not. Demonstrations, anger, and attacks have given way to dancing, celebrating, and empathy. We get a break.
A desperately needed break from hiding, running, fighting, and dying. Our faith to be able to induce positive change has returned. I want to remind you of something while we are light-spirited:
The bubble that each of us lives in can get very dark and small at times. It sometimes seems like there is no way out of it. No matter who tells you that you don’t deserve to be heard, supported, or loved because of any aspect of yourself, you need to remember that you can kick anyone out of your bubble. I mean, take a look at who just got kicked out of the world’s bubble. As I said before, you decide who you spend your time on. If your bubble makes you feel bad, expand it.
What Drives our Behavior?
Every person, no matter the political views, religion, sexuality, skin color, education, and whatever else you can think of that might divide us, deserves to express their feelings, and be heard. By that, I don’t mean yelling at people and bringing others down. We fundamentally have to understand that any action taken by a person, may it be only a look, a sound or aggression underlies an actual unfulfilled need.
Human beings have needs and if those are neglected, they turn to behavior that comes off as annoying, offending, aggressive. Unfortunately, most people never learn to listen to their needs, let alone communicate them or attend to them themselves. We expect others to cater to our needs and if they don’t it is not our fault that we are miserable. Hell, we don’t even learn to understand what we feel! If you ask a person how they feel, many will most likely just say ‘good’ or ‘bad’, well what kind of an emotion is that?!
Do You Know What it is That You Feel?
The chemical cocktail that sets our mood and dictates our behavior is diverse, so we should learn to give each and every cocktail that might show up a name. If we are able to differentiate between disappointment, resentment, trouble, hopelessness, doubt, terror, excitement, pride, joy, compassion, we can then move on to name what we need to counter or enhance that feeling.
If you feel hopeless, you might need someone who listens to your worries and ensures you that you are going to be okay. You need compassion to counter your irritation.
If you feel loved, you might want someone to hug you and tell you that they love you too. You need love to enhance your feeling.
If you feel anger you might need someone to help you figure out what is making you angry so you can let go of the anger. You need empathy to counter your aggression.
See where I am going?
Naming your feelings opens doors to let others know what you need from them to be where you want to be within yourself. Nobody can give you what you need if you don’t understand what you need in the first place.
He Wouldn’t be Like That if He Knew
Circling back to this morning. When we learn to see the need behind someone’s behavior, we understand why they are acting in a certain way and we probably feel with them. I don’t get angry looking at that Twitter account. I see a person who feels desperate and who is terrified of what is ahead. But I am sure that person doesn’t even know that’s what they are feeling. I am even more sure that nobody around that person is able to counter those feelings with them. Hence the irritating behavior.
I wish for everyone to understand how feelings work and what they translate to. How each and every one of us can learn to focus on the feelings of our fellow humans rather than what they say and do. If we could just all learn that, we would be so much better at solving conflicts.
Unfortunately, I can’t teach that. I am still learning myself, but I want you to take the light heart you have today and buy a book of someone who can teach us. So that our much-needed break can blossom into that bright future we have ahead of us once all this years‘ hardship is gone.
Photo by NASA on Unsplash