“Don’t go to bed angry ” is an advice that has often come our way; sometimes with the addition “ ……..with yourself, with someone else or with the world at large.”
Going to bed while still angry, often hampers sleep, creates unrest inside us and detracts from our peace of mind. Over time, it also has other ramifications which we will not dwell on right now.
Working on one’s Relationship with Self
These are difficult times. The uncertainty of how the situation will unfold makes one hesitate to make plans. But, one can take steps with what is in our control.
We can work on our relationships. To start with…with ourselves. We could begin with acknowledging and accepting what is making us angry with ourselves, forgiving ourselves, learning from it, see if there is something we could do about it and move on.
I am reminded of Martin Seligman’s concept of positive psychology, whereby we can flourish in our lives and focus on what is life-giving.
And Relationships with Others
A while ago, I was gifted with an insight from a young man in his mid twenties. He was on a difficult mission and the situation appeared to be closing in on him. “I did not want to die with a troubled mind – with unresolved issues; with people who mattered to me at some point in my life.”
“So what did you do?” I asked. “I had my mobile phone and what I could do was record messages for those I wanted to settle issues with. Say what I was feeling; not with anger, but with a mind to resolve the matter.”
“What counted was the relationship and not the issue. And that is what I did.”
Fortunately, he received timely help, but a very valuable and meaningful learning had intuitively come to him early in life.
The story did not end there. He also recorded messages for those he wanted to thank; to tell them, that he loved them and acknowledge them for the role they had played; and the significance they had in his life. This covered those younger than him, his peers and those much older.
Verbalise feelings with loved ones
We often forget or hesitate to verbalise love, affection and gratitude to those who matter most. “What is the need to spell it out? It sounds so put on. Isn’t it taken for granted that we love them?” is often the logic given. Reams of love notes and messages are reserved for the courtship period and the early days of a romantic relationship. And then it is “taken for granted.”
I recall another person’s (much older) experience. She had never found the “right moment” to thank her father for all the aspects of life he had introduced her to; like love for nature, yoga, equanimity, honesty; all that she held so dear. Till one day, when he fell ill, she realised that she might lose him and live with the regret of never telling him, how much he meant to her; and thank him for giving her a life of joyful abundance, that had helped her tide over many trying situations.
Finally, telling him what she felt, gave her tremendous peace and joy. She could see the same joy reflected in his eyes and smile.
Would we like someone to tell us that we were important in his/her life? Would we feel freer if a person tried to resolve an issue, that had been troubling a once close relationship we had shared? It is possible that the relationship would not go back to where it was at one time, but perhaps the sting could be mitigated.
If the answer is “yes” how about taking a step in that direction with someone we care for, if we haven’t already.
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