I’ve always heard the advice given to new married couples: Don’t go to bed angry.
Is this sound advice or just a cliche?
I read this statement from a blog by Gretchen Rubin (10 ways to be happier) the other day… Dolet the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.
It reminded me of something I heard a few months ago by Rabbi Doniel Katz which was one of those “aha” moments: He said something like this: People say don’t go to bed angry but that is the worst advice ever given. Who wants to start discussing heavy issues when you are exhausted just before falling asleep? It can actually make matters worse!
I had to laugh because I used to do just that and my poor husband had to force his eyes open and look mildly interested in what I had to say just before midnight when I suddenly wanted to talk.
Something that works for me is to forgive people (in my mind) before I go to sleep. If you want to know how I do this, please email me.
If still upset then choose the “right time” to speak to the person when you are not angry or hurt but just want to find a solution and move forward. “Sleeping on it” sometimes gives new perspective in the morning.
The other day I found myself complaining to someone about how much I had to do… all the cooking, cleaning and clearing up, setting up, shopping etc. I stopped myself in mid sentence when I realised what I was doing and looked at things differently – I had money to shop for food, I had guests to cook for, I have a home to invite people to, I have a family to share it with and I’m really grateful for all of that.
What are our reasons for complaining?
Here are a few:
Finding it hard to cope with what is happening
Feeling like a victim
Being a martyr
Other (add your own)
What is the problem with complaining?
Here are a few:
If we complain a lot, we create that which we don’t want in our lives.
We become stuck in that reality and find it hard to see the good right in front of us or a way out of our current situation.
We avoid responsibility. If we keep arriving late and complain about the traffic or the queue – i.e. blaming – we are avoiding making a change to our behaviour.
What can we do?
Being grateful for what we have. Counting our blessings.
Changing our perspective – this would help to find a solution.
Changing our habits one step at a time by catching ourselves and making a positive change.
Think about what you DO want in your life and talk more about that.
Finding a way to solve the problem.
So, start to look at what is right with your world i.e. admire the roses even though there are thorns.
* Does that extra half an hour lying in bed stop you from doing something else?
* Sitting around with coffee and facebook a bit longer than you were planning to?
* Do you find yourself rushing around a lot and still getting to places late?
* Do you give yourself treats a bit too often?
* Do you buy expensive things when the budget is low?
When you are wanting a new way of being for yourself and work towards getting it but find yourself sabotaging your efforts, it could be that you are self indulging. There are many reasons for not doing what we are wanting to do, reaching our goals and living life well, I’m just going to focus on self indulgence for today.
There’s nothing wrong with lying in bed for ½ hour longer if you don’t have other things that you are wanting to accomplish. There’s also nothing wrong with treating yourself to ½ hour longer in bed now and then. It’s when it becomes a habit and messes up your day or many days because you are rushing around and arriving late for commitments and getting less of the important stuff done on a consistent basis.
Consistent self indulgence is self sabotaging
Reaching for the sugary treats when we know that we don’t logically need them and then staring at the scale in horror as if it is the scale’s fault!
Watching You-tube videos or browsing the internet instead of getting ready in the morning and then being late for an appointment – then moaning at yourself and feeling hopeless about often being late.
Saying “I will start exercising tomorrow” everyday and somehow never getting around to it.
Procrastinating on a work project because it’s too hard or too boring and then rushing like a maniac to get it finished at the last minute.
Can you notice the self sabotage? Can you see yourself in any of these scenarios?
Of course we should treat ourselves and live life happily but it would benefit us more to balance that pleasure with self discipline, prioritising, being organised and responsible.
What do you think? (I’m genuinely interested and would love to have your input).
Here’s an example of an ineffective apology: “I’m sorry for the mean, awful, accurate things I’ve said”.
We all make mistakes, that is part of our humanness. Saying sorry is not an easy thing to do, it can be embarrassing and cringeworthy but it’s an important element in relationships and in our soul work.
Many relationships are uncomfortable or even end because we are too proud to say sorry or because we think we are right and refuse to say sorry.
It’s more important to let go of the “principle of the matter” sometimes and be the bigger person. People find themselves not speaking to people for years because of the “principle of the matter”. Is it so important to be right? Families can be split apart by principles.
Pride is a blocking component of saying sorry. It’s embarrassing to apologise because then we have to admit that we were wrong. We often make the same mistake over and over and then it feels like we are grovelling to say sorry and don’t you just hate that!? It’s never too late however, to work on ourselves in an attempt to not make those same mistakes again. It may take time so recognise your fallibility, forgive yourself as well and recommit to doing better next time.
If someone doesn’t want to accept your apology then work at it and try again if the relationship means something to you.
All relationships we have can teach us something. Try and learn what that is. Step towards peace, using love, logic and compassion as your tools.