It’s OK to Not Feel Ok

Published on: December 5, 2020

3 Minute Read. Topic - Self-Help, Acceptance, Zen
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like – Lao Tzu

I had an incident at work a while ago which made me take a step back and reflect.

It was to do with a work colleague of mine whom I don’t particularly get along very well with, and whose work ethics do not align with mine. When I raised the issue with my line manager about a particular operational matter which was not being handled by the individual at all, he chose not to address the situation. During the conversation, I realized that I was getting angrier by the minute, not at my manager, who was a nice person, but by his inaction. 

What stayed me after the short discussion with my manager, was the fact that I could feel my anger and frustration rise and I was struggling to keep it in check: not an ideal trait in the workplace.

‘Why did I get so angry?’, I thought to myself….’ I should not lose control so easily’. When I was berating myself, a more calming thought occurred to me, like a fluffy white cloud covering the glaring sun…’It is Ok to get angry, just as much as it is ok for me to want to get things right.’ 

And then, I decided to look with kindness at my own self; my anger reflected my values and my work ethics – not a bad thing. It also reflected my ability to stand up for what I thought was right – again, a positive trait to have. 

Just as the beauty of the vast oceans is not defiled by her tempestuous mood during a raging storm, so too any person’s action during a weak or challenging moment should not define his personality or his character. We all carry within us the calmness of a glassy sea as much as we also bear within us the power to disrupt and destroy.

The very fact that I realized that getting angry was probably was not a good thing, was an indication of mindfulness – being aware, sensing the feeling, being conscious of my own actions. 

And, that is a comforting thought. 

Will I get riled up just as easily if such an event would reoccur? I hope to think not. 

I will raise the issue but not my voice, highlight the change I seek but not worry about someone else’s role or responsibility. What matters to me is my reaction and my response to any situation. What the person should or shouldn’t do should be if no concern to me, if I am not his manager. 

More importantly, neither shall I suppress my feelings anymore nor will I deride myself for feeling the way I do. 

Realization is the first step towards change; being mindful and observing the origin of emotions is the next step towards taking control. A person who is present in the moment and is connected with his self will be far more composed and unruffled when things do not go to plan- no because he is more virtuous or stronger than others around, but because he watches it all with mild amusement and a degree of detachment. 

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For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Takeaway thought
  • What are the most overwhelming emotions that you try to suppress? Why do you feel you need to do so?
  • Do you stop and reflect on your behavior when you deal with difficulties and different personalities?
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