obsidiantea asked: I love my girlfriend, but sometimes we disagree on little issues, or sometimes she'll get jealous of my past relationships and it will escalate into a bigger fight than it should be. How do I detach from my emotions that make me angry when we fight like that? How do I overcome these issues with her? I know part of the reason we fight so much is because we both become defensive and our attitudes just worsen the situation. How do I learn to be calm and not lash out at her when we fight? thank you
There are no issues to overcome. The issues are things you two are creating together. Stop creating and there will be nothing to overcome. Each of you have been activating the other’s pain-body.
The issue is reactivity. When you are reactive, you are a slave to reaction. It is fine to feel anger, though it is not fun. But when you react to anger, you create more of it.
You have a choice whether or not to feel angry but you did not realize you made that choice. You have a choice whether or not to react to that anger but you did not realize you made that choice.
That is mindfulness: maintaining the calm awareness that you have a choice.
Here are the steps:
1. A situation arises.
2. You perceive the situation and interpret it.
3. You react to your interpretation.
You have the option at steps 2 and 3 to practice mindfulness. When you perceive a situation, just perceive it as it is. There is no need to add your own judgements and opinions onto it since they only narrow the scope; they limit your perspective.
But sometimes this can’t be avoided, sometimes our mindfulness is too half-hearted. Then we can’t help but see a bad situation as bad. When that happens, you go onto step 3. Even though the perception is there and the emotion is there, you do not react to it.
It is not a question of feeling anger and then magically turning it off. Rather, it is like feeling the anger but being unmoved. You are like a stone and the anger is like a river that flows around it. It does not enter you.
Eckhart Tolle discusses these things extensively, along with relationship dynamics, in his book The Power of Now.
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- theadventuresofange said: The Power of Now is so underrated. I really think I could re-read it every day and get something new out of it!
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