Have you ever been high jacked by your feelings?
You know what I mean...someone says something, it hits a nerve and you get swept away with negative thoughts and feelings, oftentimes getting stuck for hours, days, weeks, even months and years. Do you want to know the hard truth about these experiences? When you find yourself emotionally high jacked - you are the one responsible. You chose to feel hurt or angry and you chose to hold on to it. Now, here's the good news. If you are the one choosing to be upset you can also choose to not be upset. I know, I know - easier said than done.
I recently experienced an emotional high jack, thanks to my father. Dad turned eighty this month and he called to invite me to his birthday party. There is nothing like a family gathering to bring up unresolved feelings! I didn't have to wait for the gathering itself, the high jack began with the invitation. I won't bore you with the details because the story doesn't matter. Suffice it to say that I felt unloved and unimportant. My hurt feelings stayed with me throughout the day and brought up old issues. I felt an urgency to do something about it, to make it right. In my high jacked imaginings, I had thoughts of telling him off and boycotting the party. Thankfully I chose NOT to act on those thoughts. I did however, choose to act.
And this is what I did. I took time to BE with my feelings and I used coaching tools
to explore. I began by identifying what I was feeling. I looked for and discovered self-limiting beliefs and fears about myself that were attached to the feelings. I traced the feelings and beliefs back in time to understand why they felt so big and where they came from. I consciously avoided speaking with my father while I was upset. I trusted that if I chose to have a conversation with him about it, I would know what to say and how to say it. I took loving care of myself and got a good night sleep.
The next morning the high jack was gone. I felt clear and centered; I knew what to say and how to say it. I want a kind and loving relationship with my father and I know a relationship of that ilk starts with me. In other words, if I want it, I have to be it. I have to be kind and loving.
So here's the rest of the story...I did have a conversation with my father. I took responsibility for my hurt feelings, I expressed myself, I asked questions and I listened. We both made requests and agreed to be self aware and responsible, moving forward. I even cried a little because it was what I was feeling. I did not let the tears keep me from being present or from expressing myself honestly and responsibly. I did not let the tears create another high jacked moment.
When was the last time you were high jacked? The next time it happens, would you like a clear way out?
If you are willing to see yourself as the source of your feelings no matter what the experience, you have what it takes to resolve ANY emotional high jack. Tips to Navigate Your Emotional High Jack:
- Take care of yourself. Many of us are in the habit of 'licking our wounds'. Instead of looking honestly at the upset, we avoid it by complaining to others, eating foods that aren't healthy, getting overly busy, using substances like alcohol, and activities like TV to dull our senses (a.k.a. keep us from feeling).
- Use tools to support your clarity and resolution. If you have questions about tools, consider a coaching session.
- Sleep on it. Oftentimes the BEST solution is sleep. Before retiring for the night, ask your higher self for clarity. In the morning, pay attention to your thoughts.
- Own your feelings. There may or may not be the need for a conversation but you won't know until you have reached the other side of the upset. If you do need to address it with the other person, do it honestly AND with respect. If you need to apologize, say you're sorry. If you need to make a request, ask for what you want. If you need to negotiate, find what works for both parties.