There was a time when the internet connection in my home office got interrupted often. I asked my husband for tech support. He studied different products from various internet service providers, changed a wireless modem, but none of that helped.
That weekend, he pulled the ladder into the house. It looked like he was going to work on some project. He said he was going to pull a cable directly from the main outlet and into my office.
I asked, “And how exactly are you …” but was interrupted immediately. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything,” he said.
I felt like a door was shut right in front of me. There was something heavy blocking my chest.
I took a deep breath and left the room.
A Moment of Reflection
When I was alone, I took a close look at the heavy thing that blocked my chest. Not long after, I realized it was a choking feeling of not being able to express myself fully. How much I longed for expressing myself with true authenticity and freedom.
I spent some time connecting to the quality of energy that freedom, authenticity, and full expression pointed to. Now, the heavy and choking feeling disappeared. I felt the lightness again in my chest.
The Hidden Cable
When I returned to him, he had completed the project and showed it to me. The cable came from the main outlet and was hidden mostly behind furniture. The only part that couldn't be covered was carefully painted with acrylic paint in a similar color to that of the wall.
I was truly amazed by this project, especially the part painted with acrylic. The cable was barely noticeable.
He seemed to be very relieved. “I know you care about the look and wouldn’t like a cable crawling on the wall. I was afraid you wouldn’t like my solution.”
I hugged him, “You took so much effort to solve the problem for me. I see how you care and love me. Thank you!”
He hugged me back, very happy that I liked what he’s done.
I then shared how I was triggered by his interruption earlier and how I processed my own feelings and needs. He expressed his regret, “I was in a hurry… You said you didn’t like visible cables in the house. I thought you were going to be against my idea. But I’ve tried many other options and couldn’t figure out a better one.”
“You’ve spent so much time and effort to find a perfect solution for me. I like this a lot! I’m also very touched that you care so much about how I feel.”
The Power of Slowing Down
Most of the time, we often respond unconsciously to what happens around us. In this case, when I was interrupted, if I weren't aware of my feelings and needs, I might have reacted with something like, “Why are you interrupting me? All I’m asking is how you’re going to do it. Why do you have to stop me from asking?”
I imagine he might have been upset by my reaction. He had been trying all he could to find a solution for me, and now I was blaming him. Perhaps he’d feel angry, frustrated, and sad?
When I became aware of my own feelings, I chose to pause instead of reacting impulsively. I slowed down to reflect on my feelings and understand the needs behind them. When I empathized with my feelings and needs, the difficult emotions often faded or disappeared. After that, I usually sensed a much larger inner space, enabling me to empathize with others and connect to their feelings and needs.
When encountering interpersonal friction or disagreements, it hasn't always been easy to slow down, especially in our fast-paced world. However, the more I practice slowing down, the faster and easier it becomes. The time needed for reflection also shortens, making it easier for me to connect with myself and others on a deeper level.
These potential conflicts can then have a chance to be transformed into precious moments filled with understanding, care, and love.