Own your reactions

Own your reactions

August 18, 2020
/ / /

I am no longer willing to let myself be used as the scapegoat. I am no longer willing to step up when others claim that my words, my deeds, my actions, are what angers them, what upsets them or what scares them. Because in truth, it is their reaction to my words, my deeds, my actions, that angers, upsets and scares them.

This never means I get to act like a brute, avoiding responsibility for my words, deeds and actions. That’s on me.

What’s on you, is to do the same. To own your reactions.

You might well be angered or upset, even scared. But own it.

Don’t go here:
”You make me angry, upset, scared.”

Or here:
”Your words, deeds, actions, make me angry, upset, scared.”

Rather, try to find something like this place within:
”I felt angered, upset, scared by what happened within me when I came upon your words, deeds, actions.”

When both of us own our reactions, progress is possible. Connection, understanding and respect is to be had.

And I know, I cannot make you choose this. And it’s not for me to tell you what to do, or not do.
What I can do though, are two things:
I can strive to live up to this ideal, myself.
And I can be very clear with what is OK for me. To not swallow it, to not take it, should you happen to put your shit on me.

And that latter one, is where I have an opportunity to improve. To learn how to live it, to actually be someone who doesn’t take others’ shit. The outcome of that might well be that I also choose to not be with you, simply because I get to choose my company. And as peer pressure is very real and we become like those closest to us, I honor me by being very specific and particular in choosing whom I spend time with. Because that choice will impact me, making me be more –or less– of the person I want to be in the world.

And there’s nothing I want more than to surround myself with people who see and encourage the potential harbored within me, who positively challenge me to –always and already– be and become the better me.

#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Difference is a teacher

October 27, 2018
/ /
in Tip

I want my story heard, because, ironically, I believe Picasso was right. I believe we could paint a better world, if we learned how to see it from all perspectives, as many perspectives as we possibly could. Because diversity is strength, difference is a teacher. Fear difference; you learn nothing. – Hanna Gadsby

A dear friend of mine posted a summons on Facebook to watch Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby, telling me and his other friends, to “Watch it. Thank me later.”

I watched it a few months ago, at the suggestion of my ex-husband. I watched it then, and was astonished. Nanette is sensationally good, and Hannah Gadsby nails it, over and over and over again. But as I sat down in my sofa, wrapped in woolen blankets, with a cup of hot tea with honey, trying to scare away a headcold that’s been creeping up on me, reading Caspians summons, I figured, why not watch Nanette again?

So I did.
Just as astonished. Bowled over. Nailed. Over and over and over.
There is simply no hiding from her, from her justified anger, from her story.

I am angry, and I believe I’ve got every right to be angry. But what I don’t have a right to do, is to spread anger. I don’t. Because anger, much like laughter can connect a room full of strangers, like nothing else. But anger, even if it is connected to laughter, will not relieve tension, because anger is a tension. It is a toxic, infectious tension, and it knows no other purpose than to spread blind hatred, and I want no part of it because I take my freedom of speech as a responsibility. And just because I can position myself as a victim does not make my anger constructive. It never is constructive.

Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine. – Hannah Gadsby

To finish off, I’ll simply quote Caspian:
Watch it. Thank me later.

Read More

Doing gentle – 8 – Does it serve me?

March 6, 2016
/ / /

angryI don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself variations on this theme:

How does this serve me?
Does this serve me?
What would serve me right now?

At first. A really strange concept. As if I could choose?

I was living under the assumption that I was a victim to my circumstances, not having a choice in how to proceed.

If I was angry, angry I was. Nothing to do but suffer through it, and boy, was I ever angry.

And yeah, there’s a chemical aspect to that, true. If something happens and my anger is set off, a surge of signal substance is released from my neurons. However. It takes approximately 90 seconds for those to have gone through my entire system, and break down. Disappear. So, after a few minutes, the choice of remaining angry or not, is mine. I do get to have that choice.

I resented that thought, at first. I wanted to hang on to my anger, and I wanted it to be automatic, so I didn’t have to take responsibility for it. It’s just there, and I can’t do anything about it. 

But over time, I realized that sometimes my anger didn’t serve me at all. To remain angry after the initial reaction was not serving me, perhaps even hurting me. So I got used to asking the question, of myself. How does this serve me? 

And you know what.
Sometimes I choose to stay angry. Because I really feel like being angry. And I let myself run with that feeling, surging through my body, my spirit, full out anger. The all-hands-on-deck-type of anger.
Sometimes. I choose to let it go. It can simmer in the background, but it’s as if I no longer pay attention to it. I no longer feed it. And it’s not what I front with, not how I show up in the world.
Once in a while, I choose to let my anger go, and have a hard time to not show up as angry anyway. Then I take full responsibility for it, and withdraw. Telling those around me that I have a hard time not to act angry, that I don’t want to, so would you please excuse me, while I cool off over here, in solitude.

And yes. It works the same way whatever emotion you are currently experiencing. You do have a choice. Not whether or not to feel what you feel. That’s not at stake. Because you feel what you feel. Nothing more, nothing less. The choice is rather if you want to keep feeding that feeling, or not. And as I said, just because I choose not to, doesn’t mean it goes away immediately. But in time. It will. It dissipates. Fades away. Might take a minute. Might take a day. Ten years, for all I know. But if you keep on feeding it, for sure it will stay longer than if you don’t.

So next time you experience a rush of feelings, ask yourself the question: How does this serve me?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the eight of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.
Read More