Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Staying Centered During the Emotional Storm

My ability to remain calm while in an emotionally charged situation was tested a few weeks ago.  My family drove up to New York for a family funeral. We only stayed one night over at my sister's house. Since my sister and I don't see each other very much, we stayed up till 1:30 am talking.  As usual, my sister offered us her bedroom for the night.  Although I am not 100% comfortable with this and I suggest we can sleep in the guest bedroom, my sister always insists.

After calling it a night, I realize I forgot my cell phone charger in the living room.  I creep quietly down the stairs knowing my brother in law is sleeping in the living room.  In the pitch dark, I hear my brother in law's booming voice in the dark, "I hope you realize I spent all day cleaning the house for you."

My immediate response was "OK, thanks."  Then the tirade started.  And here's the miracle.  I remained calm.  I didn't get upset.  I didn't take it personally. Heck, I couldn't blame him.  I don't want to give my bed up to anyone.  For once I didn't take criticism personally.  And I didn't cry! Wow I have come a along way! Even my husband was impressed.

My sister came downstairs and calmed him down.  As I was getting ready to go to bed, I bump into my brother in law in the hallway.  I braced myself.  He actually apologized and hugged me.  I told him I was more than happy to sleep in the guest bedroom.  He said he WANTED us to sleep in his room and that he didn't mean what he said.

So did he say those things because I didn't react negatively to him when he yelled at me downstairs? Perhaps.  I do believe that negativity begets more negativity.

But I do feel thankful to him because he did me a favor by testing me and I passed!  And I demonstrated to myself and others around me that even though I am sensitive, I can remain calm and centered in an emotional situation.  Not to mention I still giggle about it every time I think of it.