It was hard to focus on anything else and I started chatting with others about the email and the situation. Of course, that's when this issue started taking on a life of its own. I found myself back on the roller-coaster of my "go-to" emotions - frustration and defensiveness - and ready for a fight.
A few hours into this and I was feeling worn down. Am I so addicted to conflict that I keep attracting these situations and circumstances into my life? Or, is there a life lesson here and I should be a happy learner?
What became clear is that maybe it was a bit of both. I know that I have a lot to contribute and I have gifts to share. And, conflict has been a challenge for me to step through with grace. In fact, I tend to run away from it and let others handle it.
If I am going to contribute in way that supports my spiritual growth, I might need these lower energies of conflict so I can learn to say, "Enough!" and trust that I am strong enough to not need the approval of others to stake my claim.
And that is where the lesson is - to believe in myself and stop repeating the patterns. I have the tools to take this situation and turn this into one that nurtures and feeds my spirit.
In The Science of Mind Magazine, Patricia Kashare has an article that talks about the relationship with your higher Self. Her advice is perfect for my situation.
"When life's roller-coaster's stresses and strains pitch you about, insist upon the immunity from them that is rightfully yours. Should you feel as though you have collided with a racing behemoth and the wind has been knocked out of you, remember - the feeling need be no more than *momentary*. Logic teaches that experience - especially if rooted in an emotional reaction - stems from the ego, which sponges up myriad examples of thinking one's self as "less than". This happens when we put the judgement of others way, way ahead of remembering: each and every one of us is God's perfect child, unique, individualized and beloved."
Looking at my patterns of response, rather than criticizing and attacking and letting ego rule, I need to rewire that pattern and claim my rightful immunity. I realize that it means taking small steps each day that might be uncomfortable, especially when I push back and do NOT engage in the drama. I risk being shunned by a group that I currently call friends.
But, it is an opportunity to choose faith. It is a chance to be consistent in "walking the walk". As I've heard Michael Neill say in a story he tells about a few monks, "whatever you see or think you see, keep your feet moving and you will come out the other side."
I am creating and re-creating myself - almost daily it seems. I don't know if there will ever be mastery, however, I CAN choose happiness.
After all, I am God's perfect child, unique, individualized and beloved.
"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound
of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have.
And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days
on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.