A WISE Insight

From Sara on five situations that made her angry and how she handled it

  1. Being told that I should not “feel” a certain way, because it is inconvenient or in congruent with the other person.  My response was to express my concern at being told how “I am supposed to feel”.   I also reinforced the fact that these were my feelings (and therefore not open to debate) and that I objected to being told how I was supposed to feel.
  2. Being told to calm down and not talk a certain way. Unfortunately, I countered this statement with the following with a little too much emotion in my voice; “I am not a robot and I cannot and will not control the emotion in my voice, I will express myself as I see fit”.  (All valid and good points but I need to learn to express myself without falling to pieces or sounding irrational)
  3. Askholes – people who constantly ask for your help and advice, yet always do the opposite.  They seek pity or play stupid, creating their own misfortune and never seem to learn the lesson or accept responsibility and expect you to come to rescue. I must learn not to offer help, and not to care more about them than they care for themselves. And convince myself that it’s not my problem or responsibility.
  4. People telling me what I need to do regarding my mother’s medical issues. I calmly told them that they were expressing what was best for them and not necessarily for me or my mom.  And that they should do what they felt they needed to do and that I would do what I felt necessary and willing to do.
  5. Being told I was heartless.  Let it go by reminding myself where the comment came from and the reason for it being said – and that it said everything about them and nothing about me.

From Carole on reconnecting with her parents

Just wanted to share with you that I had a wonderful conversation with my father this morning. We drove into the city together as we sometimes do (usually we listen to the radio and don't say much to each other), and this time I took the opportunity to share some of the struggles I've been going through and to talk about school and the kids and our relationship etc... It was really, really great. We hugged after and we both teared up a little bit. I know we still have a long way to go but I feel like we understand each other a little better and that the lines of communication are more open.

I have also been talking to my mom a lot. I raved to her about the Dance of Anger and she would like to read it. We talk a lot about family patterns repeating themselves and about understanding patterns without blaming. She started to come to me randomly with stories from her childhood and how there was no communication and she was just expected to know how to behave… and "how could her parents just let her go out into the world without talking to her about things like sex etc...?" This was really helpful in understanding my family legacy.

From Sandy on figuring out her diet patterns

I realized that when there was some sort of event / deadline for losing weight (wedding, vacation, etc.), I would go on some crazy diet and become completely obsessed (and stressed) about losing weight... only to fail.  Again.  This has been a life-long pattern and I finally see how each time, I am just setting myself up to fail.  And by the way, I never really lose the weight that I planned to - maybe 7-10 pounds - but it always came back right after the event.

The one time I did lose a lot of weight (due to the shock of finding out about my husband’s affair) people would comment about how good I looked.  But I felt like a fraud because I knew it was not a healthy weight loss.  And sure enough, as my life began to stabilize, the weight came back.

About nine months after my WISE group started, I decided I was going to commit to finding my healthy weight as a part of my life plan... no deadlines, no stress, no rush – and no more dieting!  I embraced eating when I was hungry and stopping when I was full without being too concerned about what I was eating.  I started eating more slowly.  If I wanted a cupcake, I had it and didn’t feel guilty.  If I felt full and kept eating, I said so out loud but didn’t make myself feel bad.  Eventually I started looking at cookbooks and planning better meals.  I also made a point of tracking my fruit & veggie intake, trying to make sure I had 4-5 a day.  Slowly, I switched from white carbs to more whole wheat.  But most of all, I was simply AWARE.

It’s been 10 months and yes, I have lost weight.  But much better for me (and it was a huge surprise!) is that I am no longer obsessed with what I eat – I can honestly say that my Diet Head has been replaced with my Healthy Mind!

From Maria on one of her key emotional triggers:

I still get derailed sometimes but I always manage to get back on track - mainly by taking time to stop and think about what's happening in a given moment. I consider what attitude(s) and thought(s) I have, versus the ones I want to have (or change), and then choose the best behaviors and responses. One of the greatest "ah-has" I have taken away from this program is learning that my key trigger is when I feel disrespected and ignored –which reminds me of how I felt treated as a child. I have tested this "theory" in different situations and it really "fits". I now notice how irritated and angry I can get when people disrespect me, ignore my requests and/or act as if my needs and wants are irrelevant or unimportant. I can't believe I hadn’t made this connection all these years!