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One of the things that I have put a lot of focus into during all of my personal and spiritual growth is calm. Not just the finding peace sort of thing, but staying calm in the face of adversity or challenging situations.
Recently I was trying to help someone with their writing. I’m reading over the work and commenting to them on the changes they needed to make. It was small stuff like capitalization and paragraph breaks. They started spazzing out about not being able to find the spot I was talking about, hating their keyboard, having to edit two documents… It was really frustrating me.
I had to stay calm. Yelling at them wouldn’t have helped. I had to stay focused and relaxed, control what I said and how I said it, and try to keep them calm. Part of me wanted to go off, or tell them not to ask me for help, but that wouldn’t have served anyone. It took more than a few deep breaths, but I got through it.
There are times when things and people test your patience and reserve. Everything in you is screaming, but you have to quiet those feelings and stay on track. It can be quite a challenge, especially if, like me, you haven’t always been a kind, patient person. I’m happy to say I’ve come a long way though, and I can handle myself pretty well and maintain my cool most of the time.
Fairly recently I was also faced with a big multi-friend drama with rather sweeping potential consequences. It took a lot out of me to stay calm, focused, and clear-headed. I had to think of the individuals, myself, and the bigger picture. Part of me wanted to tell everyone to take their drama and stuff it, but I cared too much for the main players, and even for the numerous other people who would have felt the fallout. I’m happy to say that I kept my cool and most of the situation turned out for the best. I was totally drained afterward, but it was worth it.
Staying calm in stressful or emotional situations isn’t always easy, but it’s worthwhile to develop the skill to do it. I’ve seen far too much harm come from people being angry and reactionary. I’ve even been the cause of some of it in the past. We must learn to control ourselves and do what’s best overall, rather than what feels like a good release in the moment.