I get crabby when people are not doing what I want them to do. I’m sure I’m the only person to whom this happens. Because of the things people do, and don’t do, I sometimes feel diminished or devalued. I don’t like this feeling one little bit.
Some people might suggest that when this happens, I am feeling self-pity. I might have to punch some people.
I keep telling myself the things my teachers tell me: I’m responsible for my emotional life. Focus on those things in my life for which I’m grateful. Don’t blame others for how I feel; when I blame, I’m just finding a way to shift the pain and discomfort I’m feeling from me to someone else.
I try to take deep breaths. I try to distract myself, without numbing. Okay, without too much numbing. Unfortunately, sometimes none of that works. I end up sitting there glaring and frowning.
Here’s the thing. It’s much easier and more comfortable for me to focus on the other person and what they’re doing, than it is to focus on me. It’s much easier for me to focus on changing them, than on changing me. It’s much easier to focus on how they need to be different, than to think about how I might need to change our relationship, or that I might need to speak up, or perhaps I need to shift my thinking and expectations.
What am I focusing on? What am I avoiding? What is my part?
Sometimes my focus is really out of whack, and I can’t even see what’s going on.
Sometimes even when I’m seeing clearly, I’m focusing in so tightly, it’s like I’m using a telephoto lens, or maybe even a macro lens, I’m only concentrating on this one little aspect of the situation.
I need to remind myself to change lenses, to adjust my focus and my perspective, to broaden my view and see the big picture.
It’s amazing to me how, when I’m focused on one thing, I usually miss everything else around me. I miss what I need to do, the action that I need to take, whether it’s self-examination or finding my voice or making a change. Or maybe even eventually walking away.
I’m realizing that when I can change my focus and my perspective, I can see the entire landscape and I can take in all the information I need to take in so that as I act, my action is informed by the full picture. It’s when I change my focus and perspective to that larger view that I find I can start to breathe again, I can find my gratitude and feel that shift within me, towards clarity and towards peace.
I wish I could learn how to do this as if it’s second nature, like breathing. Right now it’s a struggle, I still have to remind myself, I still have to catch myself, I have to ask myself if I’m seeing clearly, do I need to adjust my focus, do I need to change my perspective and take in the big picture.
Maybe someday I’ll get my wish and it will be second nature. For now, I’m struggling along. It’s not easy, but I’m finding that the struggle is worthwhile, it’s worth my effort to challenge my perspectives, to play with focus and take it all in.