Cheers Sexy People!
Even though I write this blog doling out any insights I find, and do oodles of research on polyamory / ethical non-monogamy, communication, relationships, etc, sometimes I fuck up anyway. I view trying to live an ethically non-monogamous life, juggling more than one relationship, and doing my best to live a purposeful, loving and compassionate life as a “practice”, something that I strive for and work on every single day. Each day is a new adventure, a new day to do better, a new day to potentially fuck up again, and learn a new lesson (or maybe the same lesson you learned before, but it didn’t stick the first time, dang it).
Ah, life is fun! What can we learn today?
So I’ll share my latest – in this case – learning experience. Please feel free to learn from my mistakes. We are here to help each other. If you’ve been reading along on my posts, you know that I have recently resigned from my job. I plan to embark on a new career adventure, become self-employed, and be my own boss. It’s all part of my plan to live a more authentic life, being true to who I am, aligned with my values, and utilizing my strengths. One of my strengths I think is talking to you folks and I want to do more of that. 🙂
Anyway, resigning from my job, doing a long good-bye dance (I gave more than two weeks notice for various reasons) is proving to take up quite alot of my time, and takes a fair amount of energy. One of the catalysts to my decision to leave is an insubordinate employee that my bosses seem to love (she IS talented, but has a poor attitude). Sometimes middle management sucks. haha. Suffice it to say that there was a very stressful “incident” last Thursday, and I needed to put her in her place, as her supervisor. Not a fun day, or experience. I have difficulty dealing with my own emotions of anger, and how to manage that emotion. In this case, my hands were trembling as I tried to remain as calm as I could while I disciplined this unprofessional employee. I came home that nite and found consolation by both my boyfriend and husband. I also had a really good cry later that nite in the hot tub with my boyfriend, as I de-stressed from the day and let my emotions out… in that case, sad emotions that I had to deal with this insubordinate young woman, and the stress of wondering if you’re doing the right thing, saying the right thing. Trying to be ethical and live a life of integrity can be EXHAUSTING sometimes. Constant obstacles in your path to navigate around or through. I very much dislike drama, but sometimes it seeks you out anyway, eh?
Fast Forward to Saturday nite: date nite with my beau. It’s going swimmingly overall. He made me an awesome dinner, and we took the cats out on leashes outside for fun. Then later in the evening, he criticized me about something mundane, that had to do with household chores. I felt the comment was untrue, unnecessary and verging on mean in that moment. I would like to emphasize the phrase IN THAT MOMENT. My anger flared up and we proceeded to get into a heck of an argument. I had trouble coming down off of that angry high and the night was more or less ruined. I very much dislike drama, but sometimes it seeks you out anyway, eh? — EVEN WHEN YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF! I accused my boyfriend of ruining the evening with his insensitive comment. But who had really ruined the evening, him or me? If I’m being honest, I have to admit it was me.
As I reflected later, I realized that the stressful encounter with my disruptive employee days earlier had weakened my defenses, even though I wish that it hadn’t and I thought I had everything back under control, emotion wise. But clearly, I was still rattled. One little criticism, and off I went, ruining my own evening, and doing what I try very hard NOT to do: take out something on our loved ones, the ones close to us. Was a date nite maybe not the greatest nite to criticize your lover over something as mundane as household chores, when she’s going through a stressful period of her life? Sure. But did I have to get SO ANGRY? Certainly not. I could have handled it much better. I’m not beating myself up (too much), I’m trying to learn from it, even though it’s a lesson that I have learned before. I could have done any number of more productive things, like:
- Let it roll off my back and laugh it off.
- Said, “honey, I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say. But I hear you.”
- If I felt the anger flare up, I could have excused myself and calmed myself down, and reminded myself that this was small potatoes. Nothing is worth getting upset about unless it’s REALLY worth getting upset about (such as the death of a loved one, a car crash, a layoff, etc).
I later that nite apologized for my part in the argument. And then bought him a peanut butter and chocolate egg treat, because peanut butter and chocolate go together amazingly awesomely… as does polyamory and emotional strength. 🙂
I have found a great article that I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to share with you. This seems like the right moment to me. Haha. This is another article that I personally will read over and over to remind myself of some very important truths. I want to keep this blog post short, so that hopefully, you will take the time to read the article. Please do. I know where some of my triggers are here and areas where I can improve. How about you?
15 Things That Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do
Sharing is caring. Any thoughts that you’d like to add here? Did you like the article? Have you had a similar experience to mine where something tore down your defenses and calm manner, and you were more sensitive than usual?
