Things went awry.
When we carefully reserved long-term lodging to provide basic necessities—like safe indoor air, power, and non-violent neighbors—we didn’t anticipate encountering the opposite.
This is the challenge of travel.
We didn’t feel safe reporting such a travel challenge, though, and there was no other lodging available.
The shock of the situation can initially feel overwhelming, depressing, and even a bit scary.
Even if I did feel safe reporting a travel challenge, doing so while expressing strong upset might upset others.
If upset appears on my face, anxious tones appear in my voice, or negative sweeping conclusions are proclaimed...I might upset others. And that might not get any of us anywhere.
And if I report a travel challenge while expressing strong upset, I might upset myself…more.
If upset appears on my face, anxious tones appear in my voice, or negative sweeping conclusions are proclaimed…yes, it might upset me more.
I didn’t realize this until I was once asked to share troubling facts, without expressing emotion.
There was a time when I had multiple difficult situations that I was asked to report on. I was instructed to share the facts, without expressing the emotions involved.
At first, I didn’t understand this concept. Emotion is wonderful and to be expressed if it’s part of the story, right? How else can I accurately share the entire truth?
But as I began to share just the facts, an amazing thing occurred.
Sharing just the facts, without expressing strong emotions, brought immense rewards.
All of a sudden, there was plenty of space...for the difficult facts to be heard, empathized with, and respectfully handled...by others.
All of a sudden, there was plenty of space...for others to share their own (very valid) emotional reactions to the challenge (which can be the most validating experience of all…for me).
I felt unexpectedly calmer.
The more I simply share the facts (of what is happening within and around me), without expressing strong emotions, the calmer I feel.
The more I acknowledge and share my emotions with an "I" Statement (“I’m feeling anxious…in my belly…about…”), without my body acting out that anxiety, the calmer I feel.
This allows plenty of space...for others to hear, empathize, and respectfully help.
And the calm it brings is something I never want to lose.