Let’s take what we’ve learned so far and apply it to a real-life scenario. Remember to monitor your emotions when reading this. The goal is to be the self-observer to analyze your reactions. If you become reactive, pause and go to the last step.
The trigger: John didn’t send the class recap from last week.
My intention: To send a recap by Monday
- Therefore, John feels bad because he is not self-reliable
- If I had communicated that intention to you I am not reliable to you
- If you emailed me to ask for a recap and I didn’t respond in a timely manner, I am not reliable or accountable.
Making amends: “I apologize for not sending the recap earlier.”
- This demonstrates accountability to myself and others. The quicker it is offered, the better.
- No story about why – keeping my boundaries about this situation around the data, not the story. The story is an attempt to make me feel better because I don’t have self-forgiveness. This strengthens accountability.
- No trying to convince you that you should feel sorry for me for the busy week I had. No trying to blame the email gods for not sending the email or redirecting it to your spam folder. No trying to soften the blow. No putting the accountability on someone/something else. (hint: integrity)
- Just the apology.
Making Amends – part 2 – reiterating promise: “My intention is to send the recap by Monday”
- Establishing the intention to repair reliable and create accountability for you and for myself
- This may be important in a professional relationship (manager-staff, consultant-client)
- This may be important for a personal relationship (partner-partner, parent-child, friend-friend)
- How do you feel about me now that I’ve apologized and reiterated my intention?
- Compassion for John and no concern for the future
- Thankful for the apology
- Ok, and we’ll see…
- Whatever, he’s always late
- I can no longer be in this class
- How does your feeling on the forgiveness spectrum affect you… your relationships, your motivation, your health, your experience of the class, your feeling about yourself?
- How do the actions of John mirror your own actions? Ask yourself, “How (or when) am I like that?”
Now, put yourself in the “trigger seat.” Recall a scenario where something you did or said (or didn’t) that activated a trigger in yourself or someone else.
The last step
When you are finished, do a heart-coherence meditation. If you become triggered by this exercise of analyzing a trigger, then put it aside and do a heart-coherence meditation.
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