Sometimes we feel irritated by the acts of our parents — nothing but their small acts though bigger efforts depicting how much they are concerned about us. It’s not as if we do not want to be grateful, rather we need a space. And we find ourselves confused about how to reach out as we do not want to offend them, but their act of kindness are annoying us. It’s the time to reflect on how much and how you are being grateful for the blessings around you; moreover how you seize the space between stimulus and response.
A story of a friend of mine will give a more clearer image. She was lying in bed with a book but was preparing for an exam tomorrow. According to her, she was burning a midnight oil. To take a break as she was following a Pomodoro technique, she picked up a mobile phone and then suddenly mother came in out of no way. She rebuked her for using the phone while lying aimlessly on the bed. After receiving a severe reprimand, she lost the motivation to start the work, as she had not responded to her mother’s stance.
It happens to all in varying degrees, starting from small daily affairs to the long quarrels. We either do not speak or walk out; neither attempt to understand our feeling nor the emotions of the person in front that lead us to unhealthy relationships. However, both responses are killers to our relationships we should be grateful for and, more importantly, killers to our inner self.
Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who survived a Nazi death camp in Man’s Search for Meaning, shared this sentiment: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Susan David put forth this as being emotionally agile requires us to seize that space between stimulus and response. It depends upon you how you seize that space.
P.S. If you want to take the next step, pick up a copy of Emotional Agility.