Upset? Come Closer!


Yesterday in the Parenting telecourse we looked at a common idea so profound, it happens many times in life between people….

….not just parents and children.

That person is making me upset.

They are running things, ruling the roost, bossing me around, pushing me to do something, making me feel nervous, confusing me, aggravating me, hurting my feelings, disturbing my peace, not doing what I want them to do!

In some ways…..all the stressful beliefs about any other people I’ve ever known have been related to these thoughts.

The person is being themselves….whether age two or age 82…..and I have to “deal” with them.

If only they’d change.

This is a big fat hassle.

I have to put up with this??!

That person’s behavior scared me, hurt me, saddened me (or even made me happy—sometimes, even THAT thought is stressful).

Who would you be without the belief that the person you’re thinking of is the cause of your stress?

Who would you be without the thought that they can disturb your inner peace?

A mother called me once with a deeply painful situation for her work.

Her son, a teenager, had gone missing on an international backpacking journey. She had seen him head down the trail, and that’s the last time she ever saw him. Police, investigators, a complete change of their situation from “vacation” to horrifying experience of loss and tragedy.

He was eventually assumed to have died.

The rage, grief and sadness felt unbearable.

Who would she be without the belief that he caused this agony, he triggered it, or that someone or something was to blame?


It’s very hard to find, when you’ve been in the midst of trauma.

The mind wants answers. It wants to know who or what is the culprit.

Sometimes, it’s even “God” or the universe, source, reality.

It is against me. 

But without that belief….

….dropping below or under or back behind that belief….

….feeling what it’s like without THINKING about the difficult situation, without remembering the event that created pain in your life….

….who would you actually be?

I see pictures of those situations I believed hurt me. Sometimes badly.

My good friend who reported me to authorities for a deep and bizarre misunderstanding. My former husband requesting divorce. My father dying long ago. The pregnancy I aborted. My leg getting badly injured. Having a cancer diagnosis. Losing almost all the money I had.

I am hurt by these things….I was hurt by these things.

Is it true?


Are you positive these were harmful? That these events shouldn’t have happened? That you’re damaged because of them? That you have to “deal” with the repercussions in a distressing way?

YES. I am sure!! Then….a tiny iota of doubt enters.

I notice I’m breathing. I notice I’ve come a long way since any of these things happened. I notice when I’ve done the work on these people, these events, I have a new and different view.

I’ve been surprised some benefits exist that caused yet other things to occur, including me to wake up to what I really wanted, or what I was committed to.

I notice every time….not ALMOST every time….but EVERY time….

….that I am OK at the very least, but often actually better off than before this thing happened or I encountered this person.

I am changed for the better because of knowing this difficult person, or situation.

Without my thinking, I am not only OK….I am hearing silence in this moment, noticing my aliveness, connected to those who are gone, being with this body and feeling the temporariness of all of life.

This is the way of it.

Things change. Things are only here for a little while.

“The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it. It’s like sitting down at night and deciding whether you want the sun to come up in the morning. The bottom line is, the sun will come up and the sun will go down. You can think about it all you want, but life is still going to keep on happening….This world is unfolding and really has very little to do with you or your thoughts. It was here long before you came, and it will be here long after you leave.” ~ Michael Singer

Even these extremely painful situations.

They come and go, they pass….and for some reason loss, trauma, and death appear to exist, whether I think about it or not.

And so does life.

“We all face loss–that is the way–but if we can turn towards our loss, and listen to it, and stare it in the face, then it may reveal hidden gold, and we may end up seeing ourselves and out loved ones reflected more clearly than ever. Grief is only love in a strange disguise, and it constantly invites us to come closer…and closer still…” ~ Jeff Foster

Much love, Grace

4 Replies to “Upset? Come Closer!”

  1. Hi Grace – I’ve been so busy moving and have neglected my mindfulness. I haven’t read your posts and am so glad I did today – such a great reminder that everything is always going to be OK just all depends at how you look at it.

    Bless you for doing this every day !


  2. Thank you so much Bridget. I love your questions. At a basic level, someone has to see that a shift in their own perspective is actually appealing and attractive. I’ve found, there is only a holding on to a certain belief or view of a difficult experience if it somehow (maybe not even logically) seems difficult or dangerous to question it….or difficult to actually revisit the whole experience and enter the pain of it. Many people, myself included, will understandably think “I just want to forget this” and try to suppress or push the feelings under. When I began to find that bringing the story fully out into the open—telling it once and then also beginning to ask “is that true?” (The Work) then movement into the relief, and even wonder, of not being so against what happened can be possible. I also see everyone has their own timeline. People will hold on to their story as long as necessary. Even this is OK. But the key for me happens when I notice it could be of benefit for me to have a different perspective in the first place. If I don’t see any benefit, or freedom, I won’t be open to it. –Grace

  3. Hi Grace, I love this post. I shared it with my clients. I wonder if someone is really stuck and unable to make the shift to see the insight from life events, how you suggest they open up to this? What makes them able to make the shift to see a situation from a new perspective? What do you see as the key “ingredient”?

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