Had a chat with a few colleagues and friends this evening. The chat was intended towards finding an arrangement for a business proposition, but before that it was focused towards looking at the emotional tonality lying around. What came about were the past hurts, reactivity and mistrust that were lying around, willingness to bring in some clarity about the way forward and some new resolutions.
This process evoked many things in me .... some relief, some clarity, some resolution, some understanding of where others are located in their mind, and some emotional turmoil with a certain intensity. I chose to not engage in an emotional drama but to engage with the process of clarifying and understanding what was happening and what issue belongs to who or to what context. I also acknowledged that while I had a greater intellectual clarity, I have to let the emotional turmoil take its time to settle down, and find a new level of balance within myself.
At the end of it all, it has left me with a sense of internal control that I may not have experienced earlier. What threw me off balance internally were the past ghosts of perception about me by others. These ghosts don't need too much time to jump up from their dark shadowy corners to jump at me, crowd around and fill me with their whispering bitter voices that say " see this is what others think of you ... we told you so, how dare she/he ... blah, blah, blah ...
Usually there are two unsuccessful ways I deal with these ghosts. One is to listen to them and allow them to overpower me with bitternes, remorse, anger and reactivity; the second is to tell them to go away and then tell myself that they don't exist, but simultaneously keeping a small voice alive inside which whispers:"may be some of what these ghosts bring are true. is it true? can it be so?" and so on and so forth.
today I decided to do neither. I listened to the ghosts and asked them stand aside and did not shut the door on them; I also listened to the other voice of the critique which usually commands me to get on with life, to move on, to not make an issue out of anything; I asked it too to stand aside. I then became my spokesperson who was compassionate to both how I was feeling emotionally and understanding and accepting what my rationality was telling me. I also looked around - these people were my friends and colleagues - they were not my enemies - they were expressing their deep sense of anguish and hurt and disappointment and anger over something that happened to them and it involved me to an extent. Could I understand and grace that? Yes, I could.
Could I also grace my frazzled emotional state rather than telling it to shut up and critique it? I did. I felt what I was feeling, did not hide it, neither did I let it take over the entire reality and paint it only with its intense emotional tonality.
Then I spoke to my friends telling them how I understood what they had felt and went through. At the same time, there was an intensity of feeling that I had and tht I needed time to let it take its course, take time and settle down. That I did not intend to let the feeling dictate my action, nor did I allow my dry logical critical self override my emotional self. I accepted and graced both and I felt good towards myself.
I am writing this post to also put this out in the open to all of you as this process helps me to reach out to others without filtering or without shame.
I would love to hear about your experience; do you encounter old ghosts? What do they tell you? What is your relationship with them?How do you deal with them?