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex)
Kitty, I am glad you recognize that Emotional Strength and Emotional Happiness is a unending process. Unending because we who have begun and/or have been going thru the process need to know that, much like going thru curing an addiction, we will have times which will be set backs! That those set backs are not the end of the world but a recognition that we will have times of vulnerability which may seem like a slip but in the end is just a step closer to learning more about oneself. For those that need too, until you begin the process toward finding Emotional Strength and Happiness for yourself life will continues to be a Mobius Strip of unending Emotional Pain.
For myself the process begun sometime around 8 to 10 years ago when it finally hit home that a once thriving but tumultuous marriage was pass the time of being repaired yet again and had been so for too many years, and I was riding that Mobius Strip of pain and no longer could see a way of stepping off it. I am an Optimistic and Stubborn person when it comes to Love and Friendship. If you fit in that category unless you have done something horrendous you’ll remain for life! But this this case I tried much too long to fix it and found I was the only one that was trying to fix it. Much of which but not why I found out after long after I had separated from my wife of 30 years and during those two years of our separation prior to her passing. I found out she had seen a divorce lawyer 15 years earlier and that only reason back then, that she didn’t go thru with it was her Nursing job brought more money into the house and she was worried I would ask for separation pay and more from the household. (I found some revealing documentation while cleaning up.) Still even knowing this I cared and yes loved her to the end.
The process began for me by getting back on my Path of Spirituality. I had long known thru my studies that there was a common thread throughout the world religions. I was looking into my heritage, Pagan, Heathen, and Native, and found in these cultures the common thread is much like the list of 15 things that your link takes you too. But, as you know, even in these cultures they had some of the same problems we face otherwise they wouldn’t need a “list” to show you how you should behave!
My personal list begins:
1. First knowing you have a problem. Often we stay on the Mobius strip of unending pain because of cultural values we have been raised on or because we become so used to it we know no other ways of living. The worst case is when we constantly seek relationships with toxic people and/or are easily blinded with NRE and manipulated by someone who hides the truth about themselves till it is much too late in the relationship to make a easy parting.
2. Take responsibility for yourself emotionally. Recognizing the” buttons” are being pushed internally by you and no one else but you. Yes outside stress may have started the inside stress but then is the time to mentally take a pause and Identified why you are in an upheaval. If it is a person or a situation evaluate if you need to remain there and either cut your ties or try talking with the persons involved but mostly you need to move on.
3. Forgive yourself first!! Many events in our lives cause us embarrassment, guilt, pain, sadness etc. You need to recognize these factors and see that the past can not be changed, learn and move on so to make a better life for yourself and others that you love.
4. Forgive others, in particular those who you are closely associated with.
5. Forgive but never forget those lessons which brought you here. Those are the ones that formed the “you” that you have become and started your search toward strength and happiness.
6. Move on. Life is movement, Emotional Strength and Happiness is a constant process of moving on, leaving past pain behind you while smoothing out the bumps ahead of you so that the pendulum of your emotions no longer swings wildly.
Finally study those lists, the ones that helped our ancestors and the ones that many people who have gone thru the things your are going thru write or pass on from others. Take what you need to help yourself but don’t throw the rest out because you will probably find yourself in a situation that remembering something from those list will help you! Remember Live for the now, the past is gone and the future is a place you are working at making better but until you get there it too has no hold over you! Wishing you all Much Love, Strength, and Happiness!!! <3
Thank you Kitty for such a great article and the Link to such a great list. 😀 <3 <3 <3
I apologize for the delay in replying back to this comment. I have been overwhelmed with tasks since I’m planning to leave my day job to embark on a new adventure, which includes being a poly awareness advocate. 🙂 Less than one month before my departure and so much to do still!
Very wise words you have imparted with us here. Thank you so much for sharing them. I definitely agree how setbacks can sometimes feel devastating, and it’s important to remember that it is all part of a worthwhile journey to emotional strength and thus happiness. We all owe it to ourselves to find happiness in this life, even though it can sometimes take us a bit of effort to get there.
Thanks again for sharing your story as a way for us to learn from it. We all appreciate it. It must have been very difficult for you when you realized that your wife had seen a divorce lawyer 15 years earlier. I am so sorry that you had to experience that.
Your personal list is very helpful! How awesome that you have kept your own list and chose to share it with us! Thank you!!!! That is so true about how sometimes we just stay in a sad state, and maybe need to get jolted out of it. We can stay in non-healthy relationships and attract toxic relationships with people that are not good for us. NRE is powerful stuff, eh? Also we like to see the good in people, and sweep the bad under the rug. Also, I love that your list talked so much about forgiveness. We often don’t realize that forgiveness can help set us FREE! We are all human here and we ALL make mistakes that sometimes need to be forgiven. NOT forgiving others can be a poison to ourselves and others. I also really loved “Move on. Life is movement.” That was quite beautiful.
I really just can’t thank you enough for imparting your wisdom from your own life experience and research, and for supporting my writing and this wonderful poly community. You rock!