What sets you off? Today’s topic really hit a cord with our resident parents, Dana and Jon, so they decided to co-author the post.
Have you ever had an incident where an injustice happened to a friend or a loved one?
An injustice where your loved one was so hurt and embarrassed that you felt utterly indignant for them?
And you wanted to roll up your sleeves, march right down there, and set the wrongdoers straight?
Well, as parents, we have found ourselves in such situations more than a few times.
A few years ago, Jon had an experience which really set him off. His son had a playdate with his elementary school friend which was cancelled on the spot when the friend’s mom realized Jon’s son was biracial.
And Dana almost ended a family reunion once when a relative said in front of her daughters that they were “pretty, but too fat”.
Whether you have children or not, most of us have experienced at one point or another of not being accepted, of being the uncool kid on the outside looking in, of having just plain mean things said directly at us.
But when those things happen to someone who can’t defend themselves? Like young children?
For both the above incidences, we wanted to confront those people and let them have it!
How dare they! Who do they think they are? Don’t they know how much they are hurting our kids?
Ultimately, we never ended up hunting down those people. Not because restraint kicked in, but rather we didn’t know if we would be able to have calm rational conversations when we’re utterly enraged.
We would have probably lost it and done something we would regret. Instead, we took a step back, calmed down, and dealt with it later… when we felt more clear-headed.
Look, there are times in life where we must stand up for ourselves and for those who cannot stand up for themselves, like our children, but we must do so once we are calm, cool, and collected.
It’s not easy. But what’s the point of perpetuating the pain by causing more pain?
So the next time you find yourself crying for justice, take a step back and calm down before proceeding. You don’t have to accept the injustice, but you can let go of the anger and the boiling need for that other person to ‘get it’.
You’ll feel better and be a bigger person for it.
Stress Release Tip
It is so easy to hold on to incidents on injustice and intolerable treatment by others. Dwelling on it only escalates our tension and angst. It is a boiling kettle of rage. Take three cleansing breathes. Stop replaying the incident in your mind. Instead, think of all the beauty and grace in this world – young children, a sunset, a walk on the beach. You cannot control all that happens, but you can control your thoughts and reactions. Allow the storm to pass and settle into your natural state of grace and ease.
Our protective nature can be noble and necessary at times. Be sure, however, not to overplay that role for our children or other people in our lives that we care about. Allow them to figure things out on their own. Give them time to work things out. Remember that the well intended short-term solution you offer may have unwanted long-term consequences.
Quote From Dana & Jon
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
– Steve Maraboli
This post is co-written by our contributors Dana Lin and Jon White.
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