As Bloody Good Bloke and I were walking down Swan St, a guy leant out the window of his car and yelled “slut something-or-others” at us from 1m away as he and his mates drove past, which seemed like an odd thing to yell at a couple dressed in puffer jackets.
As I was kicking off a minor rant about how frustrating it is that so many idiots still stress women out with this shit, another car drove past and threw a Maccas cup of coke at us.
Luckily it hit a lamp post, so we only got a smattering of coke on us.
I expected BGB to sprint down the street after the car, he’s pretty protective at times, but he was held back by one of his many jiu jitsu injuries.
“WTF is going on?!” We laughed as we walked further down Swan St.
Then yet another dude leant out of his window at the zebra crossing and screamed “GO THE D’s” right in our face, and that’s when we realised that there must have been a big AFL game on.
I’ve heard from police mates that when the All Blacks or the Wallabies lose a big game, incidents of violence escalate exponentially.
Except in Victoria, probably, where no one gives a flying feck about rugby.
It reveals a sad truth that as a society we have sorely failed to educate ourselves on how to manage difficult emotions.
So we end up with sports fans drinking too much to drown their disappointment and starting fights because they don’t know what to do with the pent up stress from the game.
Drinking and starting fights is only one of the destructive ways we manage difficult emotions though…
Excessive quantities of hot chips is another. Stress-baking scones… 🙋♀️ Sugar, alcohol, drugs, sex, Netflix, shopping, gambling, smoking, gossiping, social media, news, gaming… the list goes on.
Avoidance napping anyone?
Unhelpful behaviours and addiction are very often the result of trying to avoid uncomfortable emotions.
Especially in the absence of healthy emotion coping strategies.
If you have a bad habit or ten that you’re trying to kick, rather than trying to will-power yourself into the kind of person that has restraint (who are those people?!), instead I encourage you to practise feeling your feelings rather than avoiding them.
If you can get good at ‘sitting with’ your uncomfortable emotions, your life will change in all sorts of unexpected ways.
And you’ll find that while you can still enjoy all the fun things I listed above, you’ll be less likely to accidentally go to town on them every time you have an emotion you need to bury.
My formerly extremely sceptical self used to get pissed off when people would suggest
‘sitting with’ things.
Like, what? Sit where? Sit with my emotions that are invisible and can’t be sat with? 🙄
It took many years for me to understand that ‘sit with’ actually means ‘direct your attention to the physiological sensations in your body and allow them to be there.’
‘Sitting with’ does not mean *thinking* about the emotion.
→ Thinking about an emotion looks like:
“Ah I’m so angry, I can’t believe she said that, the nerve of her! I feel so much rage, argghhhh, I’m sitting with rage, rahhhhhh sooo ragey…!”
→ ‘Sitting with’ an emotion looks like:
“There’s a pressure in my chest, some movement, heat, tension… I can notice my fists clenching, and my face feels hot…”
Notice the non-judgement?
That’s a key part of ‘sitting with’ rather than ‘fighting with’.
Feel your emotions, don’t think them.
If the whole world got good at this, we wouldn’t have been splashed by a Maccas coke.
Let’s create a world in which we don’t throw coke at each other, shall we?