Staying Centered When the World Ticks me Off

When I was younger, I had an extremely hot temper. I’m talking neck vein-popping screams and hot tears streaming down my face. That kind of angry. I just couldn’t handle feeling misunderstood and disrespected. Whether my anger was directed at my parents for not giving me what I want, or if I reached my limit while butting heads with my sister, I do remember the anger was so overwhelming, I simply didn’t know how to not react completely outrageously.

I’m happy to realize my temper has sizzled out since my younger days. My breaking point is much, much higher and I’ve become impressively better at compromising and attempting to see through the other person’s eyes. However, that being said, I do get off balance more often than I’d like to admit. I get worked up, I act in a way that embarrasses me later, and I say things I know I’ll regret later.

Accepting the Journey

Throughout my journey of becoming the type of person I want to be, I continually find myself feeling like I’m backtracking and losing progress. I get frustrated with myself. It feels like all the time I spent reading and highlighting inspirational books and listening to smart doctors speak about self composure was time wasted. It’s one thing to read and analyze new practices but its an entirely additional challenge to actually remember to practice those new habits in person.

However, despite all of this disappointment, I’m trying to remember that the journey to becoming the person I want to be is exactly that: a journey. A process. It’s going to take continuous practice and a series of trial and error before I finally feel confident in my abilities.

My readings and lectures generally iterate the same idea: don’t suppress your feelings, rather, learn to love them and let them go. In moments where I feel frustrated with my partner or friends, I’m supposed to sit for a moment (if even for a few seconds) and recognize how I feel. I should respond in ways that are respectful and progressive, not selfish and misguided.

Staying centered when my heart rate picks up with anger is extremely difficult. Too often I find myself responding quickly out of emotion. When I do this, I lose my sense of control and confidence–which are two ideals I am trying so hard to grasp. How can I feel in control and confident if I respond in a way that makes me feel and appear selfish and weak?

Before I get too frustrated with myself, however, I stop to figure out what I can learn about my slip up. How can I use this moment to improve for future situations that are similar? How will I respond next time?

Finding the Center

Slipping up and forgetting to work through your emotions in moments of anger is totally normal. Just because you’ve decided to start changing your ways doesn’t mean you’re going to wake up a new person the next day. In fact, I’m starting to realize this might take years before I can say I am the person I’ve always wanted to be. But here’s the thing: I’m not going to give up. I’m going to take each slip up and use that as a lesson for the next moment in my life.

I relocate my “center” by reassessing my values and goals. I remind myself about why it’s important for me to accept my emotions and preventing them from dictating my every thought and relationships. As a highly sensitive person, this is a challenging task, however, it’s important to be to remember to stay centered.

After all, how am I supposed to get better if I’m not willing to take a lesson and learn from it?


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