Hello my dears,
What a HONKERs few weeks it’s been!
And yes I did say “HONKERS”.
And this isn’t another erroneous Emily typo ;)
It’s a new word.
Created by me.
A hybrid for HOLY CRAP and BONKERS.
A LOT has transpired this last month or so.
And on top of the BUFFET of events that my life has delivered- may I remind you we had the MEGA summer solstice (a perfectly HONKERS solstice in my view), the midsummer charge never ceases to create a few sparks or in my case blow a fuse!
AND as if that wasn’t enough…
There as the Full Mid-Summer moon. That wonderful and highly POTENT Strawberry Moon.
A moon that seemed to generate a LOT of CHARGE in London traffic, yoga sessions, street life etc.
Well…as the ancient wisdoms tell us: LIFE is about cartwheeling through EVERYTHING at once!
I don’t know about you but I was on the receiving end of some mid-summer FIZZLE.
By fizzle I don’t mean the latest summer tipple- I mean “charged energy”, hyper behaviours, passive and actively aggressive/agitated emotions being spewed out. These came in the delightful guise of street rage, manipulative stirring, finger pointing, blame being vented outwardly.
I know… how perfectly pleasant!
What do I do when someone is “fizzled” at me?
Well once upon a behavioural DEFAULT time, I could use an array of “coping mechanisms” such as:
OPTION 1: I had nothing to do with it – obtuse belief that I had anything to do with it. Basically obtuse BLAME the other person completely!
OPTION 2: Fight fire with fire. Basically throwing a few stones (or fire bombs) back at the initial “deliverer” in the form of comments or actions. Hazard warning: I learnt fairly quickly that using fire to fight fire= FAR MORE FIRE! This fuels anger and frustration in everyone.
OPTION 3: ”That person is so right- I blame myself – I am such a failure, disaster, bad person, incapable etc.”
This mindset would pretty much send me into my own pit of shame and sorrow. I would happily shred the rest of my confidence due to a deeper inner belief that I was somehow “useless” and unworthy. Any confrontation could spark deep rooted insecurity and “shame” that would re-emerge and last for days, weeks, months… years even! Through experience I learnt that these fractured emotions were my way of doing “self sabotage”. Yup- this was my willing activation of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction that were anger, blame, shame, fear).
Because I left these emotions un-dealt with (and to be fair at one time in my life I did not have the tools or faith in the tools that I have today to process them) I cultivated further destructive thoughts and behaviours in all aspects of my life.
Here’s my two pennies worth from my experience:
Surprise surprise…NONE of the above default options got me across “GO”!
Noooooo- they were not the yellow brick road that paved the way to the more joyful, balanced and peaceful life that I was craving.
How did I learn tools to cope with this STUFF?
I learnt how to MANAGE my ENERGY. This is going to be another post;).
The main tools that had the most impact came from the ancient philosophies of Ayurveda & Yoga. I also worked with other wondrous teachers that used different modalities such as coaching, mentoring, psychotherapy, bio resonance and energy work. I still use these techniques regularly today as they help me so much in my relationships with myself and others. See my “Private Energy management sessions” on the “Emily’s offerings” tab here.
Back to dealing with someone else’s “fizzle”….
When I am on the receiving end of FIZZLE – there are 2 questions I ask myself:
1.What’s my part? What role have I played in triggering this “outburst”?
Often I have felt totally innocent to the situation (like the biker who swore at for seemingly no reason when I crossed the Cromwell Road the other day when the traffic light was BLATANTLY red!)… however, I have to remind myself of the old sayings “it takes two to tango” or “there is no smoke without fire”. These sayings can resonate and apply in many incidences.
Yes I know- it means at times we have to “SUCK it up” a little, come off the high horse and be: HONEST.
In this kind of situation I usually ask myself the following:
If I review the event- how could I have provoked the situation?
When it comes to the biker- Was I crossing at the wrong place? Did I not look properly? Could I have waited when I saw him streaming through the line of traffic that was at stand still?
The biker was going too fast in my view when the traffic light was red. However, by becoming self-righteous and telling him (yes it was a HE!!) he was OUT of line is really not going to help the situation or myself!
It made me feel angry- I was afraid he might have knocked me down.
I felt self righteous- he shouldn’t be going so fast when the traffic is still and the light is red.
He needs to be aware and give way to pedestrians. And….he nearly knocked me over!
I told him to slow down and… his reaction was to swear at me.
I still have to HONESTLY ask myself: “Have I played a part in this? Could I have just shut my mouth and said nothing? Did I need to speak my part?”
2. What was my intention? What did I want to achieve through my actions/words that this person reacted too? Was I trying to assert myself above that person? Was I trying to show myself to be better?
In that incident I felt it was my right to tell him he was defying laws of safety on the road. As I was taken by surprise, it was likely the tone I used was more forceful then it could have been. Had I said something like “wowzers… you might want to slow down dude”… he may… (may) have reacted differently. Had I said nothing… nothing would have happened to me… maybe it would have happened to someone else though… but is that for them to deal with?
I don’t want to waffle on more about the details of this incident.
My point is this:
Consider what is the part we play in any given situation.
Reflecting on this requires COURAGE and HONESTY. It opens up the possibility of being partly responsible for the event that has happened. This can be painful. This means putting down “defences” (egos) and saying- “yes… I can see how my actions/words could have triggered this person to behave in this way.”
This by the way is not only COURAGE; it is TRUTH in action.
And in my view- there are not enough people living like this in this world.
Of course another thing to consider is this:
3. It AIN’t my HONKERs!
Yes- when a person has a strong reaction to something I have done that may not seem “rational” to the situation or incident that occurred (especially when it’s a strong reaction of blame, anger and/or upset); I go with this premise:
It simply AIN’t MY HONKERS! (translation reminder- this ain’t my cocktail of “`Holy Crap” and “Bonkers” behaviour).
Why do people have seemingly irrational reactions to situations where it “really wasn’t such a big deal” for others?
Well… I know from my own experience when I feel a strong reaction to a circumstance, it is because there is an image of some past experience that has been triggered by the present situation.
The situation that occurs is like a reminder, a flashback to an emotion /situation and takes me back to a place of anger, fear, grief and so on.
How I choose to articulate the reaction could vary – sometimes it could be anger (which is a form of fear in disguise by the way! Fear of something either not happening or something being taken). Anger can be obvious and direct or come in the equally detrimental form of passive aggression. More recently I have seen how people avoid addressing things with a person and like to use social media to vent their anger or gossip with others and spread manipulative/untruthful stories. That’s all PURE passive aggression.
It’s so destructive. Mostly to the person that carries the emotion.
It’s not personal:
When I have reflected on my part, I can more clearly see what is mine and what is NOT. This helps me to accept that this person is likely having a reaction to TRAPPED energy. Some old imagery and experiences (called a “samskara” in Yoga traditions) is rearing it’s head. The present situation has amplified the old feelings and so the reaction becomes LOADED. The reaction is not just to the situation at hand but carries a barrage of SH*T from their past and UNRELATED experiences to this current situation.
As humans we can live with trapped emotions for a LONG time. It can create a painful existence when they are not dealt with. Trapped energy/emotions will gradually impact every part of a person’s life. We become LOADED vessels ready to erupt or have a melt down at any small thing.
In summary- what I have learnt is: “It’s not all about me” in fizzle situations. It ain’t my HONKERS!
A person can often be reacting to a situation that is bringing up pain from their own unpacked “BAGGAGE” of past.
This allows me to have some level of compassion.
I also draw a line at a certain point.
What to do?
Let it go.