"All frustrations are self induced. The outside world can invite us to become upset, but we ultimately accept the invitation."
A few years back, without giving too much away, a situation began to unfold in my life that was extremely frustrating. My life for the most part was wonderful, but there was this negative part of it that would not be going away anytime soon and needed to be dealt with on a regular basis.
Previously (and continually) I grew—through challenges and obstacles—to come to a certain point of empowerment. I recognized that I owned my life and my choices, that I wasn't a victim of anything or anyone, and I busted my butt to live in this state of personal ownership and build the life I wanted.
There was this thing. I felt helpless, hopeless, angry, and frustrated by something that I just could not control and could not walk away from.
I'm certain many people have issues like this. You can have pretty much everything you want, yet, this one little thorn in your side, that literally cannot be resolved, can fester and steal (if we let it) the most joyful moments.
I HAD to figure out a way to not let this thing have such power over me.
I began by surrendering to the fact that I could not change this thing. BUT I could grow in spite of it, and maybe even because of it.
If I found myself with these feelings—helpless, hopeless, angry, and/or frustrated—I would tackle them one at a time with a daily Intention. If I knew I would be faced with a frustrating situation on a particular day, I would start my day by setting the intention to "handle any situation that arises with grace."
As soon as the feelings of frustration came up, I would take a few breaths and repeat my Intention. It's like I acted as my very own thought coach. When the feelings began to creep in, I would steer myself towards the promise/invention I made for myself. At the beginning of the day and say it out loud. Multiple times if necessary...while breathing into a paper bag. (Just kidding about the paper bag, but sometimes it feels that way.🤪 )
From there I would focus on some sort of silver lining, no matter how miniscule. I would dig deep, feel the feelings—whether they be joy, compassion, understanding, giving, allowing for myself or for others. And grace got easier.
Unfortunately there isn't a spiritual bypass to feelings you don't like. But it's as if with something like cognitive (thinking) therapy, you can stop the train of emotion by thinking about the Intention you set. And ultimately, empowering yourself to have control over your runaway feelings.
When you are tipped off by your unhappy feelings and can refocus your thoughts on your Intention to handle any situation that arises with grace, you disrupt the pattern and become incredibly skilled at controlling the emotions that just don't serve you.
By harnessing that emotional and thought energy we can actually address what triggers those feelings and deal with them one at a time. For example, my feelings of frustration aren't erased by my focus on grace. In fact, I still feel frustrated, but the frustration doesn't leave me feeling hopeless, like a victim.
It's ok to be frustrated; it's justified. The difference now is that I have chosen to address that frustration with grace, love, patience, empathy, and acceptance. I'm not powerless because I am focused on what I can control—myself, my reactions, and my willingness to no longer invest in runaway train energy.
It's not easy, but it's rewarding and can be done. Imagine your life without helplessness. What would it look like? How would it feel? Who would you be? Invest in that.
We're rooting for you!
great perspective and article! Just what I needed to read today.. Thank you!