In the last two weeks “The High Road” – the metaphorical place where you rise above nasty emotions expressed by other people and don’t contribute to them yourself – has been present a lot.
The Universe has taught me that any time something comes up frequently I’m being asked to look more closely at it, and also to consider how this is playing out in my life.
I feel good about my choice to take the High Road as much as possible – even though it’s hard, sometimes really hard, to keep my mouth shut and publicly travel The High Road, doesn’t always mean that I’m not privately angry.
So how did I get there?
In the past I was a talker, a processor. If I had a difficulty with another human I wanted to talk about it. Do my best to understand them, get them to understand me and find a way to uplift to a common ground.
I still hold this as my ideal and take this approach whenever possible. And I’ve learned some people will only blow up in your face or agree with you and twist the knife in your back deeper. Some people have to burn their own bridges and engaging with them will only drag you into the fire.
This is my path to The High Road:
Maintain possession of your own baggage. Remember that your emotions are yours, and another person’s emotions are theirs. Having emotions does not entitle anyone to put them on another person or require understanding or agreement between people. Engaging on that level is a choice, and the more serious the issue, the more clearly and grounded you must be before you engage. Carry your own bags and let them carry theirs.
Empty your bags as needed. Please have your emotions and express them with a safe person or in safe space. If you must rage, rage upon the Earth, she can take it, she can transmute it and you can move on in clarity. **Side note: Remember that a person who chooses to hold you and love you even when you’re angry or upset is a gift -- thank them and do your best to be there for them as well.
Stop taking yourself so seriously, seriously. For a moment, be grateful for all you’ve learned to this point, and this interesting challenge the Universe is putting in your path. You can dissect it endlessly and wind yourself up in your own head, or you can take a deep breath (and then another), and find a way to lighten your load: Talk with a friend? Go for a walk? Dance? Something that brings you nourishing joy so that you can approach the current situation with curiosity and willingness to learn, rather than outrage that you’re dealing with it at all.
I often use a mantra passed on by a friend: “Love and light, love and light, love and light.” When I think about an upsetting situation, and of course when you’re upset it comes up a lot, rather than getting wound up in questions and assumptions I repeat this mantra. It may not change the situation; it does change your perception of it and allow you to proceed in a better way.
Their Shoes. Most people are doing their best with the knowledge and experience they have in this life and are worthy of compassion. Doing a bit to consider their situation (or ask the questions if you chose to engage), will build a lot of perspective for you and may entirely shift the conversation.
Ask Yourself Three Questions.
1. How much does this person matter in my life? Will I even see them ever again?
2. Why am I so pissed off at this person? Are they pushing certain buttons or triggers that I need to address myself?
3. What's my goal in engaging with this person? Is it likely to make a difference to me, to them, to humanity?
The answers to these questions will tell you if it’s time to engage or move on. And because you’ve gotten grounded and clear on your emotions, and taken some steps to process this within yourself, you are in a better space for clear communication with this person.
You may find that the need to engage with them has gone away, but if something must be said for the greater good of all, you can speak from this clear, grounded space and you will feel clean once you’ve said your peace.
Do you prefer The High Road? Any hot tips on how you stay there? The BurlyQFit Babes Facebook Group would love to hear from you!
May The Fabulous Be With You! Eva D’Lusciou
Eva D’Luscious is a Burlesque performer and producer based in Portland, OR, and Creatrix of BurlyQFit – a Body Positive Burlesque technique and fitness program for women ready to strip away shame and shimmy into self-confidence. She is always seeking more company on The High Road. Join the conversation about body positivity, fun fitness and boss babes ruling their lives in the BurlyQFit Babes Facebook Group.
Some people will blow up in your face or pretend to agree while twisting the knife in your back deeper. Some people have to burn their own bridges