Friday, 21 January 2011

Breathe Through It

Sometimes the actions of people around me confuse me. It can be perplexing to try and understand their motive and actions.

Sometimes I want to react in a manner that would harm that person. I want to react in both word and deed. Other times I’ve told myself “that’s it”; I’m done with that person.

Have you ever been so mad at someone that you’ve had fleeting thoughts of revenge? Have you ever wanted to make them pay!

It’s strange that we think that way, but sometimes it’s very satisfying – even if it’s only momentary.

Are you familiar with the song “It’s a thin line between love and hate”? He cheats, comes home in the early hour of the morning and she asks him if he’s hungry. Next thing you know, he is lying in a hospital bandaged from head to toe!

I get it! I guess for some, there is a limit, and once it’s reached, look out!

I don’t think if I could physically harm someone like that, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit to having harbored very unloving thoughts!

These days, I’m learning to breathe through it. That means not openly reacting. Instead, I’m learning to pay attention to my emotions in the situation. Our emotions can teach us a lot. I’ve realized that any sort of reaction feeds the flame. It’s also occurred to me that the stronger the reaction or thought of revenge, the more important the need for self- reflection.

Why do we react at all? Why do we want others to act in a manner that suits us? I guess that all depends on how deeply entrenched our values are. We each have a certain ethical code that causes us to react when it’s been breached. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we held such strong feelings of “right and wrong”.

That’s the beauty of our emotions. Emotion is our spiritual self trying to speak to us. It’s trying to teach us or at least make us aware of something that has caused us to be unhappy, or angry or ready to strike out physically.

I’m learning to breathe through it. Negative energy held within is harmful to us. It causes physical reactions in our body. And, the cycle that caused the reaction in the first place continues. It can continue throughout our lifetime if we ignore our emotions.

If someone gets you that mad, imagine what would happen over time if you stopped reacting. The situation would change - it would have to. If you are no longer providing the fuel, the flame will die.

If you learn to stand still and just breathe, you might also learn that the reaction had nothing to do with the actions of another person. It’s our egos, and our sense of self-worth that we are usually trying to protect. You might even find that you actually believe the hurtful words spoken by someone else. And how harmful is that!

I’m awed by the perfection of our construction. We have everything we could possibly need within us, to live the most incredible lives. And every person we come into contact with is both teacher and student. Imagine if everyone recognized that. What a world this would be.

Instead, we react, and we ignore ourselves. And we perpetuate the negative energy. We cause grief instead of understanding.

So, I’m learning to breathe through it in order to learn and grow spiritually stronger. I’m using the god-given tools that are contained within me.

I’m never going to understand others, and I don’t think I should even be trying to. All I need to focus on is how their actions make me feel. And once I’ve made that recognition, I can release that negative energy for good. And that makes me greater in spirit. That increases my ability to teach from a different perspective.

I’m learning to breathe through it.

Picture taken at Brandywine Falls (Whistler, BC)


  1. Something I've been trying to do for the longest time but consistently have challenges with! It's not my strong suit... but it needs to become one. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You are not alone! I need that reminder too!
    Cause there are days...