I love old, goofy movies. In “Support Your Local Sheriff” one of the funniest lines comes from the town drunk who bears physical resemblance to the big, bad gun for hire the townsfolk are terrified will ride into town. Once scrubbed clean and put in proper gunslinger attire, our Mr. Affable forgets he is supposed to be mean, and grinning ear to ear, says, “I’m really a peaceable guy!” James Garner’s character who has put this affable guy up to the charade glares at him, cuing our nice guy who then lowers his head, narrows his eyes and growls, “Lessen’ I’m riled.”
When I first began my consciousness-raising path in my twenties, one of my teachers said when I was riled up about something going on in my life, to take a look in the mirror before I went off on someone guns a-blazing. Taking the time to pause felt like I might lose out on the opportunity to express myself, or worse, appear “weak” which my twenty-something self-avoided at all costs. However, I was willing to step into the vulnerability of my fear and try on the new behavior because the riled-up way kept me in a loop of throwing gasoline on fire. What I learned by taking that initial pause was the ability to sit with my emotion and let its urgency pass through me rather than rule me. The pause also allowed me to identify my active or passive contribution to a situation. It felt so vulnerable at first I felt like I might jump out of my skin.
Today, it feels like wisdom, grace and strength when I let the initial wave of emotion’s heat move through me as I breathe deeply. Once the urgent emotional trigger has passed, I can sort through the real feelings. These pauses allow me to decipher the way forward that honors me and anyone else involved. (Great news: these same steps work when the trigger of the urgent emotion is coming from your saboteur!)
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Love and Light,