Unpacking any aspect of your emotional reactivity (the cause of suffering!) is useful. However big or small, it's all one big sprawling network, and insight into any one aspect will translate and scale, as we work our way down to the roots of our suffering.
Here's an insightful little back-and-forth I recently shared with one of our members. We had just returned from a 5-day retreat, where we got a much deeper and clearer look at our reactive habits. When we all returned home, we got to watch ourselves in action, let loose in our lives! It's a big step forward to notice that you're far more reactive than you thought you were (although, for sure, that kind of insight can feel like you've gone backwards).
…although I did notice a large amount of reactivity when I got home. My fish had died whilst I was away and I was upset at ****** for noticing the cloudy tank, but not cleaning it. All before I walked into the house! I suppose noticing the reaction to the reaction was insightful.
Definitely good to watch the compounding reactions. Is there sadness about the loss of your fish?
I did notice the sadness. In fact that’s what I said to ******. “I’m not really angry with you, I’m just sad that they’re dead.” I think I’d already laid the guilt on him though and then I felt bad about that. Reactivity as far as the eye can see!
OMG that’s SO good!
1. To notice the sadness.
2. To communicate it.
Roughly how long do think each step took you? Also, more generally, would you have tuned into the sadness in earlier pre-practice times?
I noticed it during the anger phase. So, I didn’t carry on with it. Certainly earlier than in the ‘before times’! I’m not sure I would’ve taken full responsibility for my reactions at all then. (Gratitude to you for that.) My judgement to my reaction caused a more long lasting reaction. I guess because it was internal. I tried to notice where it was in my body, but no luck. So much learning ahead.
Noticing sadness during anger is a big deal! As is taking responsibility. This is winning! Also critical to notice, and very interesting, that the self-judgment is the strongest of all.😊