Three years ago, I made the mistake of posting something political on Facebook. I awoke to a tirade of anger from a few of my dearest friends, and panicked when I thought I had lost them.
For many years, I had felt shame and fear around politicaltalk and knew it was a “sore spot” for me. So, I sat with my feelings and honestly admitted that I was really upset.
After a while, I realized that I needed to invite positive power into my troubled mind. That day’s lesson in A Course in Miracles read, “I could see peace instead of this.” I said a prayer and asked to see my friends’ reactions differently.
I knew I had an important choice to make: Either to see my friends’ reactions as a personal attack and react with a few clever barbs, OR to use the opportunity to learn about and heal my “hot feelings” toward this imagined offense. That would require using growth practices such as an inventory of the fears underlying my feelings.
When I’m troubled, I’ve learned to ask myself this question: What is it about me that makes this so hard? When did I first feel these same feelings?
I always know I hit pay dirt when the tears come.
In this case, I recalled my mom spending many hours angrily talking about politics on the phone. Reading those FB posts, I felt just like a little girl, afraid of mom’s anger and longing for her to put down the phone and give me attention. But she rarely did that. My whispered lies told me, “You’re not worth her time.” (Thirty years later, that lie was so strong that, the night before my first therapy appointment, I dreamed that the therapist was on the phone and ignored me!)
So, when I honestly faced my feelings, claimed a loving power to transform them, chose to grow from the experience, and used the practice of an inventory, I discovered compassion for the child that feared her mother’s anger and so wanted her love. That realization dissolved my hurt feelings about my friends’ political comments, and we now remain fast friends.
Perhaps that’s why we’re all here: to heal the imagined attacks from others. As we seek peace, we find that nothing can separate our hearts—not even politics!
Gigi Langer, PhD. Many years ago, I used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe my frayed nerves. Over time, I discovered effective tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, energy work, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings. I share those techniques in my blog and book so you can find peace of mind and wisdom, no matter what is bothering you.
My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how I and others have defeated the faulty thinking leading to dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addiction, and worry about loved ones. Gain practical strategies through personal stories. Amazon: 4.8 stars (53 reviews) (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE
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