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Emotionality Diffused

Larry Watson of Inspiring Connection recently submitted a guest blog post. THANKS LARRY!


Working in communities can sometimes provide the greatest challenges for each of us. Family, work, other. It will also create the biggest miracle when we have patience, self-differentiate, and have faith in a better outcome than we could have imagined.

I was surprised at a development a few months ago in a community to which I have been very dedicated. It seemed that some people felt that one thing that I had done a year prior was now a negative and “deal-breaker” factor in my visibility in the organization. I had been serving in a very visible part of the organization for about a year. In essence, I was then being told that I was no longer welcome to be a public voice.

The primary voices of this view chose to make it part of a group discussion, and when the leader suggested that I explain the issue, I found myself choosing not to participate in this “trial.” I merely said, “This is your issue.” I allowed the discussion of the larger group be the voice, and I refused to defend myself.

The emotionality of the issue was palpable, and the group was viscerally divided on the issue. I realized that defending myself is like shutting a door because I make the other person wrong any time I defend my point of view that I have taken on an issue.

Fast forward 5 months; one of the principle detractors of my presence actually invited me to share my thoughts with the larger community in that public, visible position. I did not ask for it; the subject had not been discussed for some time. The miracle had occurred without prompting, and more likely, because of my separation from the emotionality of people and the issue.

By releasing a need to defend; by self differentiating from others’ emotionality; by honoring myself with boundaries, I created an environment where this minor miracle could occur.

It is common for emotionality to trigger the amygdala, the “lizard brain,” and we can use that trigger as a signpost to step back, self-differentiate, and release. Maybe that alone is the greatest miracle of all!

Larry Watson, Legacy Community and ACCEL member

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