Do you ever experience facedown in the battlefield moments? I had one such moment on Sunday evening…
I love fire. Making bonfires, poking at fires, adding wood to fires, sitting around the fire, staring at the fire. You name it. I love fire.
I have a wonderful group of friends. Regularly one of us is telling the rest of the group how much we appreciate each other. We have love for each other.
On Sunday evening we invited our friends over for a fire to commemorate the completion of our new patio. (I posted before and after photos on my Facebook page!)
However, we also love to tease each other about our oddities. Like my love of fire. On Sunday, the teasing was fine …until it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t fine, I went “there.”
“My friends don’t trust me. My friends think I’m out of control. They are scared of me. I don’t listen to other people. I am so ashamed.” I left the fire and ended the evening in tears. My friends disbanded and went to their homes, not really knowing what was wrong.
The incident would have blown over and we would have been back to being friends, no problem. However, I didn’t want to hide my feelings and pretend so I sent them a text: “Hey guys. I felt hurt tonight because it seemed like people were making fun of me and not trusting my judgement. So I left, which didn’t fix things. Kind of left you guys by yourself.”
I was scared to be that open, that vulnerable. I don’t like admitting that I have feelings that can get hurt. Also, I didn’t want to be the girl everyone has to walk on eggshells around for fear of hurting her feelings.
However, the results I received were reaffirming:
“Sorry you felt that way!! Wasn’t the intent at all!! I’ve felt like that before as well but know that you guys love me so it’s all in good fun. Thank you for sharing how you feel.”
“Oh man. Yea sorry that was not the intent…” and “No worries Beck, we love you and we never intended to make you feel bad.” And when I saw them in person, they made sure to reach out again and make sure I felt ok and knew that they were on my side.
Teasing can sometimes be taken too far, even in good humor. Being open and vulnerable didn’t change the events on Sunday evening. But it did serve to draw our friendship group closer, rather than creating a riff.
One practice that has helped me work with emotions and the way it affects our lives is using the RAIN technique. This is a practice you can use “in the trenches” of shame, anxiety, stress and even chronic pain and so on.