Friday, February 3, 2012

The Power from the Seat of Frustration

“All the good that we’ve done can be wiped away by one angry word.”
Interacting with others, especially those we touch and that touch us personally in our daily lives, offers countless opportunities for frustration. Within these frustrated moments, we often respond with anger, criticism and discouragement. That anger, criticism and discouragement then gets transmitted to others and eventually back to ourselves. Finding the presence of mind to shut down that nearly automatic response system is extremely difficult but is absolutely possible.

We all affect people, through our words, through our actions, through our intentions. Having a more thorough understanding and appreciation of how these words, actions and intentions affect others is crucial. All that we say, do and think comes back to us eventually. Therefore, any attempts to affect our reactivity from the seat of frustration can have a dramatic, immediate impact on daily life.

Frustration is natural.

Frustration is created by our attachment to having it our way in a world that involves others wanting it their way. This creates a dynamic cycle that recirculates and intensifies frustration and our reaction to frustration continuously. If we alter our reaction from the seat of frustration, we can begin to shut down this cycle within us and others.

Frustration can be explored.

The best way to alter our reaction to our frustration is through thorough exploration of it. It is not imperative for us to act immediately to simple frustration. Instead, we can take a moment to be curious about how it was generated. If we focus our mind on it, we can more clearly see our role in our frustration and clarify the role of others as well. This clear seeing and clarification will aid in finding words of encouragement as opposed to discouragement.

Frustration is our own.

The way we think and feel is our own. Just because someone is doing something or we perceive is doing something to us, does not mean this someone is injecting this feeling of frustration into us. This does not mean that others have no role in shining a light on our frustration, but it does mean that it is our frustration to manage. Potentially, we can redirect this frustration in a more beneficial way as opposed to only detrimental.

Make that which you touch be the best in others.

How often has someone said an unkind or critical word to us that inspired us to be and do better? Remember that truth when interacting with the objects of our frustration. We need to inspire the best in others, not shut the best down. Inspiring the best in others involves having patience, generating compassion and finding understanding.

Make that which you touch in others be the common humanity we share.

We all are part of humanity. We all play a role in the lives of others. We all experience pain and suffering. We all can experience joy and happiness. No one arrived at today all on their own. So many people have affected us and will affect us moving forward. We will affect others today. If we consider how best to affect others, we will bring out the best in them and in our self.

Make our response not add to the pain and suffering of us all.

It is rare that people deliberately, maliciously upset others. If there is intention to upset, this person is hurt and damaged and needs compassion and understanding, not more pain, not more suffering. It is not easy when we feel hurt to not retaliate immediately. If we do, it is understandable.

It should be understandable that others will retaliate similarly. If one of your limbs becomes injured, you don’t chastise or punish the limb, you give it proper care and attention. The same should be given to the injured amongst us.

Frustration is truly fertile territory. People that expose our frustration have blessed us. It is from the seat of frustration that we either inspire others or we tear others down. It is from the seat of frustration that we can bring out the best in our self and in others.
Who is going to be the first person to do the better thing today?