I was reminded recently of a quote offered to me by a work colleague during a particularly unhappy time in my life – “this too shall pass”. It was extended with humility and love and couched in the terms that “this helped me once – it may help you”.
I think of it often – and it did indeed really help.
As a Kinesiologist ( and human being J ) I have a great deal of tools and techniques to help people (when requested and appropriate) – emotionally, physically, energetically, chemically and holistically. It is tempting though, in our desire to “help”, to pass on this “advice” when it maybe isn’t requested or wanted.
There was a comment on good old social media recently which I was irritated by (!) and I was tempted to bounce back with an immediate response (retaliation..? !). However, I love Phrases and Sayings and one that recently cropped up for me was this: “between stimulus and response is a gap – that is a space for choice”
I was fortunately able to recognise I had been triggered and that my discomfort and irritation was more about me and my beliefs, than the statement itself – which had been given, I’m sure, with love.
However, it made me recognise, even more than I already did, that an important element of working with people, particularly when there are emotional elements to their “dis-ease” or unwellness, is empathy. However tempting, it isn’t helpful to go barging in with simplified statements and attempts to “wave away” negative emotions or physical complaints that have been presented to us. Of course clients want to have confidence that you can help them, but it can be somewhat insulting to just “take this Bach remedy” and “repeat this affirmation” or to just breathe and set the intention that everything will be fine (even if you know these will indeed help remove a layer of stress). Although we don’t want clients dwelling on and basking in their negativity, and want to reframe and concentrate on the positives (what they DO want rather than what they DON’T), an initial element of client connection is a degree of empathy with their “condition” and a reassurance that we can work together to improve this.
We are all struggling in some way and depending on our natural default coping mechanisms and personality, some people concentrate on the practical and prepare for the worse-case scenario, others fight to ensure that doesn’t happen and others breathe and believe everything will be OK – they are all OK responses but we are not all the same – and that is OK. We can all learn new tactics but that doesn’t come overnight.
Another dear ex Boss of mine also loved Sayings and Phrases (you can imagine we got on well…!!!) and one that he attributed to his Mother in Law was “You should always tell the truth – but the truth should not always be told…” A bit like Kinesiology “the body doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t always tell the truth”
So going back to the gap and the choice, I am therefore appreciative that I was triggered and had the opportunity to explore my feelings about it without “batting the ball straight back”.