You don’t like the way your kids are behaving.
Your mate did not do the promised thing and now it’s on your plate.
Your elderly parents need care giving and don’t understand the demands on your time.
Many are the occasions when we would be wise to press PAUSE, instead of flying off the handle with a knee-jerk reaction to what’s going on, or instantly falling into insecurity or resentment. How often do we find ourselves in moments of urgency, dealing with the expectation of others, or in resistance and peeved about what’s happening? We can feel disappointed, angry, or put upon. Sometimes we act immediately, as if we have no choice.
I’m suggesting a healthy PAUSE for our own well-being, and if it helps others, that’s great, too. (It probably will.)
Let’s call it an Emotional Remote! Press PAUSE to stop the action or the drama –at least in our heads. PAUSE represents our personal power. It gives us the opportunity to respond of reacting. It gives us time to act in a way that will leave us feeling good about ourselves and how we handled things.
In the space between stimulus and response, we give ourselves a gift. First, this space can avoid any behavior we may come to regret, either in what we say or what we agree to. We’ve all been there, rehearsing later in our heads how we could have better handled a situation. It can save us from any number of less than constructive reactions. Second, we can become aware of several things, such as “What am I thinking right now?”, or perhaps more importantly, “What am I feeling right now? What do I really want to experience? What kind of person am I?”
Once we pause, here are the basic options. We can remain a victim to what’s happening, avoid it, change it, shift our perspective of it, or accept it. What will we choose?
PAUSE is the opportunity for our freedom and growth, if played right. We can become free of unwanted emotions we may be having, like resentment or frustration. We can opt for a better feeling thought about what’s happening, or we can have the presence of mind to leave the encounter if it means our safety- emotionally or physically- or if we need time to think before acting. Pause lets us see, too, if we are sweeping things under the rug for this occasion, knowing they will come back again. We consider the shift to what’s really important and what would bring the most satisfaction.
Take for example, the kids who are misbehaving. Hit PAUSE. Here is your point of power because there are many options beyond what originally wants to come from you. If you picture a mirror on the forehead of each of your children and watch yourself as they see you, how would you react to you? Ah, there’s the value of a pause. You can decide who you want to be or become in that moment. You can decide the role model you want to be. Think of what you value most and act accordingly. If you want calm at bedtime, are you acting to create it in a way that is in keeping with calm? (You can’t have peace thinking thoughts of war!). Decide what’s important to you. Is it the need to be right? the need to be happy? to create harmony? to explain yourself well? Then, check to see that you behave in a manner that fits your objective.
In the end, you are creating your legacy, moment by moment, and the person you want to be. This situation has given you that opportunity. Give yourself the gift of PAUSE.