“To choose is keeping hold of one thing and letting go of the other”
– Random Paper Wisdom –
The past week has been an eye-opener, to say the least. In class we talked about Nonviolent Communication and after hearing it explained and reading about it some more in my textbook, I can say I am a fan. Not completely, 100% convinced, but a fan nonetheless.
I always find myself lost in thought when I am alone and today was no different. I was sweeping some floors and as there were no people nearby to help me get some distraction from my thoughts or music to sing along to for the same reason, I ended up wondering about something that’s been bugging me for months. It is about me not being happy with a situation that involves someone else, and because I am terrified of hurting their feelings I don’t speak up and let them hurt me instead. Because it is easier.
One of the premises of Nonviolent Communication is to take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions as opposed to feeling responsible for someone else’s. Letting this reel in while I was making similar motions with my arms (I mean, those floors don’t clean themselves, now do they, Life? There’s a point of improvement for you!) and suddenly the strength of this hit me. If I am unhappy with how someone makes me feel, I have the right to say so! Even if that means the other party might feel hurt. I don’t have to be rude, but I do have to be honest. For my sake, and theirs.
Something my teacher talked about this weekend also stuck with me. She said sometimes you hurl things at us, Life, things we cannot influence. Like my friend dying or my sister’s pregnancy. My teacher called this “the first arrow”: it strikes you and you cannot change it. It’s simply there, it happened, and it cannot be undone.
But the “second arrow”, the one that follows, is the one we can control. Because this second arrow stands for the way we deal with the situations we’ve been thrown at.
There are a few dilemmas I have to face that I wish were different. But they’re not. And I don’t have the power to change them. However, I DO have the power to change how I act and try to deal with these situations.
It took me a while to get here, Life, but you finally showed me the way. I am not responsible for anyone else’s emotions and feelings but mine, and right now I feel incredibly grateful for finally realising that.