I often have difficulty embracing this side of me-this lonely, separated, angry, torn away part of me that craves, wants and demands. I push it away with resolve and indignation and along with it I push away myself and others who also want, desire and demand like me and for me.

What we need is a concrete way to step out of our internal dialogues that cause us to feel overwhelming emotions. This will slowly and gently help us to acknowledge the bigger picture of a difficult situation/emotion with the help of specific questions.

Mirror Exercise:

Just for today, look at everyone around you as a mirror to your moods. If you see anger being shown upon you, can you see within if there is some anger, frustration and irritation too?

Can you look at the person as someone who is really looking for something deeper from you? Perhaps a hug, some loving, affection? Start with family and extended this seeing, and then on to your friends also. Then if you can extend this kind of seeing to strangers and people who are rude with you, do it.

Ask yourself what does this person really want? What is beneath their difficult emotion? Am I feeling ________too?

You don’t have to do this every time you come across people who are causing you difficult emotions. You can start by journaling it, preferably at the end of the day, as you reflect on your day. This awareness practice will slowly become a part of everyday experiencing.

Here’s an example of how this exploration helps:

My lessons in life come from my little one. From watching her mirror me and watching her exact a gentler me. When she senses an unkind me, she retracts and goes to someone else who can care for her, while allowing me the space to watch myself, become mindful and present. She then comes back to play with me the moment I fall back in track with the right now. In the absence of others, if she finds me in one of my tug of wars, one of my “I must do this”, or “I cant deal with this” she mirrors me, she clamors like me, willing me to come back to the right now, come back to this moment filled with love, her joyous company and a freer world…she lets me know in this way that crappy moods are okay as long as I can accept it and be more gentle with myself and her at those times.

So think about it. Think about these questions and journal with them as prompts when you feel especially overwhelmed by someone else’s emotion toward you.

If you would like to process this material with me, share your insights or ask questions, just click  here and write to me.

Love,  Aarathi