The other day, I was in a book discussion group, talking about the well-researched book The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee when I got really triggered.
I became very uncomfortable when every comment I seemed to make in the discussion was “wrong” according to one woman in the group.
In this instance, I instantly shut up and vowed to quit the group.
Okay, so I felt angry, stupid and picked on unfairly…
But what I was really wrestling with was that these feelings were familiar and uncomfortable.
Now we all have feelings that repeatedly come up inside us that we’re not comfortable with.
Like me, it might be anger and feeling stupid but it also might be insidious feelings of jealousy and even intense love.
When these feelings hit us, we try to smother them in all sorts of ways and may even lash out at others over something entirely different.
We don’t like them because they’re uncomfortable for whatever reason we’ve made up.
In difficult moments when there’s a struggle between opening your heart to someone and closing it, if you’re like I was in that book group, you close down.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn…
You can see uncomfortable feelings as a sign to pull back which can be fertile ground for resentment to build…
Or you can choose to see discomfort not as something to avoid or defend against but as a sign that you’re coming up against something that’s trying to get your attention to be acknowledged and let go of.
My experience says that there’s great freedom on the other side of letting go of a belief that no longer serves you.
You don’t have to stay stuck.
You can choose to see any discomfort that smacks you in the face as a sign and a gift that something important is ready to be let go of so you can see, feel and have more of the love you want in your life.
What beliefs did I see that I could choose to let go of?
Beliefs from my childhood that have no basis of reality that I’ve let go of many times in my life…
The beliefs that I’m stupid and that my feelings of anger are wrong.
So in this last instance of showing me that I still carry those beliefs…
I do have a choice–I can quit the group or I can stay in it, allowing love for myself and appreciating what I can learn from the others in the group and from this situation.
Most importantly, I can see where my thoughts (even if I’m unaware of them) are reinforcing those limiting beliefs that I’m stupid and it’s not okay to feel anger.
I can choose recognize them and not feed them.
Being uncomfortable is a gift for me and for you as well if you choose to see it that way.