I have just been through one of life’s challenges, not a big one but it I did feel some anxious anticipation of the unknown. I noticed that I was able to stay more present and in the moment as this situation got closer. This meant that my suffering was less intense and for a shorter period of time.
Once the situation had passed I became aware of the fallout from my anxiety about it. I was feeling a bit restless and irritable. When I feel this way I usually want to blame my nearest and dearest but the more I practice loving kindness and mindfulness the more I am able to hold these feelings knowing that they are mine. Even though I feel irritable with what seems like everything they do for a little while I can let it go. I know that this feeling will pass.
In this situation we can choose to add to our suffering by escalating a situation and not owning our irritation or by being aware of our own feelings and taking responsibility for those feelings. This doesn’t mean that we let people walk over us or behave inappropriately. It means that when we are feeling difficult feelings we take ownership of them and not take them out on other people.