Being aware of your emotions is not always easy. Sometimes you wish you could make them go away, other times you wish there was some excitement going on in your life.
We are constantly going between feeling too much and feeling too little. How do we stay balanced and what does that do anyway?
Staying balanced is the ability to be aware of your emotions, honoring them, processing them, learning what they have to teach you and using that information to grow and move to the next level of your experience.
When we are dealing with a difficult situation or when we have recently gone through something that was emotionally stressful, we have two options: one is to mentally and physically stay in that situation which means we extend the emotions for as long as we last in that same state of mind (and body); the other option is to move forward, but to successfully move forward we can't ignore our emotions, we have to evolve with them.
Evolving with our emotions is a very unique process for each one of us of developing tolerance, self-awareness, and inner peace.
If you make these three goals part of every experience, you will evolve naturally and graciously at your own pace.
Here is a quiz to help you recognize when you are putting your emotions behind without addressing them vs. when you are evolving. The point of this quiz is to bring awareness to your choice of behavior to be able to make changes and improve.
1) If someone offers you a big opportunity, but it requires that you make some big changes like moving to another city or giving up something that you feel very comfortable with, you:
a) Pass on it, quit.
b) Overthink about it to the point that you get physically sick or overwhelmed. You can't make a decision.
c) You start doing other things to get busy and stop thinking about it, you leave it up on the air. You are doubting.
d) You try to negotiate some of these requests, to keep your comfort as much as possible.
e) You go for it immediately. There's nothing to think about.
Write down your answer a, b, c, d, or e.
2) if you have have a plan for a project, but things seem to take you in a different direction, you:
a) Quit your plans, cancel the project.
b) Feel really frustrated and disappointed, you failed.
c) You lose interest and start doing something else.
d) You analyze everything carefully and integrate these new elements into your original plan.
e) You allow the project to take you in the new direction it wants to go, you change your plans.
3) if someone criticizes you whether if it's justified or not, your immediate reaction is:
a) Accept the critic and stop doing what they said it's wrong to do.
b) Your self esteem goes very low and you feel humiliated, sad, unworthy. And never try to do a similar thing again.
c) You ignore the critics and do whatever you want.
d) You talk to them to make them understand why you are doing what you are doing and to understand why they don't want you to continue.
e) You thank them for bringing it to your attention and make changes happily.
4) If someone you love, a family member or friend disappoints you in some way, you:
a) Stop talking to them or stop seeing them for a long time.
b) You hold on to that disappointment even if things seem normal between you.
c) You let it pass and things are back to normal shortly after.
d) You have a conversation with them to make things clear.
e) You make an unilateral decision that rules your behavior going forward. You decide to forgive or to change your perception about them.
5) If you have an argument with someone at work or at home, you:
a) Quit your job or move out of your house.
b) You continue to be upset several days and weeks after the event.
c) You ignore it in order to continue in the same situation and feel ok.
d) You talk to them and address it until things are acceptable for both of you.
e) You change your behavior to avoid new conflicts.
If most of your answers were:
A: You have stored emotions that make your level of tolerance lower in some common situations. This doesn't mean you have to let things pass. It only means that your low level of tolerance may be causing you more distress than necessary. Try to see what is in storage that needs to be released to create more room for tolerance.
B: You have somewhat worked through trauma and stored emotions but there are some triggers remaining that you can address. You have done it before, it's just a matter of awareness and choice now.
C: You are ignoring your emotions in order to feel comfortable, the problem is that at some point that comfort turns into constant discomfort. Try addressing issues internally first, and optionally with the other people involved.
D: You are in the right direction, trying to leave no lose ends and moving forward. There is a communication element in some of these cases that allows you to reach a resolution. In some other cases communication or negotiation don't take us anywhere in which case we have to be comfortable with making a decision internally and move forward, but always after having carefully reflected and learned what the circumstance wanted to teach us.
E: You have gone through enough experiences to learn how to become an observer. You are not trying to control anything, everything is an opportunity to grow, a message or guidance. You are in control of your emotions, no one can interfere in the level of self awareness that you have reached.
It takes a lot of work not to react to triggers, but when you don't have triggers, then there's nothing to react to. Someone can tell you something offensive, but you see it as a completely external event, nothing goes through you.
There's a lot of work to do to get to that level of conscious self awareness, and as long as we are practicing awareness everyday, in every opportunity we have, we will also get to develop our self awareness to learn how to observe a difficult situation and moving forward without ignoring your emotions.