Recently a friend posted a photo of a churning ocean with a thought prompt about stepping out of the turmoil of our lives and viewing it from a different angle.
Sadly, that very week I saw her plunged into turmoil over a comment someone made to her. Was the intention to harm her and hurt her?; I doubt it but I saw my very generous, well-balanced, intelligent and remarkably talented friend doubt herself, question decisions she’d made and be thrown off track.
I too have had many similar experiences. One that comes to mind was a situation in which, having asked for feedback on work I had performed, I was thrown off-balance by the one negative comment I received amid a dozen positive pieces of feedback. I was in a spin over this for several days. There have been other times too when I have been cut to the core by a careless comment.
Watching my friend spiral into self doubt, I questioned my own reactions in similar situations. Why do we at times place more value on these remarks that unsettle us, cause turmoil and throw us off balance than on our own intuition and inner guidance? Can we take action to retain our poise when faced with these wayward comments?
I would suggest we need to consider if the comment was intended to cause us pain. From there we can determine if there is any wisdom or a lesson within it from which we can learn and grow. Being able to step back and ask ourselves; “How does this advice, feedback, remark weigh in with my own thoughts, feelings and guidance?” could alleviate a lot of pain. We could also, as my friend did, seek the counsel of those we most trust to give us an honest account from their perspective.
As well as trusting your internal judgment and finding friends you trust to give honest feedback there is more we can do. We can cause no harm. I intend to lighten my “footprint” here. Before I speak I will consider if what I have to say can be interpreted in a manner unintended, if what I have to say doesn’t come from a loving place I’ll keep it to myself.
Life is too precious to cause others pain, intentionally or otherwise. Words are powerful, they have the ability to heal and wound. Choose yours carefully and remember: sometimes we simply need to step out of the turmoil and view a situation from a different angle.