I once had a co-worker who told me that my first instinct in any situation was to panic. I didn’t know what he meant–it was such a natural reaction that I could not see that I was the only person around me acting in such a manner.
I was a bossy kid and that bled into adulthood. Not all the time, I maintained general politeness in unfamiliar surroundings and company. When I felt comfortable with certain people I became bossy and loud. I huffed and puffed and could not be wrong.
I felt so out of control that I needed everything to be exactly as I wanted to be, and 99% of the time, I found a way to get what I wanted. This was not a sustainable life for me. A life based in want left me constantly wanting. A life based in wanting other people to want specific things left me constantly in emotional agony.
Now I speak softly. I see myself outside of every conversation so I am able to hear what the other person is saying, rather than getting caught up in my own assumptions and insecurity that I tied to trigger words or tones.
When someone yells at me, I do not yell back. When I am insulted, I do not insult in return. When someone hurts my feelings, I remove myself from the situation until I have had adequate time to process my emotions and move past them. It is never my intent to harm anyone or anything. Life is not about getting even.
Things move much more slowly for me now. I don’t feel like I am missing something inside of my heart anymore. I am thankful for the patience and acceptance that I have found in my own spirit. I am thankful for the peace that these two virtues have given me.