We often forget about the power of gentleness in our daily business. This is often the case when dealing with people we perceive as ‘difficult’. Sometimes during our busy day it is easier to push these people aside to deter them from disrupting progress. However, when we do this we don’t stop to consider how our actions and words impact them.
This week I received a wee reminder of this. Thankfully I did not engage in dismissive behaviour. Whilst talking to someone at work about a difficult situation I found myself in full clairsentient mode.
I could feel their anxiety as they expressed their point of view. I could feel their quickening heart rate and the churning of their stomach. As I stood there beside them, I listened to what I was feeling more than what they were saying. I spoke to those feelings. I let the person know firstly and fore mostly that I understood how they were feeling. Furthermore, I confided that I too have felt like this so many times in my life. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt the churning lessen slightly.
You Are Not Alone
I realised in that moment, this person has been feeling so alone. They had been feeling defensive against attack from all angles. Stress, lack of sleep, a feeling of failure, and a desperate need to feel reassured that they were going to be okay. A despondent yearning for the merry-go-round of the mind to stop so they could get off and find some semblance of peace.
As I walked back to my desk I felt like I wanted to burst into tears. The anxiety and sorrow being felt was not mine. Nevertheless it remained with me for a little while. I excused myself from the office for ten minutes, walking to the art gallery next door to engage in some mindfulness to help me disengage from the other person’s feelings.
As I stood there gazing upon the beautiful artworks, tears rolled down my cheeks. Those tears reflected a feeling of deep gratitude. Through the tears I also thought of times when I have boldly persisted with expressing a point of view irrespective of the distress I was feeling in the other person. Back then the focus was solely on the task at hand. Opportunities for gentleness and healing missed.
That matter at work encountered last week will be resolved. We will work together collaboratively and supportively. Yesterday though, there was a more important matter requiring immediate attention.
As I stood there in the art gallery, I took stock of how much I have grown in the past few years.
Feeling other people’s feelings, aches and pains has not always been a pleasant journey. However, yesterday emphasised for me what a gift and a contribution this clairsentient ability is and how I can use it mindfully to assist others I encounter.
Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay.