I was walking down the street a number of months ago, hurrying to pick up a last minute addition to my husband’s birthday presents and passed a father and his son. The son was walking in the same path as I was, and we both did that weird side-to-side shuffle, trying to avoid each other but failing miserably.
He ended up falling to the ground, tripping over my feet. Not hard enough to hurt himself, but he fell.
And the father looked at me angrily after I said ‘sorry!’ and said something I didn’t quite catch.
Perhaps a ‘watch where you’re going’ or something of the sort.
I was a bit shocked – it wasn’t really the fault of either of us – and felt taken aback by his response.
I’m sharing this with you because, unlike my usual reaction, I allowed myself to feel what was going on in my body. The slap-like feeling to my temple, pressure on my chest, the tightening of my throat, the twisting of my stomach.
I allowed myself to feel the hurt physically and it was a new experience for me.
One which I found really interesting.
Likewise, I’ve had a number of situations recently where I’ve felt stung by something someone has said, I’ve felt the hurt of being let down by another.
It links into a comment I’ve heard from a relationship podcast by Esther Perel:
There’s one word that can defuse a conflict with your partner: “Ouch.” As in: “Ouch. That one hurt. I don’t know if you were meaning to hurt me; but it hurt.
Through experiencing the feelings that were pulsing through my body, I embodied the feelings.
I felt the ‘ouch’.
I acknowledged the injustice I felt at being snarled at by a stranger for what was an accident. Hurt by a comment. Felt insignificant by being second place.
And it defused the inner conflict I had. The part of me that would refuse to acknowledge what was going on and would push down the feelings deep inside.
I realised it was all about how I was feeling and ouch, it hurt!
On reflection, I think this might be the way fowards for me in dealing with all the emotions I have.
To sit in the pain and feel what’s going on for my body.
To feel into what’s going on for me physically as much as emotionally.
As I do that, I recognise my inter critic. The voice trying to keep me safe by saying ‘you’re not enough, retreat back to a place where you feel safe‘.
And in this moment I choose to instead return to my inner grounding. To recognise that I’m exactly enough for myself.
I see that my ego was hurt by feeling unjustly accused, unjustly hurt, unjustly disregarded.
And, again, when I return to my inner grounding, I hear quiet, powerful voices that say ‘we know it was an accident’, ‘we’re here to comfort you’, ‘we value you.’
I feel the pain and I let it go.