Sometimes I think my Finding Kindreds training is really working! Today, I watched an ideal example as it unfolded.
I was in a meeting, and one of the people in the meeting was extremely negative. The person has a lot of clout so the comments were affecting everyone in the room. The person wasn’t just being down on a project, but had those type of negative feelings that you have when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed: nothing is good.
The person was throwing around controversial words like “lie” and “garbage,” and I was noticing the steam starting to come out of my colleagues ears, mostly because it was all unnecessary. The attacks were frequent (“lie” was used probably 20 times within 10 minutes), and they were personal. I’m not sure why the person was reacting so violently, but the same comments could have been made with “I’m not sure we do this anymore” or “maybe we can rethink the way we’re approaching this.”
I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable. It was almost as if I were a fly on the wall watching it happen. So I started redirecting the conversation towards other portions of the project and making light of the conversation going on, and within a few minute, the conversation had totally turned around. The mood lightened, and we actually ended up with a very good conversation. We all needed each other and the benefit of the collective thinking, so it was critical that we finish the conversation out, without shutting everyone down. Of course, my colleagues also pitched in to redirect the conversation, but maybe just by thinking so much about the positive lately, it helped me to be in the frame of mind to deflect the negative.
The moment felt unreal, as if in slow motion, and I wondered what made me feel like the outsider, not in a bad way, but in a way that let me remain emotionless, even after the meeting when the emotions of the group were still a bit agitated. For sure, I wouldn’t have been able to do that just a few years ago, but this journey is teaching me what is important, how to treat others, and how to take care of myself. I like when it works.
DAY 263 HOMEWORK: What makes the difference between being in the midst of emotions and watching the emotions from the outside is the amount of focus you put on filling your mind with scripture, positive thoughts, spiritual songs, good reading, the beauty of nature, and the love of others. The more you can dwell on these things, the less the negativity of the world around us can penetrate. Fill up your mind with these things.